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South Warwickshire Mega-Council

Volume 705: debated on Wednesday 8 December 2021

I want to bring to the attention of the House the issue of the merging of local councils without due regard to the wishes of local residents. This issue is directly linked to proposals in my constituency along with many others to merge Warwick District Council with Stratford-on-Avon District Council. This petition complements that to Warwick District Council which has 1,050 signatures demanding that it establishes a citizens assembly to examine governance options before holding a referendum.

The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to make it a requirement for a range of options to be put to local residents in the form of a referendum in the event that local councillors propose any changes to local governing structures.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the proposal to merge Warwick and Stratford district councils will dilute local power; further that, if the proposal is approved, the number of councillors serving residents in south Warwickshire would be reduced from 80 to 60; further that residents need to feel more connected and less detached from political decision-making, and that could only be achieved if councils are more in touch with residents; further that Warwick District Council was prepared to stage a referendum to decide whether to adopt a climate change levy in Spring 2020 and so is open to referendums in theory; and further that before any decision is made, a citizens assembly should be set up to outline arguments for and against the merger and that this should be followed by a referendum on the final verdict.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to make it a requirement for a range of options to be put to local residents in the form of a referendum in the event that local councillors propose any changes to local governing structures.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002702]