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Businesses raise £25,000 to review two-tier local government in Bucks

Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF), the collective not-for-profit voice of businesses in the county, has successfully crowdfunded £25,000 to support a ‘big society’ initiative to assess the current arrangement of its local authorities.

Following a two month campaign, the donated money will be used to commission an independent strategic assessment that will review the current organisation of local government in the area. 

It has been argued that transferring Buckinghamshire, which currently operates under a two-tier authority structure, to a unitary system could generate millions of pounds worth of savings.

The county currently comprises of:

  • Buckinghamshire County Council: Responsibilities include education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management, trading standards.
  • Four district councils – Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe districts: Responsibilities include rubbish collection, recycling, council tax collections, housing, planning applications.

Earlier this year, Leicestershire County Council announced it could possibly achieve £20m – £33m savings by establishing a unitary authority, and published an independent report entitled the Financial case for a unitary council

That EY report looked at other recently-created unitaries and the savings they are making:

  • Shropshire: £20m a year
  • Durham: £22m in the first year, and £130m over the next three years
  • Cornwall: £25m a year
  • Wiltshire: £14m a year
  • Northumberland: £85m over three years

Philippa Batting, managing director of BBF, said: “Reviewing the structure of local government will help shape the future for our county and help ensure the best use of increasingly limited funds and resources.

“This does not underestimate by any means the hard work of councillors or the current staff in our local authorities. Our focus is to ensure that the county has the most effective local government structure for its future sustainability.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Andy Huxley   18/08/2014 at 16:15

As leader of the opposition on Bucks CC we, UKIP, applaud the review and hope that the findings are towards creating a unitary authority or possibly two in Bucks.

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