Another new unitary council approved – to save money

Owl says: how long can Devon hold out? And should it?

“The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has said he is “minded to” back the proposal for a single new unitary council in Buckinghamshire.

In a written ministerial statement Sajid Javid said he had chosen the structure proposed by Buckinghamshire County Council ahead of a proposal for two unitaries put forward by the district councils of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, High Wycombe, and South Bucks.

The latter plan would have seen one council for the area of Aylesbury Vale and the other for the remainder of the current county area.

Javid’s decision is subject to Parliamentary approval and further discussions.

The Secretary of State said: “I am satisfied that this new single council, if established, is likely to improve local government and service delivery in the county, generating savings, increasing financial resilience, facilitating a more strategic and holistic approach to planning and housing challenges, and sustaining good local services. I am also satisfied that across Buckinghamshire as a whole there is a good deal of local support for this new council, and that the area of the council represents a credible geography.

One thought on “Another new unitary council approved – to save money

  1. Just how much money will it save?

    What will be the impact on democracy from this change? Will it reduce the say of local people by diluting local power and make what used to be local decisions more remote? Will it make councillors and local government more or less transparent and accountable?

    When will people learn that this should not always be about saving money? The easiest way to save money would be to abolish both local and central government and turn Britain into a despotcracy. Democracy costs a lot to run, so let’s get rid of it.

    Sometimes, there are ethical considerations that should be respected – like localism and local democracy.

    An alternative argument is not to merge county and district councils but instead to abolish district council’s, transferring some responsibilities to county where equal provision across the county and economies of scale both make sense (like rubbish collection and roads), and passing the rest to Parish councils so that local people can make local decisions.


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