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Merger of Suffolk district councils agreed

Council leaders Ray Herring and Colin Law shake hands after the deal is agreed. Credit: Waveney District Council.

The merger of two Suffolk councils has been approved by their members.

It paves the way for Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District councils to become East Suffolk.

The move aims to save money and help the authorities cope with rapidly decreasing budgets.

The leaders of both councils called the agreement "historic". It is the first merger of two district councils since a major local government reorganisation in 1974.

"This decision will enable us to withstand significant reductions in central government funding for councils and better address key issues such as the need for investment in growth and infrastructure projects and increasing housing demand and costs."

– Cllr Colin Law, Waveney District Council leader.

A written request to merge will now be sent to the government and final ratification of the decision is likely to be made by the Communities Secretary in September.

The two existing councils will then be formally dissolved and elections to the new authority will take place in May 2019.

£90,000 grant will help vulnerable women

A £90,000 grant award to Waveney District Council will help vulnerable women. Credit: PA.

Vulnerable women in Suffolk are to benefit from £90,000 of government funding.

Waveney District Council is to spend the money on creating more space at its refuge centres for victims of domestic violence.

Over the past two years, the service has helped almost 100 women and 180 children in the county.

The money will help create an additional five spaces in the form of three self-contained refuge accommodation units and two emergency "crash pad" spaces.


Plans for Waveney Valley go on show

People living around the Waveney Valley will get the chance to find out about future plans for the area later today.

Boats on the water at Waveney Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Broads Authority is holding a public forum in Beccles to update people on its work. Suffolk police will also be there to answer questions about boat crime prevention.

It is one of four meetings to take place across the Waveney Valley.

Waveney District Council gear up for 'a critical situation'

Cllr Colin Law, Leader of Waveney District Council, has issued the following statement in response to the developing weather situation:

"We are gearing up for a critical situation and, having regularly practiced emergency plan scenarios, we are taking absolutely nothing for granted. Our operational teams are working closely with our colleagues at the County Council, Environment Agency and the emergency services to prioritise the safety of our communities and to support them wherever it is needed."

– Cllr Colin Law, Leader of Waveney District Council

For regularly updated information, from Suffolk County Council click here

Figures reveal East of England jobs defecit

Castle Point and Waveney have the least jobs Credit: PA

Figures released by the union UNISON have highlighted the worst areas in our region for job seekers. They say that in the East of England, there are 3 people claiming Job Seekers Allowance for every unfilled vacancy.

In Castle Point in Essex though, there are 12 people chasing every advertised job, in Waveney in Suffolk there are 6.9 unemployed people for each available position.

The Union says 37,000 public sector jobs have been lost in the region since the coalition came to power.

MP investigates ambulance delays

Peter Aldous MP Credit: ITV Anglia

Waveney MP Peter Aldous says lengthy handover delays at hospitals is one of the main factors in causing ambulance response times to grow.Mr Aldous spent two evenings with crews from the Waveney depot recently.

He says another factor he discovered was the public calling out ambulances inappropriately when they should have simply been calling their doctors. An increase in demand due to the region's ageing population was another factor.

He has written to the East of England Ambulance Trust with his findings. He has asked for a meeting with the Trust to discuss the issues.


Councillor shocked at air show cancellation

The leader of Waveney District Council, Cllr Colin Law, said he was shocked at the news that Lowestoft Air Show was to end.

I am shocked to hear the announcement from the Air Show Organising Committee and it would be a very great shame if the event was to be cancelled.

However I know that work will continue to save the event and I personally believe that no stone will be left unturned by Paul Bayfield and his team.

This is one of the town's great events and I imagine it will not disappear without a very great struggle

– Cllr Colin Law

Body in submerged car believed to be that of missing man

Police say they believe the body of a man discovered inside a submerged car at the New Cut near St Olaves is that of Charles Samuel Watson from Henstead.

Formal identification is yet to take place but officers have just confirmed the car recovered from the river earlier today (April 13) is a silver VW Golf.

The 25-year-old was last seen in the early hours of Monday April 9.

The death is being treated as a fatal road traffic collision and officers say there are no suspicious circumstances.

A post mortem will take place next week and the death has been referred to the coroner.

Body pulled from submerged car

A body has been pulled from a submerged car in the New Cut near to St Olaves.

The body was pulled by police divers earlier today April 13 after the discovery.

Meanwhile, police are still trying to trace Charles Samuel Watson from Henstead who went missing after a stag night in Great Yarmouth earlier this week.

Police have not said if the body discovered is that of the 25-year-old.