Councillors at Warwick District Council and Stratford-on-Avon District Council have backed a proposal 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.
If approved, the merged authority would be called South Warwickshire District Council.
Cllr 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.”
“The widely recognised need for change has not only been identified, but is now being acted upon and now working with Stratford-on-Avon District Council we can start to build a vibrant, new, agile and strong council to serve all our residents.”
Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: “This is a major historic decision on the future of local government in South Warwickshire. By taking this major strategic decision we are demonstrating our desire to control our own destiny. We believe this is the best decision for the benefit of our residents.
“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. There is already considerable synergy between the two councils and, over time, the savings in costs will be substantial with significant benefits to residents from the integration."
Cllr Jefferson added: “I’m sure our decision will have national significance and will provide a benchmark for other authorities looking to merge.
“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.”