Future of district council uncertain after unitary debate

THE future of Stratford District Council looks uncertain after Warwickshire County Council voted in favour of exploring the possibility of a unitary authority.

During a debate at the council's headquarters in Warwick last week, which was attended by many parish, town, county councillors and members of the public, the possibility of whether Warwickshire County Council could become a unitary authority was discussed.

A unitary authority would replace current district and borough councils and taking over responsibilities for services such as rubbish collection, council housing and planning.

Speaking after the public interest debate, Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Conservative Leader of Warwickshire County Council said: “We have a duty to look at the way in which local government is organised in Warwickshire in order to reduce the cost of local politics and protect the services which hardworking local people rely on.

“Over recent months I have visited many different towns and villages in Warwickshire to speak to people and find out their views on the future of local Government given the unprecedented financial pressures we are facing.

"I believe that we have a duty to continue that debate with local residents and I am not afraid to do so."

Councillor Richard Cheney, ward member for Shipston at Stratford District Council, welcomed the debate.

"I am very pleased that the vast majority of County Councillors voted to look at the option of some form of unitary government in Warwickshire.

"Given the huge savings needed to be made by all local authorities in Warwickshire I think it is essential that this form of local government is looked at very carefully.

"There is no reason why local accountability should be affected if Councillors adopt a scheme which also recognises the valuable contribution parish and town councils can make."

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