All the district and borough council leaders in Suffolk have sent a joint letter to Suffolk County Council calling for a stop to the £70,000 review of local government structures initiated by the county.
Instead they request that all councils and public sector organisations such as health and emergency services jointly work together on proposals which would deliver improved benefits and savings much quicker.
Leaders from Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney councils express concern that, despite a history of working together, none had been contacted about the proposals nor involved in drawing up the brief for the consultants.
The letter points out that Suffolk Councils and public sector partners have already achieved millions of pounds of investment and better outcomes for residents by working together and ignoring structures and parties.
But the leaders warn that the work by ‘think-tank’ ResPublica could undo all of that and waste time and money which could be better spent on accelerating this work.
All councils are facing financial pressures from reduced national funding and increased demand on services. The letter sets out that, while understanding the County’s position, their unilateral action in commissioning a review is not the way forward.
Leaders are concerned that due to previous work for the County Council Network the findings of any review by ResPublica would be weighted to a predetermined outcome. The district and borough council leaders make it clear in the letter that they will not take part in the ResPublica work if it goes forward.