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Boundary Committee slammed for 'fiasco'

PUBLISHED: 14:45 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:23 03 July 2010

THE long-running saga over plans to overhaul councils in Norfolk took yet another twist yesterday as the Boundary Committee announced further draft proposals.

THE long-running saga over plans to overhaul councils in Norfolk took yet another twist yesterday as the Boundary Committee announced further draft proposals.

Under the latest plans, which would see the current two-tier structure of local government scrapped in favour of one-size-fits-all unitary authorities, Great Yarmouth would fall into an authority with the rest of the county.

Two further proposals put on the table is one super council covering the whole of Norfolk and a two-unitary pattern of a Norwich unitary and one for the rest of the county.

Lowestoft is not included in either proposal with the Boundary Committee saying inclusion of the Suffolk town would mean changing existing external boundaries, something it doesn't want to do.

Yarmouth Borough Council leader Barry Coleman described the entire process as a “fiasco” and accused the Boundary Committee of leading supporters of the so-called “wedge” option “up the garden path”.

He said: “We stopped a long time ago trying to guess what was happening. The Boundary Committee is an irrelevance as far as we can see. This will be a political decision and it seems the government will move the goalposts to create a Norwich unitary and to hell with anything else.”

Labour leader Mick Castle said: “This is really sad because of all the options ours had the benefit of being smaller than a single county and stacked up financially. One of the things we suffered from was Norwich trying to get their unitary option. They wouldn't fully join onto our bandwagon until their option was a no-go.”

Referring to the decision as the “worst possible outcome for Yarmouth” Mr Castle said it was now up to local councillors to ensure jobs and some form of decision making was kept locally.

To comment visit www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or write to Review Manager (Norfolk Review), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW. Alternatively email reviews@boundarycommittee.org.uk.

The deadline for responses is May 14.

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