Emma Reynolds will raise the bid to create ‘High Wycombe Town Council’ with the leader of Buckinghamshire Council Martin Tett, Wycombe Labour has said.

Wycombe’s new MP, who ousted Steve Baker in the general election, is supportive of the push to try and get the town its own council.

Following her election victory, the campaign group for the Town Council posted a message on its Facebook page from Wycombe Labour.

It read: “While all at Wycombe Labour Party and equally Emma Reynolds for Wycombe appreciate that the campaign for a High Wycombe Town Council has been apolitical, the truth is that Emma has been a strong supporter of the campaign as has the local constituency party. The one candidate who was against this is the one who lost his seat.

“Emma will of course raise this with Martin Tett, but our next job is to build a progressive majority in the Bucks unitary authority and finally end our county’s ‘one party state’ status, that’s our best route to ending our central town’s democratic deficit.”

READ MORE: Steve Baker explains why he lost Wycombe seat and Reform UK ‘laid waste’ to Tories

In her own statement, Reynolds said: “The Labour government is committed to devolving power and that should happen here in Buckinghamshire. I strongly support the campaign for a High Wycombe Town Council. I will raise this with Martin Tett, the Bucks Council leader, next week and ask why the Conservatives don’t seem to support a High Wycombe Town Council. 

“There is widespread support amongst residents and cross-party support for this.

“It is clearly unfair that High Wycombe is the only major town in Buckinghamshire not to benefit from a town council. All other major towns in the county, such as, Aylesbury, Amersham, Chesham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, benefit from one.

“I have long advocated that government should push power down to the most local level and a Town Council would allow local residents a greater say on local priorities including new developments.”

High Wycombe is currently ‘unparished’, meaning it does not have parishes, and is one of the only towns in Buckinghamshire without its own council.

It is represented by Buckinghamshire Council councillors, the High Wycombe Town Committee, charter trustees, mayor and the High Wycombe Community Board.

However, Buckinghamshire’s other towns, Amersham, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Chesham, Gerrards Cross, Marlow and Princes Risborough, are all served by their own town council.

These authorities perform a range of services, including, but not limited to, allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, bus shelters, car parks, commons and open spaces, events, footpaths, leisure and sports facilities, litter bins, public toilets, street lighting and traffic calming measures.

Campaigners claim that a town council would give people in High Wycombe more of a say on local issues and how taxes are spent.

Bucks Council ran a public consultation on the issues, which ended in April of this year and attracted 1,920 responses.

People were given the choice of keeping High Wycombe’s governance as it currently is or replacing existing arrangements with a town council.

Feedback from the consultation was sent to be mulled over by councillors, before Bucks Council’s standards and general purposes committee consider and approve draft recommendations and decide on the next stages of the community governance review this summer.

However, the committee’s scheduled meeting for this week has been cancelled.

The final recommendations are expected to be published in December 2024.

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