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Heated debate on Yartoft

PUBLISHED: 10:50 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 07:20 01 August 2010

MOVES to merge Yarmouth and Waveney councils sparked a bruising two-a-half-hour clash between opponents and supporters of the concept yesterday.

Norfolk County Council convened a special meeting to discuss whether it would support a so-called 'Yartoft' option after the government asked the Boundary Committee to look at the idea earlier this year.

MOVES to merge Yarmouth and Waveney councils sparked a bruising two-and-a-half-hour clash between opponents and supporters of the concept.

Norfolk County Council convened a special meeting to discuss whether it would support a so-called "Yartoft" option after the government asked the Boundary Committee to look at the idea earlier this year.

While the Conservative cabinet afterwards stuck to its original plan to oppose the idea, it agreed to write a separate letter detailing Labour concerns after the meeting divided along political lines, with Labour councillors rallying in support of the idea, while the Tories were against.

The Liberal Democrats and the Greens, neither of which have seats in Yarmouth, attempted to stay above the fray.

The Tories believe Yartoft would have knock-on effects for other services such as police and fire, and a new council made up of two deprived areas would struggle. Yarmouth could also be forced to cross county boundaries and become a part of Suffolk, they claimed.

But Labour, whose councillors in Yarmouth and Waveney have submitted a bid for a Yartoft council rubbished the claims and said the new authority would build on work to create a single primary care trust and urban regeneration company for the two districts.

And there was opposition scorn for a report by council chief executive David White which said the idea would be too costly and disruptive.

Labour deputy leader Trevor Wainwright said the session was an apology for a debate and contained little other than snipes on Yarmouth and Waveney and did not reflect the "enormous amount of public support for the idea".

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