Northampton housing estate to be absorbed into parish council
A housing estate in Northampton will add some much-needed facilities to a parish council area when the two are joined next year.
Pineham Village, a part-completed development south of Upton, is to come under the authority of Hunsbury Meadows Parish Council following a vote by Northampton Borough Councillors.
It means Hunsbury Meadows will gain its first shop and, when the community centre opens at Pineham Barns Primary School, a permanent home for it parish council meetings.
Chairman of Hunsbury Meadows Parish Council Stephen Hiscock: "We need these facilities but most importantly, the geographical fit is a very sensible one.
"The only other option for Pineham was Upton, and people have to actually drive through Hunsbury Meadows into Upton so that would have made no sense."
Hunsbury Meadows Parish will in future contain an electorate of more than 1,400 people and Councillor Hiscock said this will move it towards a 'critical mass' that will enable the parish council to better stand up for its residents, as it did by helping save the number 87 bus route.
"It will increase our ability to be able to support our residents when the county council is cutting services."
Whether it can successfully intervene in the controversial withdrawal of free school bus travel between Pineham and Campion School in Bugbrooke is doubtful, however - even though, in a bizarre quirk, current Hunsbury Meadows children, who live further away, do benefit from it.
"It does seem silly that we will have half the parish in the free bus catchment area and half not. But that does sometimes happen across the town.
"What I can say is that we would like to represent our residents and we think that all of our children should have the free bus."