Northampton suburb could get its own parish council

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Guildhall councillors ought to heed a poll that saw residents narrowly support the split of a Northampton parish council, says an activist.

People living in Wootton and East Hunsbury voted to give the two areas one parish council each, by 670 votes to 657.

But despite the very small margin and only a 10 per cent turnout, parish councllor Liam Costello insisted Northampton Borough Council should act according to the result.

A full council meeting on December 3 will now decide whether to honour the results, which are advisory only.

He said: “I think Northampton Borough Council should now accept people have made their decision through the ballot box.

“This area has grown 
so much in the last 20 to 30 years. We’re currently the largest parish council in the county and have lost that local connection. Wootton is a conservation village and East Hunsbury is a modern urban housing estate.

“They are two distinct communities and that has now been proven.”

It is understood that Guildhall leaders intend to adhere to the advisory poll results.

If so, members already representing Wootton will form a shadow council and those representing East Hunsbury will do the same.

Polls next May will elect the remaining members.

Wootton and East Hunsbury saw the biggest numerical turnout of the nine polled areas.

Obelisk and Sunnyside residents, who rejected a parish council, had the lowest percentage turnout of 2.95 per cent

Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh said: “Clearly support in some areas is greater than others.”

One of the more decisive polls was held in St James where a parish council was rejected by 288 votes to 50. Northampton borough councillor Terry Wire (Lab, St James) said: “People recognise we have a fantastic residents’ association that responds to local issues far better than yet another council could.” Rectory Farm rejected the proposal by 121 to 104, as did Westone, by 183 to 107, Parklands by 269 to 149, and Obelisk and Sunnyside by 130 to 63.

West Hunsbury and Hunsbury Meadow voted in favour and Upton voted to extend current boundaries.