New Single Council for Buckinghamshire approved by Secretary of State

Bucks County Council announcement:

In March this year, Government said that it was ‘minded-to’ approve a brand new, single council for Buckinghamshire, which would replace the current five councils. Local people, businesses and communities were asked to share their views on this proposal with Government to consider before making a final decision.  Thank you to all who responded.

We’re pleased to announce that the Secretary of State announced yesterday, Thursday 1 November, that there will be a brand new single council for Buckinghamshire. The Rt. Hon James Brokenshire states that it is clear there is ‘broad consent for change in Buckinghamshire’:

“Given the desire and thrust for change and innovation in Buckinghamshire, that the five councils agree that the current structures are not sustainable, and that the locally-led proposal for a single unitary is the only proposal that meets the three criteria, I am persuaded that the right course of action is to establish a new single unitary district council for Buckinghamshire.”

Read the Secretary of State’s full statement here

In response, Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council said:

“This is a truly historic day for Buckinghamshire. The announcement paves the way for a brand new council, fit for the future, created by combining the best of both county and district councils. This new council will be simpler, better value and more local to our residents. It will also have more clout to face head-on the great strategic challenges facing the county over the coming decades.”

Read the full news update here

What does this decision mean?

All five councils in Buckinghamshire will be replaced with a single brand new unitary council for Buckinghamshire.

What happens next?

There is a Government parliamentary process to make this change to the current system of local government official (this is called a structural order). This will give more details of what the new council will look like and the timetable for change. This will take a few months for Government to complete.

In the meantime, we will begin working with the district councils to develop plans for the new council, bringing together the best skills and expertise from the current councils to create the best new council for our county.

What is the benefit of this change?

One new council for Buckinghamshire will be:

– Simpler – residents, businesses and local communities will be able to access all council services from one place

– Better value – services will be more joined-up

– Closer to local communities through community hubs and community boards involving local people and councillors in influencing local decisions

Will my services change? 

There will be no immediate changes to services. This is about bringing all the existing services together into one new council. All county council and district council services will continue as they are now.

We will keep you informed of any future changes as we progress the development work over the next few months.

To find out more and keep updated visit www.futurebucks.co.uk

 

AVDC, and the other district councils, announcement:

We are disappointed that the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has announced he is supporting a new single unitary district council that will cover the whole of Buckinghamshire, excluding Milton Keynes.
The Secretary of State has previously stated there was a need to ensure broad consensus and we do not believe this has been achieved with the new single unitary district proposal.
All four district councils, as well as many key stakeholders, firmly believe that the two unitary authority approach, based on the two different economic geographies in Buckinghamshire, is the best option for protecting, delivering and transforming the services needed both now and in the future.
We will now be considering our position, seeking further advice and reviewing the options available to us.