You may or may not be aware that major changes are planned for the future of councils in Bucks. There are two proposals on the table – one from the district councils in Bucks and one from the county council.
Bucks County Council wants one new unitary council (excluding Milton Keynes which is already a unitary authority on its own). This would be a huge ‘super’ council for the whole of Buckinghamshire, replacing the current county council and four district councils. You may be under the impression this is the only option and it’s already been decided – but this is not the case. Please find attached a leaflet about the proposal which includes information as to how you can forward your views to the Secretary for State for the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government . firstname.lastname@example.org copying in Bucks MPs listed below.
- • Steve Baker MP (Wycombe): email@example.com
- • John Bercow MP (Buckingham): firstname.lastname@example.org
- • The Rt. Hon, Dame Cheryl Gillan MP (Chesham and Amersham): email@example.com
- • The Rt. Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP (Beaconsfield): firstname.lastname@example.org
- • The Rt. Hon. David Lidington MP (Aylesbury): email@example.com
The views of the local community can make a difference so please forward your response no later than the 23rd May 2018.
I also attach below, a summary of the key advantages of the two unitary authority model, proposed by the District Councils, to help inform your response if this is what you are minded to support:
Bucks is too big for one huge super council – it’s around 70 miles long! Our proposal of two, more local unitary councils would enable more joined-up, flexible, sustainable services, tailored to your needs – whether you’re a resident, business owner or part of a bigger community group.
It would mean more local decision making, while ensuring money raised in the local area is spent locally. While our proposal makes savings by reducing the number of councillors, a single countywide unitary would scale this back much further, meaning important decisions affecting you could be made by people who know little about your community.
It’s about focusing on the right economy to grow – north and south Bucks have very different opportunities and challenges. The north looks more to Milton Keynes and Oxford while the south is more connected to London. Communities, employment and housing are totally different.
Two new unitary councils would mean better investment, jobs and the right level of growth for both the north and south of Bucks.
District councils have a strong track record in transforming services, for example, by sharing services and embracing the digital world, all while making significant savings – a potentially invaluable foundation for the future.
The right size – we know smaller unitary councils, such as Milton Keynes, can thrive. We also know key services such as children’s services, adult social care and road maintenance are failing on a county-wide scale. Two new unitary councils would mean staying local, while working together on common ground.
Please circulate this information to your networks so that as many people in the south of the county have their say.
Guide to the Proposals