Late idea in boundary plan 'nutty'

PUBLISHED: 09:48 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 July 2010

Just as the Norfolk public is rallying to a competition to find a more inspiring name than Yartoft for a possible Yarmouth-Lowestoft union, an even more perplexing challenge could be waiting round the corner.

Just as the Norfolk public is rallying to a competition to find a more inspiring name than Yartoft for a possible Yarmouth-Lowestoft union, an even more perplexing challenge could be waiting round the corner.

While the region's local authorities are busy refining their suggestions for the best way of reorganising local government in time for Friday's deadline for submissions to the Boundary Committee, a late contender has emerged which one seasoned Labour politician described as “even more nutty” than the so- called nutcracker.

In what might be interpreted as an inspired compromise - or equally, confirmation that no sensible decision can be made in committee - a suggestion has come out of a meeting of Norfolk authorities that a Norfolk coastal unitary authority, bringing together Yarmouth and North Norfolk, could be extended even further to include Lowestoft.

In a competition organised by Yartoft's fans, Yarmouth's Hippodrome owner Peter Jay and Brian Potter, owner of Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton, entries have so far flooded in for a suitable name, ranging from Golden Sands Coast and Broad Way to Easthaven.

But what might you call an autho-rity stretching from Lowestoft to Wells? Norlow or Lowcoast perhaps?

The idea, which seems to have found favour in Breckland Council, was dismissed by Yarmouth Labour councillor Mick Castle as “even nuttier than the nutcracker”, the name given to the option for three authorities, with Norfolk coastal and South Norfolk councils wrapping themselves around the Norwich unitary.

And Yarmouth's Tory leader Barry Coleman and Suffolk County Council leader Jeremy Pembroke were equally opposed, unequivocally ruling out their support for any cross-county boundary authority.

However Tim Leader, deputy chief executive of Breckland Council, said the logic of an extended Norfolk coastal stemmed from feedback from the Boundary Committee which led them to believe that any proposal should address the Secretary of State's requirement to take into account the Yartoft option.

He said “simply throwing Lowestoft and Yarmouth together on their own would not be sensible as there are immense problems in both towns and a small authority would not have the capacity to solve them.

“However there would probably be merit in bringing Lowestoft into a Norfolk coastal and that would be worth exploring.”

Mr Leader said it was unclear whether any consensus on the merits of the new plan could be reached among Norfolk authorities before they make their final submission to the Boundary Committee on Friday.

The public has until the end of the month to suggest names for Yartoft, to be sent to the Yarmouth Hippodrome. Mr Potter and Mr Jay have come up with a £1,000 prize for the best suggestion. The winner will also receive a break at Potters.

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