Council targets 'stronger economy' and 'exceptional services' in remaining two years

The priorities for the next two years have been set at The Guildhall
The priorities for the next two years have been set at The Guildhall

A ‘stronger economy’ and ‘exceptional services to be proud of’ are two of the key objectives Northampton Borough Council is aiming to achieve in its remaining time in existence.

The borough council has formally agreed to adopt its ‘Corporate Plan’ for 2018-20 setting outs its ‘strategic priorities’ in that time. The council is set to be abolished in 2020 to make way for a new unitary authority involving Daventry and South Northamptonshire.

Among the key objectives the council pledges to work towards before that are ‘a clean, green and tidy town’, ‘improving our governance’, ‘spending your money wisely’ and ‘more and better homes’.

It also lists three ‘strategic priorities’, which are ‘a stronger economy’, ‘resilient communities’ and ‘exceptional services to be proud of’.

Action plans will be developed to ‘ensure the objectives are delivered against’, and form the basis for the council’s financial plans for the next two years.

Although the plan was agreed by councillors on Monday evening (November 5) at The Guildhall, the leaders of the opposition parties had some reservations.

Labour leader Danielle Stone said: “I’m really quite concerned that this Corporate Plan doesn’t mention poverty.

“Life expectancy has gone down, and this does not focus on poverty and child poverty. We have 8,000 children in our town living in poverty, which is atrocious.”

And Liberal Democrat leader Sally Beardsworth took issue with the ‘spending your money wisely’ line, saying: “Don't get me started on that with Sixfields still hanging over our heads."

In a report to the councillors, chief executive George Candler wrote: “The Corporate Plan encompasses the main policy priorities of the council. It will act as the main corporate guiding document alongside the budget and the individual service plans.”