Town & Parishes

Introduction

Town and parish councils have a critical role to play in supporting local communities to thrive and will be key partners to the new Buckinghamshire Council on all aspects of its work.

Integral to our business case is a new Partnership Agreement with town and parish councils.

It would offer them choice about which services (if any) they take on together with the resources to carry them out to a high standard.

Town and Parish Councils will be free to take on the role they want in the services that matter to them, and will not be given accountabilities they don’t want and assets they don’t need. It is an offer – not a requirement.

Services and assets which could be transferred as part of an ongoing relationship with the new council include flytipping, street cleaning, off street car parks, home care, youth clubs and community libraries.

There is also potential for some services and assets to be permanently transferred – a statutory based devolution with full legal responsibility for service or assets, together with associated resources. This includes tourist information, community transport, , play areas, public toilets, allotments and community centres.

At its extreme, this offer would represent an ambitious programme for a local council, or group of local councils, and it is recognised that the transition to a new business model might require support.

In agreeing a deal Buckinghamshire Council would support parishes. It would set up a project team to liaise closely with town and parish councils which are interested in taking up the offer, provide free specialist support to help councils identify what they can take on and how to plan for this and provide access to back office support services, such as payroll, ICT, HR and legal advice.

Town and Parish Councils would be encouraged to cluster where there are opportunities for service delivery improvements, but we respect the wishes of individual parish/town councils. Again, this is very much about allowing them to choose what – if anything – they want to take on and how they would do it.