High Wycombe’s outdoor areas have deteriorated into a “disaster”, a councillor has said, as she blasted the town’s committee as a “toothless con”.

Cllr Julia Wassell, Wycombe district councillor for Totteridge, said the town’s public areas have been “wrecked” over the years, and the only way to rectify it is to replace the town committee with a fully-fledged town council.

The debate over whether High Wycombe should have its own town council – like other surrounding towns including Marlow and Princes Risborough – has been ongoing for years, with councillors from the town believing residents are disadvantaged because they do not have one.

Instead, High Wycombe has a town committee, made up of all High Wycombe councillors, which can only advise the council, cabinet and other committees on issues affecting the town.

At the last full council meeting, Cllr Wassell criticised the town committee, saying: “The public realm has been deteriorating for years and years - it is a disaster.

“The only way out of this is to have parish councils and a town council Wycombe. It is the only way out of the mess.

“We need local people who will take an interest in local issues at a micro level. In every pavement, every street sign, every gulley, every lamppost. All of these things are being wrecked.

“We can stop the ridiculous nonsense of the town committee – it is a toothless con that is perpetrated on the citizens of High Wycombe and they should have a proper democratically managed town and parish council.”

If the district council was to scrap the town committee, it would need to carry out a community governance review, which would allow it to make changes to the way it works.

Cllr Brian Pearce, town mayor, said it would be “disastrous” for the town to be split up into parish councils and a town council, instead saying there should be “one voice” for the town – and only one town council.

He said: “Sometime ago West Wycombe was part of the town, but it declared itself separate. I think it would be disastrous if others areas within the town did the same. There should be one voice for the town as opposed to many voices with divisions.”

Council leader, Katrina Wood, said if a review of the current situation were to be carried, it may find that the town is better off as it is.

She said: “Wycombe District Council is responsible for decisions on the outcome of community governance reviews, which consider matters such as the creation of parishes.

“If such a review were to be carried out, it would consider a range of options, one which maybe that the town is well-served on the current arrangements.”

What do you think – should High Wycombe have its own town council? Email bfpletters@london.newsquest.co.uk with your views.