The future of local government in Bury St Edmunds could be announced any day, following the completion of the consultation period yesterday.
The latest proposal from the government is elections in May 2010, only eleven months after the Suffolk County Council ones last June. If a 'one-Suffolk' unitary council is formed, this will be based on the existing county divisions and could have no more councillors than at present. This would clearly be unfair to an electorate used to being represented by 2 county councillors and 9 borough councillors. An alternative put forward is to have double the number of county councillors.
If it is Suffolk rural and Ipswich unitaries, then Tower division would probably be split into Northgate, St Olaves and Risbygate as one electoral area with 2 councillors, and Abbeygate and Minden wards as the other, also with 2 councillors. This is by far the more sensible proposal, which reduces the overall number of councillors for the unitary council, whilst maintaining a more local representation.
Watch this space....