MERGING Stratford and Warwick District Councils is one step closer.
Both authorities have given the green light to the next steps for working together.
They will now review services and joint contracts while also looking into joint political leadership, which council chiefs say would give a stronger and more unified voice for residents and business in south Warwickshire. Proposals would then be put forward for consultation before a submission is made to government in July 2024 to merge.
Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day said: “Working together our two councils have an opportunity to further improve our services, while strengthening our resilience and capacity to positively respond to new challenges, such as covid recovery and the climate emergency.
“Taking the tough decisions now, will enable efficiencies to be seized and resources focused on our shared capacity to provide innovative, agile and high-quality services.”
Stratford District Council leader Tony Jefferson also believes working together is best for the two areas.
He added: “We have made a key strategic move with the proposal to create a South Warwickshire Council together with Warwick. There is considerable synergy between the two councils and, over time, the savings in costs will be substantial. We also believe that there will be significant additional benefits to residents from integration.”
The councils have already been working together to respond to the pandemic due to loss of income.
They are also working on a joint local plan and are procuring a shared refuse and recycling contract.
Management roles with the head of IT and head of neighbourhood and community services are already shared across the two districts and both senior management teams are expected to integrate later this year.