12 March 2018
The Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, has today announced in parliament that he is “minded to" implement Buckinghamshire County Council’s proposal to replace the existing five councils in Bucks with a single, county-wide unitary.
While we are extremely disappointed, the “minded to” decision is not set in stone, and as the process allows, we will be making the strongest possible representations to the Secretary of State that this decision is not the right one. We don’t believe that this decision is in the best interest of our local residents, businesses, community groups, parish councils and various other stakeholders across the county and, based on our own engagement, we don’t believe it has strong local support.
Our two new unitary proposal, which can be seen at www.modernisingbucks.org, recognises key areas of difference for the communities in the north and the south, such as the economy, jobs, growth and housing markets. We believe a single large unitary will mean major opportunities will be missed in these areas and that a one size fits all model will not mean the best deal. We also question the savings the single unitary model claims to deliver.
There is now a period until 25 May 2018 during which those interested may make further representations to the Secretary of State and we will be reflecting on today’s announcement carefully. Representations can be made by emailing email@example.com
The final decision will be subject to Parliamentary approval.
Cllr Katrina Wood, Leader Wycombe District Council
Cllr Isobel Darby, Leader Chiltern District Council
Cllr Nick Naylor, Leader South Bucks District Council
Cllr Neil Blake, Leader Aylesbury Vale District Council