Latest Government announcement proposes one new council for Buckinghamshire.
Earlier this week (March 12th), the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, announced that he was ‘minded’ to replace the county council and four district councils across Buckinghamshire with one new, all-purpose, unitary council to improve local government in the County.
The decision follows Mr Javid’s consideration of two bids for the future of local government across Buckinghamshire – a single unitary council proposal from the County Council and a two unitary council proposal from the four district councils. Click announcement from government to read his full decision.
Describing the announcement as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance’, County Council Leader Martin Tett said, “It’s really positive news that the government is minded to support our proposals for a single unitary council. The new council will simplify the current local government setup, save many millions of pounds to plough back into frontline services and enable services to be provided for residents at a truly local level.”
You can hear more about the news from Martin Tett here:
Services which complement one another but are currently divided between the districts and the County council such as bin collections, waste disposal, planning and roads, would be brought together under just one council, resulting in more efficient, joined-up services for residents.
The new single unitary council will also provide services at a very local level for residents. In the future, people will be able to access services via a network of community hubs in their locations across the county. The formation of community boards across Buckinghamshire would put real decision-making power in the hands of local people, empowering them to meet the differing needs of local communities. Town and parish councils will be also be key partners to the new single Council taking on new responsibilities for services in their areas if they want to.
Martin reiterated that the County Council is committed to working closely with the district councils and other partners to ensure a smooth transition to the new unitary council: “There is consensus amongst all our local councils about the need for change, and that our current two-tier system requires modernisation. Now is the time to work together and put any differences to one side to ensure that we can give our residents a far simpler system by offering better value and more joined-up services.