Thursday, 19 March 2009

Is this really best for the west?

So - the Boundary Committee have ignored the views of local people by failing to include the three-unitary East, West and Greater Ipswich option in its latest proposals for changing local government in Suffolk

Having been instructed by the Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, to review their preferred options, the Committee has today announced that it will consult on two options: a giant Suffolk unitary and a two-unitary Greater Ipswich and rural county model – neither of which have any significant public support. Previously, the ‘One Suffolk’ option had only been considered ‘of merit’ by the Committee. It is now an official draft proposal for the first time. However, on this occasion, both options would see Lowestoft remaining in Suffolk.

This is despite research which shows that nearly nine out of 10 people in Suffolk believe the three-unitary option should be included in the consultation. Meanwhile almost two-thirds of those who expressed a preference want to see the three-unitary model for Suffolk in action and are now prevented from formally expressing their views on this option to the Boundary Committee.

Will Abbeygate ward in future be ruled from Ipswich rather than Bury St Edmunds?


Bury Boy said...

You forgot to add that when "Dave" and the team win the next election, the options may well be cancelled.

What is wrong with Abbeygate ward being controlled from a chamber in Ipswich, our councillors will be there in the same capicity as they are or will be in the new or any other building, from a local level, or even from a county level they are repesented to present our views. After all those who live in Haverhill, Stowmarket, Woolpit and other towns tend to be controlled from Bury or "other burys" in the case of the east.

I dont like the idea of Ipswich any more than any other bury person, ( west is best) How ever if we can strip out a level or two of cost, people, buildings, carparks, over heads. and improve the service ( even match it) then we should and see this reflected in our rates. I have no time for those who have followed the banks lead and suggested alternaitives which suit themselfs under the guise of the community. It seems the commission too may have seen more politics than benefit in the submissions.

The big question is will this process lead to lower rates for bury home owners.

Paul F said...

BB - Your 'big question' at the end is a good one. Any decent form of unitary council should be more cost-effective. Whether that reduction is passed on to the council tax payer or pays for a better standard of service is a choice that has to be made.

As far as a new Conservative governmnet is concerned, I am told that once a parliamentary order is made (say, around the end of the year) it would be very unusual to try and change it. And there won't be an election before May 2010.

The real question is whether we want government money (the old 'rate support grant') that goes to a new super-SCC to be diverted to the other big towns because of their 'deprivation' rather than to our own 'affluent' area. Abbeygate folk aren't too concerned with coastal erosion or urban deprivation. Many would rather have a smaller unitary council which is held together by market towns and greenery.

We shall see!

Mark G. Hardy said...

Common sense really to have one "central services provider" IF the remaining "local" council is viable and effective and deals with truly "local" issues - not just allotments and war memorials.

Now it is time to restore Bury Town Council to what it should have been before it was emaciated and granted no meaningful powers whatsoever as a deliberate act by StEdsBC.

You can't rely on Dave to push this into the long grass, so for the sake of Bury get the Town Council some powers now.

If you do, who knows I might even move back and contest the Abbeygate Ward seat again! At least there will be something worth fighting for - power to the lowest level of democratic accountability.