Are we not Bucks?! Council’s plea to government for more devolved powers

Martin Tett speaking at the annual council meeting
Martin Tett speaking at the annual council meeting

Now that Bucks County Council has joined forces with Oxfordshire and Northants, chiefs are seeking to take on more power from central government.

The tri-county alliance is seeking permission to devolve powers, to help boost the economy across the regions.

A report to be heard at Bucks County Council’s Cabinet on June 1 will hear how the alliance will press government to ‘help break down barriers to bring increased prosperity to the region.’

The councils claim they share much in common, and together form the heart of the science and technology industries within the UK.

They say that more certainty and responsibility from the government will give confidence for businesses to invest in the area and give ‘England’s Economic Heartland’ a competitive advantage on the world stage.

Already with a £46.6bn economy, the three counties are looking to swell growth by a further £9bn each year, creating at least 135,000 new jobs by 2020.

Leader of the council, Martin Tett said: “Buckinghamshire is ready to play an even greater role on the world economic stage.

“Being part of England’s Economic Heartland with Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, means that we form one of the major powerhouses of the UK economy, generating worth that is close to that of Manchester.

“But we believe that together, we can further build on our competitiveness in global markets with this innovative new model.

“We want to enhance the area’s reputation as a serious destination for the new economy industries and their employees, families and supply chains.

“What England’s Economic Heartland does is provide a way which enables economies of scale and efficiencies to be realised but one that also ensures priorities are driven by locally identified needs and opportunities.

“This is in no way a merger of the county councils: while the counties will work together on strategic issues each authority will be a distinct entity and they will retain their roles and responsibilities in local issues.”