Engagement

Pre-engagement

During the production of the business case workshops were held with town and parish councils and they were also invited to complete an online survey.

Those who took part saw opportunities in one plan and strategy for Buckinghamshire, a central place to find information and a chance to remove the layers of bureaucracy which currently exist.

Many were also excited by the opportunity, where appropriate, for services to be delivered on a more local level by town and parish councils and taking on income generating services.

The feedback also suggested we needed to consider the huge range in the capacity and capability of town and parish councils, how we can avoid a new council being too remote from residents and avoid planning decisions being taken outside of the area and make sure upheaval is kept to a minimum.

There was also a degree of scepticism – will this just be a lot of hot air and money wasted on reports that achieves nothing?

Post-engagement

Following the publication of the business case for a single Buckinghamshire-wide unitary council, we offered to meet with every town and parish council in the county to answer any questions councillors and clerks may have.

Workshops during May 2017

During May the County Council held three workshops for town and parish councils to give their views on the unitary proposals. Workshops were also held for the voluntary and community sector.

Participants were able to share their opinions on both the County Council’s proposal for a single, county-wide unitary council, and the two-unitary option put forward by the district councils.

The results of the engagement will be shared with the government, which will make any final decision on the proposals.

The district councils’ plans can be seen at https://www.modernisingbucks.org/