Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 12:37 UK

Three council structure proposed

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

Reorganisation of local government in Suffolk into three councils could save taxpayers up to 30m, proposals claim.

Separate councils for East Suffolk, West Suffolk and North Haven are being proposed to the Boundary Committee for England (BCE).

A two-council plan is currently the preferred BCE structure.

But new proposals for three unitary authorities taking over from district and county councils are being sent to the committee.

The three-council plan has been drawn up by Forest Heath, Bury St Edmunds and Waveney councils.

Their respective council leaders, Geoffrey Jaggard, John Griffiths and Mark Bee oppose one giant county-wide authority.

In a joint statement they said: "Our figures prove that true local democracy is affordable.

"Biggest is not always best - democracy has a price but our proposal shows East Suffolk, West Suffolk and North Haven will make the same significant savings year-on-year as the giant county option.

"We are convinced our residents want to keep decision-making local by making sure their council tax is invested in their own unique areas of Suffolk and not swallowed up by a remote and cumbersome unitary attempting to balance the whole county's needs.

"Our proposal means residents can escape the threat of all top-level decisions being taken by people miles away from them with very limited local knowledge, while also enjoying a real cut in costs."

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