Latest Public Sector News


Councils' legal challenge against Buckinghamshire merger process rejected

An application from three district councils for a judicial review of the merger plans to create a single unitary council for Buckinghamshire has failed.

South Buckinghamshire, Chiltern and Wycombe councils have been informed that their application, which was prompted by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s handling of the plans, has not been given permission to proceed.

Responding to the ruling, the councils said: “This is obviously a disappointment and something that we will be taking legal advice on in the first instance.

“However, it remains our sole intention to do everything we can to ensure the new Buckinghamshire Council is something we can all be proud of and will be the very best for all our residents.”

The three district councils launched formal proceedings regarding the new unitary plans in January, stating that they supported change for Buckinghamshire but that they were “very disappointed” by the communities secretary James Brokenshire.

The Buckinghamshire councils claimed Brokenshire had “taken away the democratic oversight” and said they had no choice but to launch legal action.

“Specifically, the three councils have concerns about the lack of local consent, about recent changes to the proposed democratic arrangements and a lack of reasons given for making those changes. The result of these changes is that the proposed orders will result in a lack of democratic oversight.”

One of the authorities’ major issues concerned the government’s choice to appoint Martin Tett, the leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, as the chair of the shadow executive, as the districts wanted the chair elected by the 236 members of the shadow authority.

Tett commented: “We’re pleased that the courts have decided not to proceed any further with the legal challenge from Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Councils in relation to how the new council for Buckinghamshire will be created – this could have been at a huge cost to our taxpayers.”

He said all the councils were agreed that a new council for Buckinghamshire was a good thing for residents, and that he was looking forward to working with the council leaders and shadow executive members.

“With just over 12 months to go until the new council is due to open, there is a huge amount of work for us to do together.”


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Connecting the North East

15/04/2019Connecting the North East

Cabinet member for economic regeneration at Northumberland County Council R... more >
What about social care?

15/04/2019What about social care?

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Serv... more >


Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

15/04/2019Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

The director of The Right to Build Task Force – which advises stakeholders on bringing on more custom and self-build homes – Mario Wolf, who is currently on second... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >