THE risk to create a South Warwickshire Council was too great, says council leader.

Cllr Tony Jefferson, leader of Stratford-On-Avon District Council said after finding new information and evaluating their position they decided the risk was “too great to residents” to form a “super district council”.

Plans to merge Stratford-On-Avon District Council and Warwick District are in the process of being formally withdrawn and has been agreed at a council meeting that the majority of joint work should stop,

It has been agreed that joint working should continue in eight areas including the development of the South Warwickshire Local Plan, the Economic Development Strategy, Climate Change and the joint waste and recycling contract.

Cllr Jefferson said: “There is a significant difference between the approaches and ambitions of the two councils that have proved to be irreconcilable, which we have only found out after we started to work with Warwick.

“When the merger was first contemplated, our financial situation was very unclear following COVID, the potential of losing the New Homes Bonus and the uncertainty over business rates.

"Thankfully things have turned out better than expected both in terms of government grants and interim financial settlements, plus the economic recovery has also been stronger than predicted.

Despite that, savings have been realised as part of this process.

"Early analysis shows that we have spent around £162K and an estimated £271K worth of savings has been achieved, which equates to a net benefit of £110k of this joint working.

"This does not include the one-off savings relating to the Local Plan, which will be achieved as well. 

"This means, that at this stage there is no need for an emergency budget."

He added that the future budget plans and targets will depend on the government settlement that the council receives later in the year.