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Prooosed restructure gf Buckinghamshire CC to Unitarv model
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Buckinghamshire County Council submitted its business case for a unitary council to the government in September proposing to abolish both the county council and the four district councils and replace them with a new, county-wide authority - details can be found here: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/news/2016/december/statement-on-district-councils-northsouth-unitary-model-announcement/.

The Residents Association has sent a letter to MP Sajid Javid in response to this proposal - transcript below.

This letter is a submission to you, on behalf of the Richings Park Residents' Association (Richings Park, lver, Bucks. - 667 households, 1997 residents) concerning proposed changes to the current two-tier Buckinghamshire county authority structure.

Richings Park Residents' Association strongly supports the dual (North and South) unitary authority structure proposed by South Bucks District Council, which is jointly backed by Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, and Wycombe District Councils. We emphatically oppose the Buckinghamshire CC proposed single unitary authority proposal.

We support the dual (North & South) unitary approach because:
  • Bucks CC is Aylesbury centric, seemingly indifferent to this southernmost area of Bucks which is strugglin6 to cope with significant changes and threats from major infrastructure developments: Heathrow, Crossrail, HS2, WRatH and more. An integrated, locally focused and responsive unitary authority would more effectively represent our needs and concerns.
     
  • A clear democratic deficit exists within this area. Subject to high-impact projects, all backed by statutory powers, we are near powerless to mitigate adverse impact in the absence of effective representation and support from Aylesbury. Bucks CC routinely fails to attend or make representations at meetings where community life-quality is at stake - so their self-serving, single unitary authority proposal would only embed & intensify the existing deficit.

Bucks CC is demonstrably Aylesbury centric, with nothing in their unitary proposal to suggest otherwise. The current system of Local Area Forums is totally ineffectual, so a model for local partnership working based on that system would be fundamentally flawed - particularly with no proposed formal role for Parish Councils.

A North/South unitary model ensures that we would be listened to & supported locally, and it would be a more creative and effective platform to provide long-term public services within Buckinghamshire as a whole.
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