Parishes across the county are being urged to ‘step forward’ and work closely with the county council to provide services for the community.

At a county-wide 'Working Together' conference yesterday, Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett said towns and parishes were strong building blocks for providing services to the community.

The conference, hosted by the county council at Amersham King’s Church centre, aimed to showcase opportunities to devolve more services to parish and town councils, and to explore the kinds of services parishes would be interested in.

46 towns and parishes already carry out devolved highways and transport services from a total county-wide budget of £945,000.

Leader Martin Tett said: “The changes in local government funding offer the real opportunity for Town and Parish councils to step forward and take on new powers and responsibilities.

“Those with ambition can play a key role in both delivering services to their residents and shaping their communities. There are opportunities for increased devolution across all council services.”

Jonathan Owen, chief executive of the national association of local councils, urged parish delegates to get involved in helping reshape public services.

Conference chairman Martin Phillips, cabinet member for community engagement and public health, said: “There are many things that parishes and towns are better placed to do locally than principal authorities like Buckinghamshire County Council, and I’m pleased we’re taking a leading role in helping them to be more influential, more linked in with us, and empowering them to make things better for their residents.”