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Chiltern Liberal Democrats

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A single unitary authority replacing Chiltern DC & Bucks CC

March 6, 2019 10:42 PM
By Walid Marzouk

Walid Marzouk

The Chair of Chiltern Liberal Democrats, Walid Marzouk, writes about changes in local government in our area:

The Government has announced that the four district councils in Buckinghamshire - Chiltern, Aylesbury Vale, South Bucks and Wycombe - and the current County Council will be replaced by a single unitary council.

Local Liberal Democrats have been consistent for years in supporting a single unitary authority because of the massive savings it could generate and because it would allow us to spend more money on crucial services rather than administration. It would also preserve the high-level expertise which is much needed for specialist services such as care for the elderly and children's services.

As a result, the Government decided that District and Parish/Town Council elections planned for 2019 will not be held; instead there will be elections for the new unitary authority in 2020. Parish and Town Council elections will also be held at the same time.

The local Tories have been, and still are, split over the issue with significant differences of opinion on how to proceed, not too dissimilar to their Brexit divisions.

Initially the new council will have 147 members. We've argued that this is far too many, but the Conservatives have over-ruled us. This means that in the Chiltern area we need 27 candidates for the elections in May 2020. If you're interested in becoming a Councillor, please get in touch.

We are told that the way our Town and Parish Councils operate will not be affected. This may be the case for a few, but many councils may have to do more work, have more responsibilities and bigger financial burdens. How this will all happen has not even been discussed in any detail and there is just one year to go.

We encourage members to get involved and make sure that resources for their Town and Parish Councils are set to match their new duties.