Councillors in Suffolk have voted to merge two district councils into a single political unit.
Mid Suffolk DC and Babergh DC have formerly backed plans to create a brand new local authority covering south and central Suffolk by 2013.
Residents are to be asked for their opinion of the voluntary reorganisation in a referendum scheduled to take place next May.
Mid Suffolk leader Tim Passmore (Con) said the merger of the two councils’ managerial teams would save money and mean better support for services.
“This presents us with a fantastic opportunity to break away from the past and embrace newer and better ways of engaging with, and meeting the needs of our local communities, and also the government’s localism agenda.
“By working together to reduce our shared ‘back-office’ costs, we stand the best chance to preserve our key front-line services for all citizens, including our most vulnerable communities.”
Nick Ridley (Con), chair of Babergh’s strategy committee, added: “We are now able to prepare for the creation of a single council that offers greater savings and support for front line services than if the two went it alone”.