Plans to look at forming new town council for Northampton progress

Councillors discussed the potential for a 'town council' for Northampton at The Guildhall this week
Councillors discussed the potential for a 'town council' for Northampton at The Guildhall this week

Plans to potentially form a new town council for Northampton have taken a step forward after councillors agreed to undertake a ‘review’ into local governance.

Northampton Borough Council is set to be abolished after authorities across the county - including NBC itself - backed proposals to form two new unitary authorities following the Max Caller ‘best value inspection’.

It means that the current two-tier system of local government, which sees both the borough and county council provide services, will be replaced by a new West Northamptonshire Council with all services under one roof.

But the idea of forming a new town council has been mooted throughout the process. A cross-party working group believes forming a Northampton Town Council ‘could retain the historic and ceremonial regalia, artefacts and other items of interest that currently belong to the borough council’. It could also elect a Mayor, and continue a tradition dating back to 1215.

Last night (September 10) Northampton councillors agreed to hold a ‘community governance review’ for the whole borough of Northampton. They had agreed to do so for ‘unparished’ areas back in July.

It means that a consultation will be held which will discuss the scope for the size, boundaries and functions of not just a potential town council for Northampton, but also for existing and potentially new parish councils.

Councillor Phil Larratt, the deputy leader of the borough council, said: “It's important we all have representation at a local level to give a community voice to this almighty unitary authority we will end up with.

"We can't do this without consultation, but we need to do this quickly, legally and involve and engage with councillors."

The review can also examine potential name changes to parish councils, with Cllr Larratt adding that it may be more appropriate to potentially rename them ‘community councils’.

The cross-party working group has now been tasked with arranging the timescale for the review. They will also write to all parish councils and umbrella organisations - including the Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils - before the start of the first period of consultation, inviting them to submit their views.