Just days left for residents to submit views on possible creation of town council for Northampton

Residents have just a few days left to submit their views on plans to create a new town council for Northampton.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 4:24 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 4:26 pm
Residents are being asked if there should be a separate town council for Northampton if a local government reorganisation is approved

The borough council started a six-week long consultation on February 13, and now there are just a few days left for members of the public to comment on the proposals before the March 31 deadline.

The consultation comes as the proposed reorganisation of local government gathers pace, with Westminster imminently due to decide whether to approve the formation of two unitary authorities.

Currently, Northampton residents are served by both the county and borough councils, which offer different services, while some residents also have local parish councils.

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One of the options is to form a town council for all the current unparished areas in the town (shown in yellow)

The proposals, if approved by the Secretary of State, would see the county and borough councils merged under one roof along with Daventry and South Northamptonshire to form a single authority for West Northamptonshire.

But some Northampton Borough councillors are worried that the town may lose its voice in the vast new council, so proposals are being drawn up for a new town council.

The new town council could take on some of the town’s assets, such as important buildings like The Guildhall, its parks and historical artefacts. It could also retain the tradition of a mayor for the town, which dates back to 1215 and would be lost in a new unitary.

The consultation out to residents currently is asking for views on three possible options. This includes a new town council for the current unparished areas in Northampton - such as the town centre, Far Cotton, Kings Heath, Parklands and other areas.

A second option is for a smaller town council

Another option includes a town council for unparished areas but the extension of some of the existing parish councils, while the final option is for things to remain as they currently are.

Back in September, when the plans for a town council were first raised, deputy leader of Northampton Borough Council, Phil Larratt, said: “It's important we all have representation at a local level to give a community voice to this almighty unitary authority we will end up with.”

But a former leader of NBC, John Dickie, said giving parish councils extra powers would lead to a splitting up of the town’s identity and unity.

After feedback is evaluated from the current three options, a final proposal will be drawn up and be put back to the public for further consultation across April and May.

Residents are also being asked if they would like things to stay as they currently are, with no town council and only a few parishes

You can submit your views in the consultation on the following web page: https://www.northampton.gov.uk/ntcconsultation