Bucks could lose funding under the new police and crime commissioners unless people take a greater interest in them, councillors have warned.
County councillors said candidates for the new elected roles would pander to the needs of voters in places like Oxford and Reading, unless the region made itself heard.
Councillor Noel Brown said: “It is really important that we get our public out and voting, otherwise we are going to lose out big time.”
Councillor Martin Phillips agreed, saying: “If we are not careful all the resources will end up in the towns and not out here in Bucks.”
But Thames Valley Chief Constable Sara Thornton said commitments to rural areas would continue. She said: “We need to continue getting the right balance.”