Northamptonshire MPs say county needs to 'strike while iron is hot' after hard-hitting report

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Northamptonshire's seven MPs believe the county should convert its local government structure to a unitary system "while the iron is hot" following yesterday's "hard-hitting" inspection report.

Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Michael Ellis (Northampton North), Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire), Andrew Lewer (Northampton South) and Tom Pursglove (Corby) responded to Max Caller's report in a joint statement this morning.

In it, they state the days of two-tier local government are over and that the solution to the county's problems is, as set out in the report, an adoption of two unitary authorities.

The joint statement reads: "We welcome and endorse the Max Caller inspection report on the county council.

"It was thorough, hard-hitting and sometimes made uncomfortable reading, but it was badly needed and it has come to the right conclusion.

"The county council was hit by a perfect storm of poor leadership in a financially challenging environment.

"Now is not the time to keep scrabbling around.

"The days of complex two-tier local government in the county are at an end.

"We need to strike while the iron is hot for two unitaries as the solution set out by the report.

"We MPs were quick and direct in calling for this inspection and demanding action.

"The county council ultimately ran out of time fuelled by poor management and indecision.

"It is imperative that we do not make the same mistake again. Time needs to be used wisely.

"For the sake of our constituents, who rely on local services, the county council needs to be abolished and a new local government model created in its place."