On Friday 20th July, I attended a meeting regarding the future of local council structures in Northamptonshire.
Attending the meeting were several of the county’s seven MPs, the political leaders of the eight local councils in the county and the chief executive officers of those councils. We met together at the Guildhall for high level talks about the unitary system, which is replacing the old two tier system of local authorities.
Independent accountants have made clear that the town of Northampton has a greater need for public services than some of the less populated areas; Northampton must therefore have a tax income from other areas in order to fund our essential public services. A proposal therefore to isolate the town from the rest of the county (which is being suggested from some quarters) would result in a huge rise in council tax. I want strong public services in Northampton, and we obviously have to create a model which will be economically viable. I want residents to benefit from the best possible local government reform.
With regards to the composition of the new unitary Councils- all the local Councils in Northamptonshire have been invited to submit proposals by the end of August 2018. I am confident that all factors will be taken into account when finalising any proposals.