Jobs would be lost in Suffolk Coastal and Waveney merger to cut £800k a year

Suffolk Coastal District Council could be set to merge with Waveney District Council.

Suffolk Coastal District Council could be set to merge with Waveney District Council. - Credit: Archant

Merger of two Suffolk councils to create the largest district in the country could save more than £800,000 a year, but there would be job losses as part of the cut in costs.

There would also be a reduction in the number of councillors, but only a tiny rise in council tax.

Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils will hold a joint cabinet meeting on March 14 to examine their future working relationship – with the recommendation being to start work on a merger, identified by senior officers as a rational move and the only option to secure significant savings in the face reducing Government grants and increasing costs.

At the moment it is understood that at least 10 jobs minimum would be lost – with people working in the democratic services, electoral services, communications, internal audit, finance and planning policy departments most at risk.

In a report to the cabinet meeting, leaders of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, Ray Herring and Colin Law, said: 'The (councils') strategic management team has estimated that a merger should deliver a minimum saving of £800,000 per annum, without the need for any major organisational change.

'It would however involve political change both to a single leader and cabinet, and a review of the total number of councillors and wards.

'A single district council for East Suffolk would be the largest district council by population in England and may therefore provide the district with greater influence nationally, regionally and in Suffolk.'

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Suffolk Coastal has only just undergone a reorganisation of wards, and has 13 councillors less than before the elections last May – saving taxpayers' £100,000 a year.

Merging the two councils will also mean the need for one, uniform council tax for an area stretching from Felixstowe to Lowestoft.

Currently there is just nine pence between the authorities' Band D tax and so any increase for households is expected at this stage to be marginal.

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