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Opinion : Does High Wycombe need ‘levelling up’ with a Town Council?

| August 5, 2021

There’s nothing worse than being left out, left behind or treated differently especially when whole communities are involved.

You may have heard of the concept of ‘levelling up‘ where people and communities that feel they have been left behind are given an opportunity to catch up and redress the balance. Indeed a recent Queen’s Speech to Parliament said the Government would ‘level up opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom‘.

So is there any ‘levelling up’ needed in High Wycombe? Is there anything that Wycombe is lacking that other towns in Buckinghamshire have?

Well, other towns in Buckinghamshire have an elected Town Council to oversee certain aspects of town governance as part of their local democracy.

With the re-organisation of local government in Buckinghamshire in 2020 and the demise of Wycombe District Council, High Wycombe ended up as the only major town in Buckinghamshire that does not have a Town Council.

So isn’t it time that High Wycombe was ‘levelled up’ with a Town Council or similar elected body to oversee matters at a local level pertaining to the town?

Indeed a while back a petition was presented to the powers that be to start the formal process of requesting a Town Council for High Wycombe but as far as my good self is aware nothing has been done and nothing is likely to be done.

Regular readers will know that my good self is sceptical about how a Town Council would function. However, after giving the matter lots of thought, yours truly thinks a Town Council would be a good idea if those elected to the Town Council could not sit on any other Council at the same time as they sit on the Town Council, i.e. the Town Councillors can only represent the Town Council and no other Council.

Surely Wycombe should be given a Town Council under the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda?

So why won’t the great and good let Wycombe have a Town Council? Is it perhaps there is a feeling that Wycombe many not return elected representatives to the Town Council from the ‘correct’ political party? Are the powers that be afraid of losing control of a possible future Town Council in Wycombe so it’s best not to create a Town Council to avoid the ‘control’ problem from arising?

Perhaps Wycombe may even go the same was a Slough which until 1974 was also part of Buckinghamshire before being transferred to Berkshire?

If £15m is about to be spent on improving High Wycombe then surely High Wycombe Town Council (if it existed) would be an important decision making forum providing input into the investment of the money?

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivor.wycombe or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ivor_Wycombe.

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