Warwick District Council backs plans to create a possible 'super district' council merger with Stratford, comparing it to planning a wedding

“It is not yet the marriage. It is, though, the wedding planning and looking at how this could work" said the council leader

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 10:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 10:04 pm
Warwick District Council's headquarters at Riverside House.

Warwick District Council’s leader has likened the blossoming relationship with Stratford District Council as planning for a wedding after councillors gave their overwhelming support to a potential merger to create a super district.

A similar motion was approved by Stratford’s councillors earlier in the week paving the way for the two chief executives to prepare a submission to Government seeking approval for a merger by 2024.

Five councillors chose to abstain from the vote at tonight's (Wedneday's) full council meeting but there were none against after leader Cllr Andrew Day (Con, Bishop’s Tachbrook) said both councils had already benefited from closer ties.

He explained: “This is an enabling minute that effectively gives authority to our officers to prepare a programme of implementation that will be brought back to this council for full debate and consideration by its members in the summer.

“It is a considerable amount of work and this same resolution has been before Stratford Council and passed with very strong support.

“It is an important resolution for us so that we can get to the detail of understanding if this vision that we have to merge with Stratford District Council to create a strong local government authority across south Warwickshire is in fact going to be deliverable, achievable and good for our residents.

“It will look line by line, detail by detail, across all parties at how we could build our new agile South Warwickshire Council and if that is in our best interest.

“It is not yet the marriage. It is, though, the wedding planning and looking at how this could work. I would say that we are already benefiting from much closer working relations with Stratford District Council that have enabled us this year to actually make considerable savings and I think considerable improvements in our services.”

Cllr John Cooke (Con, Kenilworth Abbey and Arden) gave his support to the plans but thought talk of a wedding was a little premature.

“This is early courting to my mind,” he told councillors. “I don’t think we are quite up the aisle yet. This isn’t a decision to proceed, it’s a decision to look at it further.”