Cllr asks why the district refuses to investigate creating a town council

Bucks Free Press: Alan Turner Alan Turner

AN INDEPENDENT has spoken out in support of a fellow councillor who called for a town council in High Wycombe to pay for its own services.

In last week's Free Press Cllr Gary Hall highlighted there is a disparity in who pays for footway lighting in the district with Hazlemere, Princes Risborough and Lane End picking up a much larger bill that the High Wycombe Town Committee.

The Princes Risborough Town and Wycombe District Cllr said due to High Wycombe being unparished, the rest of the district foot the bill for services in the town leading to double taxation.

This week Alan Turner, who also represents The Risboroughs in the District Council, added his support to Cllr Hall.

He said: "As it stands, the likes of Princes Risborough, Lane End, Hazlemere, etc. residents are not only paying for their own lights, but also for the footway lighting in High Wycombe.

"Whilst at the same time residents of High Wycombe are being deprived of democratic representation at Parish level, all because the ruling Conservative group refuse to consider the creation of a High Wycombe Town Council.

"The argument with which they attempt to justify their position is that this would create an un-needed level of local government."

But Cllr Turner said he believes local government is best served by its first tier of parish and town councils, whose members are elected from the residents in the community. He said the removal of unnecessary level of bureaucracy should be the merging the district and county councils.

In a letter to the Free Press he said: "Let’s take the county council, education - responsibility largely passed over to academy schools, adult care - closing day care centres (or in the case of Princes Risborough, handing over to a social enterprise), road maintenance - already subbed-out to a private contractor.

"What else is there for them to do?"

And he said as the WDC continues to struggle under financial pressure the obvious choice of action would be to merge the district and county councils into a unitary authority.

But he said the Conservative ruling group at WDC have refused to even investigate this option.

He said: "Why? They claim it doesn’t warrant the cost! To potentially save tens of millions of pounds? Whilst at the same time they have been happy to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on advisors and consultants to consider whether it would be worthwhile combining a waste services contract."

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