Three-way merger between Breckland, Great Yarmouth and South Holland councils is a step closer

A three-way merger between Breckland, Great Yarmouth and South Holland councils is a step closer tonight.

Breckland and South Holland, based in Spalding, have been working closely under a single management team and chief executive for about 18 months, saving an estimated �1m in costs between them.

Great Yarmouth Council announced it was entering talks to create a three-way partnership last summer and all three council are now exploring in detail the implications of joining forces.

Councillors in Great Yarmouth agreed to the cost-saving merger in principle last week and Breckland followed suite at a cabinet meeting today (Tuesday).

Breckland leader William Nunn said: 'We were always confident that our successful shared management arrangement could be extended over a larger number of authorities and I look forward to welcoming Great Yarmouth Borough Council into the partnership.

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'Breckland will remain an autonomous, independent organisation – a separate and accountable body focused on delivering quality services to our residents. By widening the top shared management team, we will make further savings and gain from having access to a wider range of professional managers.

'We still have a long way to go to achieve the savings needed and have some very difficult decisions ahead. Nothing will be decided before we have heard the views of residents and we will hold a series of open meetings later this year to find out which money saving or income generating measures they think we should implement.'

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Cabinet members at South Holland are due to discuss the shared management arrangement at a meeting on February 28.

Any decisions taken at cabinet will need to go to full council for final approval.

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