Suffolk

Suffolk councils merger backed by minister

A scheme to merge teams to save money at two district councils in Suffolk has been backed by the government.

Waveney said its partnership with Suffolk Coastal has gained the approval of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The councils will receive a share of a £200m fund available to local authorities who seek to save money by sharing services, it added.

Waveney leader Mark Bee said the council were "extremely proud to be ahead of the game".

'Good news'

He said the scheme saved money and streamlined services, while "remaining committed to the standards our communities come to expect".

"There is no easy solution to addressing a 28% cut in government funding but it is clear that the government support our pioneering approach and believe that others should follow our path," he said.

Since April, the councils have shared a chief executive.

Suffolk Coastal leader Ray Herring added: "This is very good news and real recognition from the Government for our strategy.

"Additional funding would help us push on with a programme which began two years ago, but only this month saw us create a slimmed down management team for both councils, saving £400,000 per year."

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