A FORMAL submission document has been sent to Michael Gove for permission to create South Warwickshire District Council.

Last month councillors at Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils voted in favour of a full political merger to create one new authority.

Alcester and Studley, which are currently covered by Stratford District Council, would fall under the new council when it comes into being.

Now, a formal submission document has now been sent to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP, to request his permission for the merger.

Group leaders from across the political spectrum gathered at the Longbridge Island, which borders both districts, to mark the occasion.

Councillor Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council said: “This is a momentous day for both authorities and I am proud and delighted that Councillors have given their overwhelming backing for us to start this journey together to build a strong and agile Council to serve all our residents. We are optimistic that if agreed this will lead to a bright future for local government in South Warwickshire.”

Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council said: “There have been a lot of changes in the almost 50 years since both District Councils were created. We need to adapt to a changing world. Both sets of Councillors recognised this. With this decision taken a lot of hard work will now begin to ensure the success of South Warwickshire and deliver benefits for residents. Exciting and challenging times ahead.”

Following a two-hour meeting for Warwick District Council held at Warwick University’s Slate building, 23 councillors voted in favour of the proposal, 12 against with five opting to abstain.

The merger was also approved by councillor counterparts in Stratford on December 13.