Another district council has joined in on plans to take legal action against the government over the creation of a unitary authority in Bucks.

During a meeting of South Bucks District Council’s (SBDC) cabinet this morning (January 25) members agreed to take part in planned legal proceedings, due to concerns over  the way the new council will be set up.

This comes after leaders from Wycombe and Chiltern district councils sent a letter to secretary of state, James Brokenshire, last week as the first step towards legal action.

Earlier this month the four district councils, SBDC,  Chiltern, Wycombe and Aylesbury Vale, rejected final unitary plans during a series of extraordinary meetings.

Furious district councillors opposed Mr Brokenshire’s decision to appoint leader of Bucks County Council, Martin Tett, as the leader of the temporary shadow executive – with some branding the decision “undemocratic”.

Concerns over “lack of local consent, late changes to what was proposed and the lack of reasons for making the changes” regarding the set up of the unitary council all forced the districts towards the decision to take legal action.

During separate cabinet meetings this week Chiltern District Council (CDC) and SBDC gave the green light to launching legal proceedings and agreed the cost, which could be up to £100k, would come out of general reserves.

Leader of SBDC, Nick Naylor, said: “We have a duty to promote and protect the interest of our communities and I passionately believe that taking this action is in the best interests of our residents.

“Our aim is not to hinder the creation of the new council. Our aim is to build an excellent council based on partnerships with all the other Buckinghamshire authorities. A new council that is democratic, fair, and able to provide the best services for our communities.

“The challenge is about getting the structure right for the future, doing what is right for Bucks, and not slavishly following other councils’ unitary models around the country which may not be appropriate or up to date for what we are currently working towards in Buckinghamshire.”

During CDC’s meeting yesterday (January 24), leader Isobel Darby said it is “regrettable” that it has come to this however there is “a lack of democracy and a lack of transparency” regarding the set-up of the new council.

She added: “Chiltern have got a very proud history of being awkward when it’s in our residents’ best interests. Just look at the work we have done on HS2.

“HS2 has now come and is hitting us here, and if it wasn’t for all the hard work that we had put into that over the years I am convinced we would not be getting any sort of mitigation that we are getting now.

“And I think we need to reflect on that. We are prepared to stick our neck out, and spend our taxpayers’ money, when we believe it is in their best interests.”

Aylesbury Vale District Council issued a statement this week saying the authority  “will not be engaging in a judicial review at this time” as members were currently working with the secretary of state “to resolve the matters of disagreement”.