New single council for West Suffolk

Images form around west SuffolkProposals to create a new West Suffolk Council to drive prosperity, jobs and meet future challenges have been backed by Government.

Both the House of Lords and House of Commons backed the proposals and the orders to create the new West Suffolk Council have been signed by the Secretary of State. A new shadow authority for West suffolk has been established and includes councillors from both Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough Councils. The shadow authority is working to make the transition to the new council as smooth as possible, ready for it to be created in April 2019 and elections held in May 2019.

The new West Suffolk Council will entirely replace the borough and district council but continue to deliver the same services.

Already both councils successfully share services, for example collecting your bins or ensuring people can access the right housing – saving local taxpayers £4 million every year. We now want to look to build on these successes to bring about even more benefits and continue to invest even more into supporting our communities under a new single council.

A single council will allow us to better:

  • deliver services that are vital for our communities and businesses while at the same time driving forward an ambitious vision of growth, jobs and economic prosperity for our unique area
  • future-proof for the next decade and beyond - to ensure a firm financial base and stability to meet the challenges faced by our communities such as improving health, the need for more homes and reduced national funding
  • consolidate the savings and efficiencies we have made and make even more that can be reinvested to work with and benefit our communities.

It will mean the council is the right size to still deliver local and tailored solutions but also have a large and unified voice to champion the aspirations of our communities nationally and to attract new businesses.

In addition the new council aims to bring savings and efficiencies totalling around £800,000 every year. We also want to reassure you that services will continue and these savings and efficiencies will not be through cuts but through not needing double the amount of things we have now or increasing our capacity to do more.

Benefits

The new single council will give the area a greater ability to:

  • be stronger and financially resilient to surpass the challenges of reduced public funding and any changes to local government
  • be the right size to continue to support our local villages, towns and communities but with a larger and stronger unified voice to more effectively lobby Government and attract internationally recognised businesses
  • have a unified strategic vision for the whole area enabling us to be even more pro-active and able to capitalise on commercial opportunities
  • continue the shared service working that has saved millions and build on this to deliver even better value and savings to invest back into high quality services and local community initiatives
  • be better placed to offer extra support in many areas particularly working with communities to improve health and wellbeing
  • have the leadership available to work more effectively with partners and others to manage increased growth, jobs and challenges that will drive the local economy and benefit our communities
  • make sure we can provide more and the right kind of homes for our residents and cut unnecessary red tape for local businesses and traders
  • keep the same overall boundaries as the borough and district council our communities call home while having the long term stability to deliver high quality services.

Creating the electoral wards for the West Suffolk Council

As part of the creation of the new West Suffolk Council the number of councillors will be reduced from 72 to 64. This requires a review of the ward boundaries for the whole of West Suffolk using the parish council boundaries as building blocks. The decision on how this will change is down to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and not the councils.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published their final recommendations for the West Suffolk Council ward boundaries. Subject to parliamentary approval, the final recommendations will come into force at the election on 2 May 2019.

You can view the final recommendations at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/eastern/suffolk/west-suffolk. The page includes interactive maps, a report detailing the recommendations and all of the submissions that the Boundary Commission received on the draft recommendations.

More information