Show your support

Show your support for our single unitary proposal:

You can email the government direct to support our proposal for a new single council – email sajid.javid@communities.gsi.gov.uk by 25 May.

You can show your support in a matter of minutes by using these sample templates. Simply copy and paste them into your email, modify them as you see fit, add your full name and address and send it sajid.javid@communities.gsi.gov.uk 

We’ve also produced this handy leaflet summarising the benefits of one, new unitary council.

Fully support

Subject Line: Support for One Council in Buckinghamshire

Dear Secretary of State

As a resident of Buckinghamshire, I believe the current two-tier system of county and district councils is not fit for purpose. It is confusing, bureaucratic, disjointed and needlessly expensive.

I welcome your recent minded-to announcement for a single unitary council. It will save taxpayers the most money, end confusion over who does what and enable better, more joined-up services, whilst Community Hubs will provide a physical presence for residents to access services across the county.

Yours sincerely,

XX

Support change

Subject Line: Support for Change

Dear Secretary of State

As a resident of Buckinghamshire, I believe the current two-tier system of county and district councils is not fit for purpose. It is confusing, bureaucratic, disjointed and needlessly expensive.

It is vital that this system is abolished and changed to a unitary model, in order to save money, end confusion and enable better, more joined-up services to be delivered for residents.

Yours sincerely,

XX

Here’s what other people are saying about our proposal for a new, single unitary council:

David Lidington, MP:

“Local government in Buckinghamshire faces its biggest shake-up for decades following the decision by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to abolish the current County and District Councils in favour of a single, unitary council for the whole of Bucks.

“All the existing local authorities had agreed that the current two-tier division was unsustainable.

“The debate was not whether to keep the present system but whether to have one unitary council or two ( one for Aylesbury Vale and the second covering the other three Districts). The argument for a single council was partly financial.

“The management and administrative costs of one council will be less than those of two, let alone the five we have now.

“A unitary council will also be more clearly accountable for its policies and decisions. Under the present system, the District Council bills us for our Council Tax even though most of the revenue from that tax goes to the County.

“The District takes decisions about housing and planning but the County Council that has to plan for roads, schools and social services. Our rubbish is collected by the District but it’s the County that has to dispose of it and which runs the local recycling centres.

“Getting rid of that confusion will be a good thing. With a unitary authority we will all know exactly which council to praise or blame for our local services.

“The strongest argument made by the champions of two unitary authorities was that the extra cost of their preferred option was outweighed by the greater sense of local identity and accountability that having two councils would bring. The new single unitary council will need to make it a priority to ensure that every parish and neighbourhood has a voice.

“Another key objective must be to improve further the links between local social services and the NHS in Bucks.

“The Government’s decision will please some and disappoint others, but I hope that all our local councils and other organisations will now get on with making the transition as smooth as possible and ensuring that the new system works well.”

Simon Edwards, County Council Network Director:

“CCN welcomes the bold decision from the Secretary of State, who is minded to approve reorganisation proposals in Buckinghamshire to abolish all councils and create a county unitary.

“Today’s announcement is the right solution, backed by up by a clear argument and compelling evidence from the county council.

“Our independent research, and the recent ResPublica report, shows there to be significant financial, economic and public service reform benefits for those willing to pursue restructuring at scale, as well as pushing the door open for county devolution. Clearly, these arguments were persuasive for the Secretary of State to make this minded-to decision.

“Buckinghamshire put together an attractive proposal that gained the support of residents and politicians alike, and their ambitious plans will allow them to better adapt to the challenges facing local authorities in modern times. Importantly, this option was chosen ahead of breaking up and fragmenting the county; it is county boundaries that have the size and scale necessary to retain and reform crucial frontline public services so they work better for residents, whilst offering the best scope for financial savings.

“We look forward to working with Buckinghamshire during the transition and welcoming the new authority into the county unitary family at CCN.”

Alex Pratt OBE, Chairman of Buckinghamshire Business First:

“Buckinghamshire deserves all the good government we can afford and our business community wholeheartedly supports efficient local government and public services. Today’s decision, subject to the outcome of the period of representations, will help ensure best use is made of taxpayer’s money for the benefit of businesses and residents alike. Buckinghamshire Business First look forward to working alongside all of our local authority partners in supporting a smooth transition to the new unitary arrangements.

“A report commissioned in 2014 by Buckinghamshire Business First suggested that over £20m a year could be saved by streamlining the county’s five local authorities into one. The research, conducted by Ernst & Young, concluded that annual savings of £20.7m could be made, as well as a potential five year net saving of over £58m.

“Buckinghamshire Business First will work constructively to bring the collective business voice in Bucks to bear in support of the creation of a new local government arrangement that helps better power our local economy and support our community.”