Report reveals unitary authority could save £58m over next five years

Guy Lachlan, owner of Jones & Cocks and spokesman for Bucks Business First
Guy Lachlan, owner of Jones & Cocks and spokesman for Bucks Business First

A report has revealed that potential savings of £58m could be made over five years if Bucks’ five local authorities were streamlined into one.

Bucks Business First commissioned the report after crowd-funding the £25,000 needed to produce the independent research paper published on the group’s website.

The results showed that annual savings of £20.7m could be made, as well as a potential five-year net saving of more than £58m.

It explored four possible alternatives to the current system, but the option that delivered the biggest savings was one unitary authority covering the whole of the county.

There would be upfront costs to implement a unitary authority – the biggest being the cost of redundancy –but these and other costs would be repaid after 18 months according to the research.

Bucks Business First spokesman Guy Lachlan said: “There is a growing desire from businesses and residents in Buckinghamshire to get involved in decision making that affects where they live and work. 

“The fact that the business community contributed £25,000 to finance the research shows the strength of feeling on this. This report does not look to predetermine a solution but rather to inform the debate. 

“The publication of this independent research paper has reinforced what the business community has been saying for a number of years.

“Our local authorities need to look to rationalise their organisations and make the best use of taxpayer’s money for the benefit of businesses and residents alike.

“This issue can no longer be swept under the carpet and needs to be given serious consideration by local politicians, especially in an election year.”