Report published into failed merger between Warwick and Stratford district councils
A report has been published into the failed merger between Warwick and Stratford district councils last year.
Stratford District Council’s (SDC) overview and scrutiny committee commissioned the independent report - in which Warwick District Council (WDC) participated– by public policy consultancy Shared Intelligence ‘to ensure that lessons can be learnt from the exercise’.
Between June 2020 and April 2022 the two councils worked together to explore joint working and then a merger with the intention of creating a new South Warwickshire District Council by April 2024.
The proposal to merge was approved by both Councils in December 2021, following which a submission was made to the Secretary of State.
However in April 2022, the plans for the merger were ended.
SDC has said ‘the report is designed to help both Stratford and the wider sector identify learning points and to provides recommendations on issues to consider in similar situations’.
The full report is available on SDC’s website.
One of its main findings is that the impact of the proposed merger on council staff was significant and created new burdens and anxiety for them.
Councillor Andrew Crump chaired the task and finish group which commissioned the review.
He said: “I am very grateful for the work that Shared Intelligence undertook in producing this valuable report.
"I am also grateful to all of those officers and councillors from both councils who participated in the review.
“The learning points from this report will be extremely valuable to the Council and indeed the whole sector. In the spirit of positivity and collaboration that drove the two councils to investigate the possible merger so thoroughly, we’re delighted that it can be shared with local authorities across the country to guide the vision and understanding in any future similar operations.”
The report will be debated at SDC’s next overview and scrutiny committee meeting next Friday (January 13).