To give residents of all affected areas (Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Newmarket, and all towns and villages between) a vote in a referendum or local election to gauge whether merging the local councils is supported by the taxpayers.
Why is this important?
There should be no such drastic and permanent change without a mandate given by the public.
Local councillors, such as Cllr Pat Hanlon, have expressed concerns that merging the councils will take away representation from local communities. There are fears that Bury St Edmunds will become the main hub, with Newmarket, Brandon, and villages in between feeling more isolated and less represented than they already do.
Indeed, Colin Copus, professor of local politics, says "the larger the units of local government become, the greater the damage done to a range of democratic criteria, such as trust in councillors and council officers."
Given that the case for merging is going to affect the lives of all local residents, and that referendums on mergers were given to other communities such as Christchurch/Dorset and Baberg/Mid Suffolk, we the undersigned call on the Councils to give all local registered voters a free, fair and open referendum on the merger.
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