High Wycombe is one step closer to getting its own town council after a group of former mayors championed the fight to give residents a voice – and more than 4,000 people have supported them by signing a petition.

Campaigners officially started a petition calling for a town council in December, a month after the Bucks Free Press called for High Wycombe to finally be given a voice in the form of its own town council - in a similar way to other towns, including Marlow and Princes Risborough.

And thousands of residents in the town have agreed – with former mayor Trevor Snaith confirming that the minimum of 4,000 signatures needed to force Wycombe District Council into discussing the possibility of introducing a town council has now been met.

Mr Snaith said the town council petition was the “easiest” one he has ever been involved in, despite a race against time to meet the January deadline.

He said: “People are eager to sign it. The awareness of the petition has been exceptional thanks to the BFP and Wycombe Sound and a social media campaign which has widely publicised it.”

Volunteers, including Cllr Khalil Ahmed, have braved the freezing conditions to stand outside supermarkets, mosques, schools, community centres and even Adams Park on match days, to collect signatures from supporters.

Pharmacies, taxi companies and other businesses have also shown their support by encouraging customers to sign copies of the petition.

And more than 500 signatures were collected outside All Saints Church in the town centre in just one session in early January - even though Wycombe Conservatives were also present handing out leaflets claiming a town council would be a “pricey option”.

Mr Snaith said: “In the last week we have received tremendous support from schools. We have been outside of all schools collecting signatures. Just about every parent has signed the petition, the support is exceptional.”

Nigel Vickery another past mayor of High Wycombe, added: “We received great moral support from residents in other parts of the district. Areas that already have parishes and town council. They were amazed that we don’t have one.”

Now that the 4,000 signature threshold has been met – which is 7.5 per cent of the 52,000-strong electorate in the town – Wycombe District Council will have to seriously consider the petition and consider launching a community governance review.

The campaign was launched amid concerns that there is a “democratic deficit” in the town.

The current town committee has been blasted by critics.