A leading Bucks politician has slammed a “disappointing” email sent out to councillors suggesting they should not take part in a major debate if they supported ‘super council’ plans.

Last week ‘twin-hat’ councillors serving on both Bucks County (BCC) and South Bucks District (SBDC) stormed out of a meeting after claiming they were sent an “undemocratic” email from council lawyers days before the discussion on April 9.

The Conservative councillors Dev Dhillon, Lin Hazell and Roger Reed, say they were told that those who supported BCC’s proposal for a single-unitary authority in Bucks should declare it as either a personal or prejudicial interest and subsequently leave the meeting.

Leader of Bucks County Council, Martin Tett, said the email was “puzzling”, and added he saw “no justification” for the order.

He said: “I respect the right of district colleagues to make their own decisions.

“I would say though that I found it a puzzling email because it seemed to be saying, to democratically elected district councillors, that if they were also county councillors and if they had supported one of the propositions, i.e. that for a unitary based on county geography, not only were they not allowed to vote, they were not allowed to speak or even be present.

“I have not seen any justification for this view.”

Cllr Tett added that the request should have been applied to all county councillors rather than those "with a specific viewpoint".

The extraordinary meeting at the SBDC headquarters in Denham was arranged to discuss the next steps after plans to create a single-unitary authority in Bucks were backed by Government last month.

The email sent to members just two working days before the meeting stated: "Members may also have a prejudicial interest to declare if they have supported the county’s proposal for a single unitary.

"For example if a member attended a County Council meeting and voted to support the county’s proposal.

"Those members would have to declare this personal and prejudicial interest at the meeting, leave the room and not take part in any discussion on the item."

The four district councils, South Bucks, Wycombe, Chiltern and Aylesbury Vale, had previously submitted a proposal for two-unitary authorities to rival BCC’s proposals.

South Bucks District Council have been approached for a comment.