A senior Northampton Borough councillor has been accused of a conflict of interest over a job he has taken to promote business opportunities in Corby.
Councillor Jonathan Nunn (Con, Nene Valley) is the assistant cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning at the Guildhall.
But he has also been appointed as manager with Corby Inward Investment, a fixed-term scheme to encourage enterprise in the town and which is run by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) with money from the EU.
He has come under attack from the Liberal Democrat group over an alleged conflict of interest.
But Councillor Nunn said he was confident of being able to juggle the two roles and represent both towns.
Asked which town he would recommend if a firm enquired about moving to Northamptonshire, he said: “My role with Corby is guidance, so I would set out the options and any company making that kind of enquiry would make the decision.
“My heart is with Northampton and the people living in my ward.”
Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lib Dem, Kingsthorpe) said: “We have asked this question at a public council meeting but unfortunately we received no reply from Jonathan at that time.
“We were very surprised to learn that his job will see him represent another town.
“I think it will be very difficult to do both roles at once since it appears obvious to anyone that they could conflict with one another.
“You’re either for Northampton or Corby, not both.”
‘MY FIRM BEING LIQUIDATED HAS GIVEN ME INSIGHT’
A business that Councillor Nunn owned has gone into liquidation, it has been revealed. Individual Team Performance Ltd was wound up in April – a week after he changed his register of interests to declare his employment with Corby Inward investment. But the cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning said his experience would give him an insight into how any struggling businessman in the town feel. He said: “It’s been a very unfortunate time for me and I can understand why some people would question my business expertise now. “But what happened to me has given me a valuable insight into how some businesses are going through in difficult economic times.”