Tonight, the Local Government Secretary has confirmed his approval of a new single county unitary in Buckinghamshire. All councils in the county will be abolished and replaced by a single county unitary local authority.
James Brokenshire’s announcement is confirmation of the ‘minded-to’ decision taken by his predecessor Sajid Javid earlier this year.
Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said:
“Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State is a bold decision, but one made with a clear and persuasive evidence-base put forward by Buckinghamshire County Council, supported by the County Councils Network (CCN). It is the right decision for Buckinghamshire, particularly given that every council agreed that the status-quo was not an option.
“In this unprecedented period of financial pressures facing local authorities, Buckinghamshire’s ambitious plans will allow them to better adapt to the significant challenges facing councils, as well as ensuring that frontline services are protected, with a strong platform for promoting growth and wider public service reform.
“Reorganisation is not something all counties wish to pursue but where it is, independent research for CCN has shown there are significant financial, economic, and public service reform benefits for those willing to pursue restructuring at scale.
“With all councils in the county to be abolished, it is important that everyone comes together and works collaboratively in the transition to unitary status. It is the local community that stands to benefit the most, and making the new council a success will mean drawing on all the talents from both the county and district councils.
“CCN will actively support all stakeholders during this period, drawing on the experience of our existing unitary member councils.”