Two new all-purpose unitary councils for Bucks

The future of local government in Bucks

Read our quick summary and easy guide to discover the biggest changes proposed for Buckinghamshire councils in 40 years.

Why are things changing? What is meant by unitary?

What is meant by unitary?

Our proposal

Our two new unitary proposal, in partnership with Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils, recognises key areas of difference for the communities in the north and the south of the county, such as the economy, jobs, growth and housing markets.

This model would see one unitary council in Aylesbury Vale, and one for the south of the county, replacing the current county and district councils.

We believe a single large unitary would mean major opportunities being missed in these areas and that a one size fits all model will not deliver the best deal for our local residents, businesses, community groups, parish councils and various other stakeholders. We also question the savings the single unitary model claims to deliver and the level of local support it has. 

More local - Better opportunities - More effective - Best value

More local

Bucks is too big for one huge super council – it’s around 70 miles
long! Our proposal of two, more local unitary councils would enable
more joined-up, flexible, sustainable services, tailored to your needs -
whether you’re a resident, business owner or part of a bigger
community group.

It would mean more local decision making, while ensuring money
raised in the local area is spent locally. While our proposal makes
savings by reducing the number of councillors, a single countywide
unitary would scale this back much further, meaning important
decisions affecting you could be made by people who know little
about your community.

Better opportunities

It’s about focusing on the right economy to grow - north and south
Bucks have very different opportunities and challenges. The north
looks more to Milton Keynes and Oxford while the south is more
connected to London. Communities, employment and housing are
totally different.

Two new unitary councils would mean better investment, jobs and
the right level of growth for both the north and south of Bucks.

More effective

District councils have a strong track record in transforming services,
for example, by sharing services and embracing the digital world, all
while making significant savings – a potentially invaluable foundation
for the future.

The right size – we know smaller unitary councils, such as Milton
Keynes, can thrive. We also know key services such as children’s
services, adult social care and road maintenance are failing on a
county-wide scale. Two new unitary councils would mean staying
local, while working together on common ground.

Best value

Two new unitary councils would make significant sustainable savings
while delivering better services, which are easier to access. A single
unitary may seem the cheapest option but with short-term savings,
cheapest is not always best for the future.

Positive change

We don’t believe that change is about seeking short term gains. We need solutions that provide a solid foundation for any future challenges and which will benefit our children’s children.

We believe that any changes need to be introduced through a measured, considered and collaborative approach.

We also commissioned an open and independent review to find the best option for the future of local government in Bucks. You can read the summary brochure for an overview of the report or browse the full report, which outlines the range of options available.

Have your say before it’s too late – it’s your future!

This is about all communities in Bucks, it’s about your future and we, along with the government, want you to have your say by 25 May. A final decision
will be made a few weeks later.

You can email the Secretary of State:

You can also write to him at:

The Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP,
Secretary of State for Housing,
Communities and Local Government
Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street,
London SW1P 4DF

Please also copy your views to your local MP:

John Bercow MP (Buckingham):
The Rt. Hon. David Lidington MP (Aylesbury):

Find out more

Head to our dedicated website for more information.

You can also follow updates on the Modernising Bucks social media channels:

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