Members of Buckinghamshire Council’s Standards and General Purposes (S&GP) Committee have voted for a new Community Governance Review (CGR) to be carried out for the Wycombe area.

In their meeting last Thursday [August 24], committee members voted unanimously in favour of a new review for the Wycombe area and agreed to set up a councillor-led working group that will formulate a timeline and steer the review.

The review will include a public consultation, giving local residents and all interested parties the opportunity to comment.

During the meeting that lasted just under an hour-and-a-half, Conservative councillor, Tony Green, of the Terriers & Amersham Hill Ward, who was part of the committee, stated that the move ‘would not be fit for purpose’.

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Additionally, Mr Green suggested that whilst had had correspondence ‘on both sides’, he stated that the ‘vast majority [of the High Wycombe population] have no interest whatsoever’ in terms of a town council being formed.

He said: “They managed to scrape in with the number of signatures required and I admire their tenacity.

“I saw them outside supermarkets in all weathers persuading people to sign.

“But the review itself that was carried out by consultants got an incredibly poor response.

“It was done by focus groups who called people up and asked for their views.

"They even called me and I have to say, the company that carried it out were not practically professional.

"They didn’t offer balanced facts to the argument and it seemed skewed to get a specific result.

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“So it doesn’t surprise me that it only got 1,700 responses from a 75,000 population.

“I couldn’t be bothered to work out what the percentage was as it was that small.

“This is a major decision for the residents of High Wycombe, one I understand isn’t easily reversible.”

Members of groups advocating for a town council attended the committee meeting but were relegated to the role of observers.

Notable attendees included former mayors Trevor Snaith, Sebert Graham, Mohammad Hanif and Peter Cartwright.

The decision was met with disappointment by campaigners, with one describing the outcome as ‘leaving Wycombe in the wilderness’.

This means campaigners will have to start again in getting 5,000 signatures - a move they initially began in 2018.

Trevor Snaith, said: “It's disheartening that decisions about the future of High Wycombe are being made by individuals with no understanding or passion for the town.

READ MORE: Decision to approve High Wycombe Town Council to be decided in August

“Cllr Tony Green, who represents an unparished area of High Wycombe, was totally disingenuous to the wishes of the people of High Wycombe.

“He personally didn’t like the original CGR [Community Governance Review] recommendation to deliver a town Council and failed to accept the findings of the review.”

Another ex-mayor, Peter Cartwright, added: It is clear to me that the current system is not working and that a town council representing the whole of the unparished area is the only way forward.

“The review agreed needs to be completed so that town councillors can be elected at the same time as unitary councillors in 2025.”

Cllr David Goss, Chairman of the Standards & General Purposes Committee said: “We know that many people are eager for things to get moving quickly in this area and the working group will be ensuring that we work at pace to ensure the right future governance model is in place for High Wycombe.

"We look forward to working with local residents and interest groups to make sure that the whole community benefits from effective local governance arrangements which are fit for purpose, both now and for the future.”

To watch the entire meeting, click here.

High Wycombe are the only town in Buckinghamshire to not have its own town council.