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District councils join forces to take legal action against unitary authority plans 

Wycombe District Council (WDC) has joined forces with South Bucks and Chiltern council to take legal action against the government over the creation of a unitary authority in Bucks.

A joint statement, released on Friday, said the district councils were ‘very disappointed’ by the Secretary of State’s decision to create one unitary council which we be called ‘The Buckinghamshire Council’.

Concerns raised include the ‘lack of local consent’ and changes to the proposed democratic arrangements - with a shortage of reasons given for making those. They say the proposed orders will result in a lack of ‘democratic oversight’.

The three councils add they are ‘working with colleagues at the county council to take forward the decision’.

In a joint statement, Cllr Katrina Wood, leader of WDC, Cllr Isobel Darby, leader of Chiltern DC, and Cllr Nick Naylor, leader of SBDC, said: “We take this step with great reluctance but we feel the Secretary of State [James Brokenshire] has left us with no alternative.

“We have a duty to act in the best interests of our residents and that means we must ensure the new council is created in a way that is democratic and fair.

“Our aim is to build an excellent council based on strong partnerships with the other authorities.”

Leader of Bucks County Council, Cllr Martin Tett said he was ‘disappointed’ with the news, adding it ‘could cost taxpayers a large amount of money.’

He said: “Surely the most important thing is to work together. Co-designed, this will be simpler and better value delivering the best possible services to our residents and businesses.”

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