Since the planned reorganisation of local authorities in Northamptonshire was announced I have been clear that Northampton’s ancient heritage, customs and traditions must be protected. I have said publicly and privately that any proposal would not have my support if our town’s heritage was not protected. I therefore recently held a meeting with the Minister for Local Government, Rishi Sunak MP – who is the minister responsible for the local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire – to discuss how the reorganisation would affect Northampton’s history and heritage.
In the meeting, I was clear that Northampton’s ancient heritage must be protected and I was given solid assurances by the Minister including the preservation of the Northampton Mayoralty. Northampton has had 777 mayors since the year 1215 when the town was officially given its charter and this ancient tradition will now be protected from any proposals to reform local government.
Protecting Northampton’s age-old history and identity is important in ensuring the town’s traditions are in place for future generations and I have secured assurances from the government that any changes in Northamptonshire, such as the creation of Unitary Authorities, will respect Northampton’s unique history. I am pleased, therefore, that the Government have committed to protecting the ancient Northampton Mayoralty and has committed to protecting the historic traditions of our town.
In the meeting, the Minister for Local Government set out this Government’s support for the preservation of heritage and the preservation of town mayoralty around the country.
The Government is currently considering whether to implement the locally led proposal for new unitary councils and is expected to announce its decision shortly.