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Babergh leader does not rule out possibility of re-introducing council name change proposal at later date

Babergh District Council’s leader has not ruled out the possibility of re-introducing a proposal to rename the authority in the future, but said they “will not change things that don’t need changing immediately”.

A controversial effort to change the council’s title to South Suffolk, which drew nationwide attention, was placed on hold earlier this month, following a wave of criticism that claimed it was unnecessarily costly and ignored the centuries-old heritage of the Babergh name.

At a meeting last week, Conservative council leader John Ward was asked by Boxford resident David Lamming if he would “accept there will be no need to change the name of the council, unless and until there is local government re-organisation involving the council?”

Babergh District Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich (20584326)
Babergh District Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich (20584326)

In response, Cllr Ward declined to make this assurance, only stating there are currently no plans to reorganise government in Suffolk.

He said: “While we always consider feedback, this doesn’t and cannot determine policy, as it inevitably only comes from a small number of residents, and it is usually only those who strongly oppose something who contact us.

“We are in contact with and learning from authorities who have done this. We will not change things that don’t need changing immediately and only do it as things reach their end of life and need replacing.”

Cllr Ward also confirmed there had not been a more detailed financial assessment of the cost of implementing such a name change, beyond an initial report by council officers, which suggested up to £10,000 would be needed.

However, the council leader added that he believed the cost could be kept “very low”, based on the evidence of other authorities.

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