Why is it that Suffolk has been selected for this radical experiment? Suffolk and radical are not two words that often go together, but perhaps this is the point. Suffolk is conservative, with both a small and large C. It is one of the most rural counties in England with no large urban areas within which you often find an awkward squad of politically active and questioning individuals.
The County Council also has, in Andrea Hill, a high-profile and ambitious CEO who, one would imagine, is likely to find the idea of establishing a reputation as a ‘trail-blazer’ very attractive.
Frankly, if I were looking for a place to try and push through an initiative like this, Suffolk is the place I would select.
I therefore suspect that the roots of this idea extend quite a long way back into Conservative Party central office and that this isn’t an idea created by the political leadership of Suffolk County Council is isolation. I would also suspect that there has been a significant level of consultation with the private sector organisations who are likely to to pick-up much of the work as the initiative moves forward.
I dare say we shall never know where this idea really came from – but it would be interesting if someone could find out.