Bucks district councils' report on modernising local government published
The district councils' report on modernising local government in Buckinghamshire has been published today. Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Councils commissioned Deloitte to undertake an open and independent review to find the best option for the future of local government to serve the population of Buckinghamshire.
The report has no pre-determined outcome and is looking at all possible options. It focuses on finding how best to strengthen local decision making, improve and protect the future of local services, save taxpayers’ money and keep our customers at the centre of everything we do.
Engagement with stakeholders is the next step and to take this forward, the four District Leaders have asked to meet with the Leader of Bucks County Council, Councillor Martin Tett, next week.
Councillor Neil Blake, Leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council said:
"We welcome this report as a vital addition to the debate we need to have. Fundamental to good local government is delivering quality and consistent services to a diverse population, and it is the responsibility of all local councils and their elected members to do this as efficiently as possible."
Councillor Isobel Darby, Leader of Chiltern District Council said:
"We live in rapidly changing times. Local government is expected to do more with diminishing funds. By 2019/20 government funding will be gone, and local authorities will have to be financially self-sufficient. Across the four Buckinghamshire districts we are well placed because we recognised the need for change years ago and adapted swiftly, embarking on a radical review of the way we work."
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."
Councillor Katrina Wood, Leader of Wycombe District Council said:
"The four district councils commissioned the report from Deloitte to look at long-term solutions. We have approached this with no pre-set agenda, remaining open-minded about what the recommendations may be. What’s important is doing the right thing for the people of Bucks. We agree that the local government system, which has served us well for many years, may need an overhaul. We are up for that challenge and are taking a broad view of the wider opportunities for change."