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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.