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Warwick and Stratford merger agreed

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Following the Full Council meeting on Monday 13 December Warwick District Council has agreed to formally submit a request to the Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for a full political merger with Stratford-on-Avon District Council to create a South Warwickshire District Council. 


After a full debate, Councillors approved the following recommendations as set out in the report; 23 members of the council voted for the recommendations; 12 voted against; and there were five abstentions:


(4) That Council makes a formal submission should be made to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to create a South Warwickshire District Council. 


(5) Subject to recommendation (4), to approve the formal submission document to create a South Warwickshire District Council attached at Appendix 5 and to agree to delegate to the Chief Executives, in consultation with the respective Leaders of both Councils, to make any minor and typographical changes identified and to agree the covering letter. 


(6) Subject to recommendation (4), to establish a joint member working group to review the issues raised in Section 4 and in addition, to agree that the working group works with WALC and other key parish and town councils to undertake a community governance and function review for South Warwickshire. 


(7) Subject to recommendation (4), to agree to carry out a consultation with staff and Trades Unions on options for addressing harmonisation of staff terms and conditions including pay; and 


(8) That should recommendation (4) above be not agreed, or that either Council does not agree to make a submission in relation to recommendation (4), an emergency Council meeting be arranged in early January so that a revised strategic approach can be discussed and agreed, prior to the setting of the annual budget for 2022/23 and beyond.


Councillor Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council said: “I am immensely proud that our Councillors have come to this brave and historic decision to go ahead and to build a new Council and shape our own destiny for the future of local Government in South Warwickshire.”


At Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Councillors approved the same recommendations with 26 voting for the recommendations, three against and two abstentions.


Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council added:


“The COVID pandemic has had an enormous impact on our communities and the Council. This proposal to create a South Warwickshire District Council together with Warwick gives us the opportunity to safeguard our services into the future as well as helping us respond to any new challenges coming down the line.  


“The first crucial decision has been made, but the journey continues and there will be a lot of hard work ahead as it will be another two years before the new Council comes into existence if agreed and approved.”


Written by: David Watkins

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