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Will it be super, a wedge or doughnut?

PUBLISHED: 14:06 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 July 2010

OFFICIALS from the Boundary Committee have begun sifting through thousands of responses to the proposed overhaul of councils in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The seven-member committee sought the views of residents and interested groups on three options:

A single super-council for Norfolk and Lowestoft.

OFFICIALS from the Boundary Committee have begun sifting through thousands of responses to the proposed overhaul of councils in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The seven-member committee sought the views of residents and interested groups on three options:

A single super-council for Norfolk and Lowestoft.

A “wedge” option of Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and the rest of Norfolk.

A “doughnut”, comprising greater Norwich surrounded by a rural Norfolk authority.

Officials will examine more than 4,000 replies from Norfolk with a view to making a recommendation to a government minister in December. A final decision is expected in February.

Last Friday saw the official deadline for councils across Norfolk to submit bids for their preferred options.

While the Tory-led borough council ultimately favours the status quo - leaving things as they are - it submitted a bid supporting the wedge option, which is also strongly favoured by Labour.

Meanwhile, a joint sub-mission by five district and borough councils - Broadland, Breckland, North Norfolk, South Norfolk and King's Lynn & West Norfolk - produced a heavyweight prop-osal arguing why the process should be shelved in favour of an enhanced status quo.

Norfolk County Council produced a document supp-orting the super unitary idea.

At a Federation of Small Businesses event at the Cliff Hotel, the debate was domin-ated by unitary proposals, and the prospective Tory parliamentary candidate for Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, called for the Boundary Committee to stick with the status quo. He said: “As I have said on many occasions, these proposals will not only stick two fingers up to the historic demarcations of our two counties: they are also going to be expensive and will most likely result in a lack of local transparency.

“Labour is trying to preserve its shaky hold on our local councils by messing around with historic and well-proven boundaries; all this at a time when its authority has been eroded across the country. Yarmouth residents deserve better.”

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