TWO or three unitary authorities could provide the future make up of the council system in Bucks, according a report by the county's district councils.

The four district councils - South Bucks, Chiltern, Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe - commissioned the report to look at modernising local government in Bucks, with the results published on Tuesday last week.

The outcome of the report, carried out by Deloitte, shows that a model with two or three unitary councils is the best option to provide services for residents, as opposed to the single unitary model suggested by Bucks County Council.

The leaders of the four district councils have asked to meet with Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett to take the next step forward.

Councillor Ralph Bagge, Leader of South Bucks District Council said: “Change is not about slashing budgets and reducing services. It’s about doing things differently, maintaining services and quality of life.

"So, any changes need to be introduced through a measured, considered and collaborative approach. We need solutions which will withstand the test of time and provide a solid foundation for future challenges, such as our ageing population."

In the district council's report, it agreed with the county council that a single unitary model would provide the most savings financially, but it argues that the other two options for smaller councils will provide better services for residents.

Bucks County Council approved its case last month to send to government, and is now set to discuss the best options with the four district councils.

Cllr Tett said: “The district councils’ report includes a number of interesting concepts which we would wish to discuss further with district colleagues to see if we can reach a consensus around a new structure which is simpler, better value for money and more local - as that is what the public would want in a new council structure.

“Given that the county council has already shared our report and conclusions with our district colleagues, I am surprised that the options evaluated in the report do not include the proposal already submitted to government by the county council. Additionally, there is no mention of how services will be made more local for residents and businesses.

“I sincerely hope that the district councils will collaborate with us so that together we can build an entirely new form of local government that will ensure Buckinghamshire will thrive and flourish into the future.”

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