South Buckinghamshire District Council has agreed to join Chiltern and Wycombe District Councils in bringing legal action over the establishment of a new unitary council for Buckinghamshire.
In a statement the three councils said they supported change and were working with the county council to take forward the decision of the Secretary of State to create one new unitary council for Buckinghamshire.
However, they added that they were “very disappointed with the recent decisions by the Secretary of State which they believe take away the democratic oversight of implementation by the elected members representing the majority of people in Buckinghamshire”.
The three councils said they specifically have concerns about:
- the lack of local consent
- recent changes to the proposed democratic arrangements, and
- a lack of reasons given for making those changes.
“The result of these changes is that the proposed orders will result in a lack of democratic oversight,” they said.
In the joint statement, Cllr Isobel Darby, Leader of Chiltern District Council, Cllr Nick Naylor, Leader of South Bucks District Council and Cllr Katrina Wood, Leader of Wycombe District Council, said: "We are taking this step in a bid to ensure we create the best possible new council for Buckinghamshire.
"We take this step with great reluctance but we feel the Secretary of State 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 that the new council is created in a way that is democratic and fair.
"The legal action is not intended to frustrate the process of creating a new council. We have been working with our district and county colleagues and will continue to do so. Our aim is to build an excellent, brand new council, based on strong partnerships with all the other Buckinghamshire authorities, so that we can provide the very best services for our communities for many years to come."