Councillors agree next steps following unitary announcement

At an extraordinary meeting last night, Chiltern District Council (CDC) agreed to make representations to the Secretary of State in response to his recent statement on the future of local government in Buckinghamshire.

In his announcement in parliament on 12 March 2018, the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, said he is "minded to" implement Buckinghamshire County Council's proposal to replace the existing five councils in Bucks with one single council which would cover all of Buckinghamshire (excluding Milton Keynes).

Last year, CDC, in partnership with Aylesbury Vale, South Bucks and Wycombe district councils, submitted an alternative proposal, which would create two new all-purpose unitary authorities providing all services in the north and south of Buckinghamshire.

"We don't believe a single county-wide unitary authority for Bucks is in the best interest of our local residents. We are extremely concerned about a 'one size fits all' approach which would be too distant and remote from many of our residents, meaning that key decisions affecting the delivery of our services could be made with limited local representation.

"We want local people to know that they can have a say about the plans for Bucks and that the 'minded to' decision on a single county-wide unitary authority for Buckinghamshire is not set in stone.

"I would urge people who care about the future of local services in Buckinghamshire to contact the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, and let him know what they think" said Isobel Darby, Leader of CDC.

The government announcement specified a 10-week period of representations that is scheduled to end on 25 May 2018. People can contact the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, by email sajid.javid@communities.gsi.gov.uk or if they prefer write to him at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF. Representations/comments need to be delivered to him by 25 May 2018.

The final decision will be subject to a period of consideration before parliamentary approval.

Following last night's meeting, CDC will now work with the other district councils to plan their response to the 'minded to' statement.

For more information on the north and south unitary model, please visit: Modernising Local Government