A decision on whether councils in Bucks will merge together could be made imminently after the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, announced he was looking at the plans “very closely”.

Two rival sets of plans for the future of local government in the county were submitted – one by the county council calling for a single unitary authority and one by the four district councils calling for two unitary authorities – last year, but there were fears that a decision would be delayed because of Brexit.

However, in a speech to local government leaders this week, Sajid Javid praised the plans he had received and said an announcement on the decision would be made as soon as possible.

He said: “I’ve now received two proposals setting out competing visions for the future of Buckinghamshire – whether that should be as one unitary or two.

“These show councils at their best – ambitious, innovative, and ready to come forward with exciting ideas for the future.

“We’re now going through both sets of plans very closely and will be making an announcement on next steps as soon as we can.”

The confirmation comes after Mr Javid gave conditional approval for Dorset to scrap their nine councils in favour of two unitary authorities earlier this month.