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Yarmouth to stay a borough

PUBLISHED: 18:44 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:37 30 June 2010

GREAT Yarmouth will be keeping its borough council, it emerged this week, after the government opted to grant Norwich its home rule dream.

The news that Yarmouth would remain as a borough under the two tier system was welcomed by council leader Barry Coleman though he said the council would have preferred the status quo to remain on a county-wide level.

GREAT Yarmouth will be keeping its borough council, it emerged this week, after the government opted to grant Norwich its home rule dream.

The news that Yarmouth would remain as a borough under the two tier system was welcomed by council leader Barry Coleman though he said the council would have preferred the status quo to remain on a county-wide level.

He said: “Yarmouth Borough Council has always championed the status quo and would have wished for the outcome to have reflected this.

“Norwich as a unitary authority could be detrimental to the county of Norfolk as a whole. However, we are pleased that Yarmouth will remain a borough under the current two tier system.

“We firmly believe it is in the interests of local residents and business and we look forward to continuing to provide good local governance to the area.”

The leader of the council's Labour group, Mick Castle, said he originally wanted a combined Yarmouth and Lowestoft (Yartoft) authority and then when that was quashed he wanted Norwich and Yarmouth to combine.

He wanted Yarmouth to have a stronger voice as possible so not be marginalised.

He said: “I recognise the fact that Norwich deserves it own unitary authority, but from a county-wide point of view I have seen what is happening to Yarmouth in regard to cutting street lights and school funding.

“I just think that Yarmouth needs its own strong voice to make sure it is not sidelined because our political leaders are out in the sticks instead of Yarmouth.”

Mr Castle said the decision also made his own personal campaign to get a directly elected mayor for Yarmouth all the more relevant.

Local government minister Rosie Winterton gave the go-ahead to the city to run all services within its existing boundaries on Wednesday as a unitary council and laid down the draft orders to create a new authority.

The decision flew in the face of advice from the independent Boundary Committee, which had recommended a council for the whole of Norfolk.

But the government said the city needed strong leadership because of its crucial role in the local economy and made its ruling after noting that councils in Norfolk were overwhelmingly against the single unitary plan.

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