FAQs

Below are our responses to questions we have been asked by councillors, clerks and residents.

For a guide to our plans to enhance local decision-making and access to services, see the Community Proposals Explained page

Following the Government Announcement

Will current consultations stop now and proposed changes to current services be a decision for the new council?

No. It is important that we continue with our business as planned, ensuring residents still get their services and we are balancing our budgets. This includes implementing and developing plans for existing changes and improvements to services.

The statement from Government mentions more councillors in the new council than were in the business case. What impact will this have?

There are a lot of details that we now need to work through collectively – including the number of Members, the district council elections and how we implement this together.

The county council proposal recommends 98 members for the new council based on 2 per ward across the county. Increasing the number of members will reduce the early savings the new council can achieve therefore impacting on the future services for residents.

We are currently discussing the details of the implementation with Government and district council colleagues.

The business case states £18m savings. Is that still the case?

The savings in the original business case is from 2016.

All councils in Buckinghamshire, county and districts, have continued to make savings and efficiencies over the last two years so the savings for creating the new council will now need to be recalculated to reflect this.

Government also indicated in the statement on 1 November that there will be a discussion with all parties to determine the number of councillors for the new council. This could increase the number of councillors which would also have an impact on the financial savings.

Will there be job losses as part of this change?

The main aim of the next two years will be to ensure the move to the new council is as seamless as possible using the experience and expertise of staff across all our councils.

It is unlikely that detailed restructuring of teams will have happened before 1st April 2020 when the new council goes live.  In any event whilst we cannot give guarantees, we will seek to avoid compulsory redundancies as far as possible.

The statement from Government mentions more councillors in new council than were in the business case. What impact will this have?

There are a lot of details that we now need to work through collectively – including the number of Members, the district council elections and how we implement this together.

The county council proposal recommends 98 members for the new council based on 2 per ward across the county. Increasing the number of members will reduce the early savings the new council can achieve therefore impacting on the future services for residents.

We are currently discussing the details of the implementation with Government and district council colleagues.

When will the new council go live?

The first day of the new council (vesting day) will be 1 April 2020.

Will there be elections to the new council?

Elections for the new council will take place on 7 May 2020.

What will happen to the District and Town and Parish Council elections due in May 2019?

All five councils have been asked by the Secretary of State whether the District elections will go ahead in 2019. Whilst the final decision rests with the Secretary, we think it would be sensible to defer District council elections next year.

If this is the case we would expect the Town and Parish Council elections will be deferred to coincide with the elections for the new council in May 2020. As soon as we know for certain we will advise Town and Parish Councils.

What will be the name of the new council?

This will be confirmed in the Structural Changes Order.

Does this mean town and parish councils will no longer exist?

No, a single unitary council will replace the current county council and four district councils. The new council will not replace the town and parish councils.

When will we know what this means for town and parish councils?

Conversations are ongoing with Government and District Councils about how we implement the new council. We hope to have a clearer idea of this by the end of 2018, beginning of January 2019.

When we’ve talked about the proposals over the last two years, town and parish councils have been clear about the need for local access to services. Our business case for a single council reflects that and focuses on working closer with town and parish councils to develop stronger mechanisms for listening to local communities and responding to their different needs. We remain committed to developing these proposals with town and parish councils and will want to explore how we can make some of these elements come alive in the new council, working closely with town and parish councils across the county to create something that is relevant and flexible to the different needs of our councils and their communities.

Will my services change? 

There will be no immediate changes to services. This is about bringing all the existing services together into one new council. Most county council and district council services will continue as they are now when the new council is implemented. We will keep residents informed of any future changes as we progress the development work.

 

Read the past frequently asked questions about the business case