Labour group accuses council leader of ‘bulldozing’ through unitary authority plan

Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett

Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett

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The Bucks Labour party has called for a public consultation into the county council’s plan to create a unitary authority.

A statement issued by the party has demanded the public be given a say on the plans for a new Buckinghamshire Council, which would replace the five existing local authorities in the county.

The plans were approved by Bucks County Council’s cabinet on Monday and are due to be discussed at a full council meeting on Thursday.

The Bucks Labour party, which has one county councillor, has called for all residents to be provided with a “clear explanation of the pros and cons of all the different options” and allowed time to consider and comment.

A statement read: “We need our councillors to take a calm and considered look at the options, listen to residents and decide in the public interest. What is happening at the moment is a farce and treats residents with contempt.

Martin Tett, the Tory Leader of BCC, published his proposals to reorganise the council structure in Bucks on September 14. The proposals were developed in-house in BCC and in secret.

“He intends to bulldoze these proposals through BCC in just six working days. If he has his way, BCC will approve the proposals on September 22 and authorise Mr Tett to send them to the Secretary of State for decision.

“So no opportunity for anyone else to have their say.”

Speaking to the Bucks Herald on Monday, Mr Tett said the plans had been constructed in-house to save taxpayers’ money and had been doing extensive public consultation work since May.

Mr Tett said: “We will do whatever the Government wants us to do. If they want us to hold a referendum on the plans we will do.

“But what I don’t want to do is spend what will probably been £500,000 of taxpayers’ money on a referendum and then have the Government say ‘not interested in a referendum it plays not part whatsoever.’.

“This is about saving taxpayers’ money and using it wisely because we will do whatever Government asks us to do.”