WYCOMBE District Council will not be “sitting back and taking it easy” during its 46th and final year, the leader has vowed - as she was voted in to take the helm for the last 10 months before it is scrapped in favour of a unitary authority.

The last ever annual council meeting took place at the council offices on Monday and Cllr Katrina Wood was voted in as leader for the final 10 months of the council’s existence.

She said: “This is a rather poignant moment for me as we enter our 46th and final year of the existence of Wycombe District Council.

“I am honoured and proud to be leading this Council for a fifth year, but also sad that we are now in the final year of this council as we know it.

“We have so much to celebrate in our Council, with the work we do in striving to make a difference to the lives of our residents.

“Now, as well as maintaining the innovative, efficient and successful council of Wycombe district for the remainder of its time, we have the added complication of bringing together five councils into one by April 1, 2020.”

Cllr Wood added that they have “so much” to celebrate - including the launch of DesBox in Baker Street, the revamp of the old Ottakar’s bookshop in White Hart Street and the completion of phase five of the Wycombe town centre masterplan.

This year, the children’s nursery and gym will be completed at the Handy Cross Hub and street wardens will patrol the town centre streets after complaints about anti-social behaviour.

Commenting on the pending unitary authority, she added: “Despite our misgivings about a single unitary, and it is no secret that we think two unitary councils such as has now been agreed for Northamptonshire would be better for our residents, all five councils are working together, both members and officers, to create the new large single Buckinghamshire Council.”

Meanwhile, a new chairman of the district council was chosen - with outgoing chairman Cllr Tony Green handing over his chains to Cllr Paul Turner.

He will be assisted in his year of office by vice chairman Cllr Sarfaraz Khan Raja.

On taking office he said: “This is the last year of WDC and therefore the theme for the year is partly dictated by the times we find ourselves in.

“It is an opportunity to look back over the centuries of history.”