Dan Peters 19 April 2018

Bucks residents back two unitaries

Bucks residents back two unitaries image

Two out of three Buckinghamshire residents support a two-unitary option for the county, according to a newly-published telephone survey.

The Buckinghamshire CC-commissioned survey found only 45% backed a single unitary, the option that local government secretary Sajid Javid recently said he was ‘minded to’ support.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the four district councils – Neil Blake, Isobel Darby, Nick Naylor and Katrina Wood, said: ‘Despite having to wait several months, these findings very much match what we are hearing on the ground from residents – that there is more support for two new unitary councils than for one.

‘For many, a single unitary will be too distant, and there is a big question mark over the quality of services that would be provided and whether the savings claimed can actually be delivered.

‘Given that we’re facing the biggest changes to local services in Buckinghamshire for 40 years it’s extremely disappointing that such strong evidence, carried out by a reliable company, has not been shared with the public before now.

‘We sincerely hope it’s been sent to the secretary of state before he makes a final decision that will affect residents for decades to come.’

The survey, which was carried out by Opinion Research Services (ORS), spoke to a random sample of 1,000 residents across the county.

ORS said: ‘The survey data, once weighted, is broadly representative of the entire population of Buckinghamshire and the results thus provide a statistically reliable estimate of the views of the county’s residents.’

Buckinghamshire CC leader, Martin Tett, said: 'All of the research was supplied to the Government prior to its 'minded to' decision to support a new single unitary based on the boundaries of Buckinghamshire.

'The secretary of state was exceptionally clear in his statement that creating two small unitaries was not a viable model for this area.

'They would be too small and would lack financial sustainability.

'Our proposal with a greater level of savings and efficiencies plus a commitment to devolution to local parishes and town councils is a proven model in local government and offered the best approach.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Front-End Developer - Learning Platform

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Personal Advisor - Leaving After Care

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note this is a fixed term /secondment opportunity until August 2021. (please discuss with your current manager if you are considering a secondm England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Personal Advisor - Homelessness

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note this is Fixed Term Contract/secondment opportunity until 31st March 2021. (please discuss with your current manager if you are considering England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Commercial Vehicle Technician

Chelmsford City Council
£30,000 per annum
We are seeking a fully trained HGV technician to work as part of the team who maintain the Council's fleet to the highest standards.  Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Social Worker - Carer Assessment Team (Fostering)

Barnet London Borough Council
£39,040.00 - £49,950.00 Per Annum
In Barnet we value our Social Care staff and we know that our biggest and most important resource are its workforce. Colindale, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue