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Plans for Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon District Councils to merge scrapped

Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon District Councils will no longer join forces to form a larger South Warwickshire District council, after a change of plans.

A consensus was reached by both parties that, despite months of planning, continuing with the merger was not the right move at the present time.

They said it was “in the interests of residents and staff” that the councils stay separate, and they end the process, according to a joint press statement.

The Leaders of their respective councils said: “There is a significant difference between the approaches and ambitions of the two councils that have proved to be irreconcilable.

“This is a disappointing outcome, but it should not mean the end for the positives that this process has generated; we have learned a lot and wish to carry on as good partners.”

– Leaders of Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon councils

“This is a disappointing outcome, but it should not mean the end for the positives that this process has generated; we have learned a lot and wish to carry on as good partners.”

In December 2021, both councils put forward plans to the Government seeking to merge by May 2024. Had this been implemented, a new combined body called South Warwickshire District Council would have formed.

It would have had authority over waste management, housing, management of parks and sports facilities, and business support among other areas, according to the BBC.

Some of the joint actions implemented in the last 6 months since the notification to combine are expected to continue, including “legal services and business rate collections,” according to the councils.

A poll conducted last year found 57% did not support the plans to amalgamate the councils. Disapproval rose to 64% in the Warwick area.

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