Councils to take next step in merger plans

Stratford Upon Avon Town Hall (Credit: ell brown / Creative Commons 2.0)
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The proposed merger of the district councils in Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick is set to be discussed next week.

The plans, to save around £10m per year, were put out for public consultation in September.

The proposals to create a single district council covering the whole of South Warwickshire were revealed earlier this year in response to the “very uncertain financial future” the two organisations are facing.

The plan will now be considered at a cabinet meeting on Thursday 9 December and the committee papers have now been published.

Cllr Andrew Day, leader of Warwick District Council, said: “It’s encouraging to see that our residents and other stakeholders do see the need for change and clearly support the proposals to merge our councils. This positive feedback underlines the importance of working together to continue to improve our services in a fiscally responsible way.

“This independent consultation report provides councillors with a balanced and comprehensive view on the hopes and aspirations for our local government across South Warwickshire in the future.

“Councillors now have all the information required, including insightful comments and suggestions gathered by the survey, to make their historic decision on the shape of local Government in South Warwickshire for the next 50 years.”

Cllr Tony Jefferson, leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: “Since the beginning of the year, additional research and evidence has been collected to enable both councils to now consider whether we wish to make a formal submission to the DLUHC to create this new entity.

“This is probably the most significant decision that either Council has had to consider since they were established in 1974. We have to take this decision recognising that the world has changed massively since 1974. It is now up to us to make the right decision based on the information presented to us.”

A recommendation will be made by both cabinets separately, either to formally request the submission of a business case proposal to the Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to create a South Warwickshire District Council, or to reject this proposal and this will then be considered by both councils on Monday 13 December.

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