There’s a public consultation in progress at the moment (until 30th September 2019) on a subject which affects us all in High Wycombe. Triggered by the various petitions for a town council and for separate parish councils for Micklefield, Sands and Totteridge areas, it is a part of the Community Governance Review being carried out by Wycombe District Council.
Full details are available on the Wycombe District Council website.
The High Wycombe Society encourages all its members and supporters to engage with the process and voice their views directly using the above link.
Earlier this year, in the Spring Edition of our Society Newsletter we published an article by Steve Cohen giving “The Case for a Town Council” with contributions from a number of named previous Mayors who had been campaigning for it.
In the Summer Edition, we carried an article by Cllr Tony Green outlining “The Case Against a Town Council”.
But the consultation is not simply about a binary choice. Many residents in Sands, Micklefield and Totteridge have campaigned for their own parish councils quite independently of their views for or against a High Wycombe Town Council. Some envisage a Town Council serving only a set of “inner” town wards with individual parish councils serving “outer” town wards.
There’s a lot of information available on the WDC site to assist in forming an opinion, including the full report from the consultants brought in by WDC to assist with the Community Governance Review, but there are also a lot of unknowns as this consultation is taking place in parallel with the move to a unitary authority. As they point out, it is not possible at this stage to specify exactly what local services would be handled by the town and/or parish councils were they to come into being. It is also therefore not possible to say what level of precept (cost) would be required.