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South Warwickshire Mega-Council

Volume 707: debated on Thursday 20 January 2022

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.—[Presented by Matt Western, Official Report, 8 December 2021; Vol. 705, c. 531 .]

[P002702]

Observations from The Minister for Levelling Up Communities (Kemi Badenoch):

The Government will not impose any top-down Government solutions for restructuring of local government. We will continue, as we have consistently done, to follow a locally-led approach for reorganisation where councils can develop proposals which have strong local support. In this way any reform of an area's local government can most effectively be achieved.

I received a merger proposal from Stratford Upon Avon and Warwick District Councils on the 17 December 2021 which we will carefully consider together with all other relevant information available to us and any representations that we receive before deciding whether or not it would be appropriate to implement the proposal.