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Tories remain opposed to 'Yartoft'

PUBLISHED: 10:24 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 03 July 2010

TORY borough councillors remain bitterly opposed to plans for a unitary authority linking the town with Lowestoft as part of a major shake-up of local government.

TORY borough councillors remain bitterly opposed to plans for a unitary authority linking the town with Lowestoft as part of a major shake-up of local government.

The £100m overhaul of council services in Norfolk and Suffolk would see the current two-tier system of district and county councils scrapped in favour of one-size-fits-all unitaries.

And while the Boundary Committee, the body undertaking the review, has stipulated the so-called “Yartoft” option must be looked at, borough council leader Barry Coleman said the idea remained a “no-go” for his party.

Mr Coleman said there was concern among councillors that the review was “a complete waste of money”.

He added: “Next week there is a meeting about closures

of post offices in Norfolk which I hope to attend. As a council we want to be involved in this but this boundary review is very distracting.”

The Tories would prefer the status quo but Mr Coleman felt that would be “unlikely”.

“While we want to concentrate on matters important to the electorate we have to face up to reality that this review is happening,” he said.

Mr Coleman said a Yarmouth and Waveney authority would not be in a county of its own right and for ceremonial purposes the government would have to decide whether it was Norfolk or Suffolk.

“The sense of place is an important issue. Can you imagine people in Southwold saying they are Norfolk and people in the Fleggs saying they are Suffolk?”

Yarmouth's Labour leader Trevor Wainwright dubbed Mr Coleman's comments as “scaremongering.”

He said: “The ceremonial thing is a complete red herring. The mayors would be retained in both areas. There is no question of losing Norfolk or Suffolk and we have made that clear in our proposals to the Boundary Committee.”

The Tory-led borough council has gone with a Norfolk coastal option as its preference.

In April the Boundary Committee will decide on which options it wants business cases for.

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