Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 15:56 UK

Planned unitary 'remote' concern

Map showing authority boundaries
Three new unitary authorities in Suffolk are being proposed

The leader of a district council in Suffolk says a proposed unitary county authority would be "remote and out of touch" with local people.

Mark Bee, leader of Waveney District Council - which covers Lowestoft - said he was concerned at plans for a unitary Suffolk council.

Mr Bee has urged local people to take part in a Boundary Commission consultation on the plans.

On Friday he is attending a special Boundary Review event in Beccles.

Mr Bee believes the district would be best served by an East Suffolk unitary council.

On-going consultation

Mr Bee said: "I strongly believe that an East Suffolk council would best serve the people of Waveney, keeping the market towns of Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold at the very heart of a progressive, dynamic and logical new authority.

"East Suffolk has a clear identity; a sense of place and I want any new authority to focus on the economic development of our coastal communities and market towns.

"A giant Suffolk mega-council would be remote and out of touch.

"How could such a structure provide real community leadership for the people of Beccles if it is based in Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds?"

Waveney District Council has formed an alliance with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council for three new unitary councils East Suffolk, West Suffolk and North Haven Council (covering Ipswich and Felixstowe).

The public consultation runs until Friday 26 September.

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