On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. It will entirely replace the borough and district councils but will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. Over the next few weeks you may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails as we prepare for the creation of the new council.
Proposals 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:
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.
The new single council will give the area a greater ability to:
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.