Single Unitary Authority for Buckinghamshire.
On 1 November 2018, James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Local Government and Communities issued a statement setting out his decision that there will be one Unitary Authority (UA) for Buckinghamshire (excluding Milton Keynes). The formal date for the creation of the UA is proposed as 1 April 2020, subject to parliamentary approval.
The immediate implication concerns the likelihood that District Council elections, due May 2019 will now be delayed 12 months, pending elections for the new Unitary Authority councillors on 7 May 2020.
Parliamentary approval is expected to be a formality but, even when approved, there will a great deal of work to undertake on the precise structure and exactly how services will be delivered throughout the county. It is hoped that there will be consultation with local communities, so that the Community Association and Parish Council can influence the final model.
For those of you who have not been following the progress of this major change, the new Unitary Authority will replace not only Bucks County Council but all the District Councils too. The Parish Councils will remain.