IT seems that at long last the Buckinghamshire area is engaging in sensible debate over our joint future local governance, and the issue of merging our five councils going forward now has some further credence following the study by BBF which presented a strong financial case for creating a new unitary council (or two).

The options being laid in front of us cannot be clearer; further, deeper cuts in crucial funding from central government are certain over the next few years, this will lead to a scenario of more unpopular cuts to public services or increases in council taxes to make up the loss of revenue.

Conservatives rule all the councils with huge majorities and they have made it clear that the next few years will be very difficult indeed due to such losses in funding and offer only the options of cuts to services or increases in council taxes. Going down the unitary council route to potentially save many millions annually and therefore help safeguard important local services would seem a no-brainer to most people except the ruling Conservative elite, who with the notable exception of Cllr Martin Tett, leader of Bucks CC, have nothing to say at all apart from a joint bland and dismissive statement on the BBF report. Such is the arrogance of many local Tory politicians they think that your vote is guaranteed at the next election so they continue to represent theirs and their party’s vested interests above yours.

We Independent councillors have continuously pushed the unitary council issue up the agenda, thankfully now it seems that the pressure is forcing senior figures to come out and support it, however yet again national politics gets in the way of local government and the local party whips appear to be keeping all the Tory councillors quiet on the issue, how else can their collective silence be explained? - Cllr Gary Hall, Cllr Alan Turner (IND) Wycombe District Council (The Risboroughs)