'Northamptonians have been denied chance to give verdict on ruling Tories'

Cancelled local elections in Northampton have removed the opportunity for people to have their say on the Conservative administration, according to the town's Liberal Democrat group.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 1:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 2:23 pm
Jonathan Nunn has been the leader of Northampton Borough Council since October 2016 and the public's opinion on his leadership is yet to be demonstrated at the ballot box

The current ruling party was last elected in 2015 but in that time a new leader, Councillor Jonathan Nunn (Con, Nene Valley) has taken the reins.

During his tenure, a proposal has been tabled to change car parking charges, the council has failed to recoup any money from the collapsed Sixfields deal and the former bus station site remains empty.

The town's Liberal Democrat group has cited perceived failings like these as reasons to let voters deliver their verdict, a chance which has been denied by the Government decision to forgo the local elections in Northamptonshire on May 2.

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Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lib Dem, Kingsthorpe) said: "I talk to lots of people in the town centre and in Kingsthorpe and none of them tell me that they think the town has improved."

The Lib Dems accept the Conservatives have made some good decisions, and projects such as the overhaul Northampton Museum and Art Gallery are progressing well.

But they say the list of failures is longer than the list of successes.

Councillor Beardsworth said: "It is impossible not to get some things right over eight years but the public should be able to given the chance to give their verdict but Conservatives at every level have joined forces to prevent an election in Northampton”

Local elections have been cancelled in Northamptonshire because, with the district and boroughs set to by scrapped in favour of two new unitary authorities in 2020, any new leaders would struggle to implement meaningful changes in the shortened timeframe.

The Government's official reasoning states that the cost of a vote cannot be justified.