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Thetford backs unitary county authority

PUBLISHED: 09:23 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 07 July 2010

Civic leaders in Thetford have backed plans for a single unitary authority for Norfolk, which they say will lead to them having greater control over town affairs.

Civic leaders in Thetford have backed plans for a single unitary authority for Norfolk, which they say will lead to them having greater control over town affairs.

Thetford Town Council narrowly voted in favour of Boundary Committee proposals for one local authority for the whole of the county, which would result in the disbandment of Breckland Council.

Terry Lamb, long-serving town and district councillor, said he envisaged “great rejoicing” in Thetford to know that the district council could be about to disappear.

Mr Lamb urged councillors on Wednesday night to support his resolution calling on the Boundary Committee to form a council covering the ancient boundary of Norfolk.

“There are people around this table that want to prolong a district authority that has not seen itself prepared or willing to do much at all for this town.

“I am hoping for something that will give us hope for the future. It [unitary] is a plunge into the dark, but at least that dark has a glimmer of light,” he said.

Thelma Paines added that a single unitary authority was more likely to give Thetford Town Council more power over town affairs than Breckland Council.

But Marion Chapman-Allen said she did not support a proposal that would lead to an almost £50 a year increase in council tax bills for Breckland residents.

And Derek Mortimer added that travelling to council headquarters in Dereham was already far enough for Thetford people, which would only get further away under unitary status.

Councillors voted seven to five in favour of Mr Lamb's unitary proposal.

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