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Council seeking merger support

PUBLISHED: 09:35 16 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:00 01 August 2010

A DISTRICT council has pledged to dedicate £45,000 worth of officer time to explore service merger plans with a neighbouring authority.

Leaders at South Norfolk Council are seeking £90,000 from the East of England Regional Assembly to advance shared service discussions with Breckland Council.

A DISTRICT council has pledged to dedicate £45,000 worth of officer time to explore service merger plans with a neighbouring authority.

Leaders at South Norfolk Council are seeking £90,000 from the East of England Regional Assembly to advance shared service discussions with Breckland Council.

If approved by the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP), the local authority will dedicate £45,000 of officer time to draw up a feasibility study and business case.

John Fuller, South Norfolk Council leader, told cabinet members on Monday that the move was prompted by an anticipated 18pc to 20pc cut in government rate support in 2011, which would leave a £1m funding shortfall.

He added that the RIEP bid would mean that taxpayers would not be hit by the external costs of establishing an alliance with Breckland Council.

“It looks like we have been spot on with our forecasts and we were right to look at sharing services. Breckland seems to be the least risky option and the one with greater return,” he said.

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