Northampton Borough Council to vote tonight on unitary authority proposals

Northampton Borough Council will debate and vote tonight (August 29) on whether to add its backing to proposals to create two new unitary authorities.

The scheme would effectively end the existence of the authority and the six other district and borough councils across the county, as well as the cash-strapped county council.

Councillors will meet at The Guildhall tonight to discuss the local government reorganisation proposals

Councillors will meet at The Guildhall tonight to discuss the local government reorganisation proposals

They would be replaced in 2020 by two new unitary authorities representing North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire.

There will not be too much importance attached to the meeting in terms of whether the scheme will now be submitted to government. That will already happen as only two authorities needed to back the plans, and both Northamptonshire County Council and the Borough Council of Wellingborough voted in favour of the reorganisation yesterday.

It means that the current two-tier system of government, which has been in place since 1974, is almost certainly likely to be replaced by the one-tier unitary authorities, which would provide all services under one roof.

Northampton Borough Council had initially backed plans for the town to be a unitary authority in its own right, but those plans were essentially scuppered when the Government said the area would be too small.

Nevertheless, tonight’s meeting at The Guildhall - which starts at 6.30pm - will give Northampton borough councillors the opportunity to have their say on whether the authority should be lending its name to the proposals.

Kettering Borough Council and East Northamptonshire Council will also vote tonight, while the councils in Corby, Daventry and South Northamptonshire will meet on Thursday evening.