At the end of last year, petitions were submitted to the council calling for parish councils for Totteridge and Micklefield wards, these were followed by a petition for a town council in High Wycombe. These petitions triggered off a legal process called a community governance review to see if these demands have popular support. This means that that Wycombe District Council will be consulting on whether there should be parish councils or a town council in High Wycombe or whether things should stay the same.
There are three main issues that are fundamental in making a decision about whether a Town Council would provide a benefit for residents of the town. These are whether it would improve democracy; whether it is likely to increase Council Tax for residents and what would happen to the Mayor and related traditions.
The Conservatives believe that members of the unitary authority will be able to safeguard the interests of the town with the ability to directly influence the principle council.
The experience of other towns that have set up Town Council suggest that there would be a large extra cost for the residents of the town. . In Aylesbury this costs residents £106.13; in Amersham £102, in Marlow £51.24 and in Princes Risborough £101.85. This compares to the current cost to High Wycombe residents of £14.50 which is the cost of special expenses and the Mayoralty.
If there was no change to the governance of the town then the Mayor and Charter Trustees would continue as there are now and continue safeguarding hundreds of years of tradition in High Wycombe.
The Conservative Party believe that any change to the governance of High Wycombe should looked at after the creating of the new unitary council and that the current proposals are premature.
Please take part in the consultation that will happen over the summer, but please check the validity of statements that people are making. You can go to www.wycombe.gov.uk/highwycombecgr for further information.