THE PUBLIC consultation to create a South Warwickshire ‘super district’ is underway.
Views are being sought on Stratford and Warwick district councils’ proposal to merge to create a new council covering South Warwickshire by 2024.
The new authority would replace both councils and cover all activities they currently provide.
It follows an independent report which found a ‘strong strategic, economic, financial and operational case for merging’ including estimated financial losses of around £4-6million per year by 2025.
Residents, businesses, town and parish councils, groups and key stakeholders are encouraged to have their say by completing the online questionnaire by October 24.
Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day said although the pandemic had been a crisis, it presented opportunity to re-imagine the future of local government services.
He added: “We need to hear your views – we need to listen and respond to what our residents want.
“Please take the time to carefully reflect on the questions, tell us what you think the future for local government in this area should be so that we can build a vibrant, new, agile and strong council to serve you.”
Stratford District Council leader Tony Jefferson is also urging residents and groups to take part in the consultation.
He said: “This is an extremely important consultation that relates to the future of both Stratford and Warwick district councils.
“Both councils face significant financial challenges – the impact of dealing with the pandemic, when combined with the increased costs of delivering existing services, such as waste management, as well as responding to the climate emergency. We have to recognise the undeniable fact that the world has changed in ways we could not have envisaged and we need to adapt to those changes.
“We also need to consider the positive opportunities that combining Stratford and Warwick district councils to create a South Warwickshire Council will bring.
“It is vitally important that before the councillors come to a decision, we hear the views of the wider community on whether you believe a merger is the right option to take or not. So please get involved and have your say.”
The consultation can be completed at www.southwarwickshire.org.uk.
Paper questionnaires can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and returned via a freepost address.
They can also be picked up at Warwick Visitor Information Centre, Leamington, town hall, Kenilworth Library, Whitnash Library and Stratford District Council’s offices.
The findings will be considered in mid-December.