Former leader of Northampton Borough Council calls on public to get behind new unitary authority after just 29.98% election turnout

Jonathan Nunn led the former council as it voted to dissolve itself last year

Friday, 7th May 2021, 7:30 pm
Jonathan Nunn

The leader of Northampton’s former Borough Council expressed sadness at the creation of Northamptonshire’s new unitary councils - but stressed it was time to “get behind it”.

Jonathan Nunn led the former council as it voted to dissolve itself last year.

Now, after securing one of Nene Valley’s ward seats, he said it was past time to “embrace” the new structure.

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Jonathan Nunn

He said: “My heart was very much in the borough. I put so much of myself into it. In a way it took over my life. But now we’ve got to get our heart into this.

“This has to be the new show in town that we are committed to.

“We need to get this council going. There’s some uncertainty among residents about it and we need to give people that security and insure there’s a sense of unity.

“We’ve been working on delivering this unitary council for a number of years and we promised we would end up with something that was better. And we have to show it as better in the every day - be it potholes or whatever.”

However, the low voter turnout for West Northamptonshire - just 29.98 per cent - pointed to residents having trouble engaging with the two new larger councils that were thrust upon them this election.

When asked about this, Councillor Nunn said Covid-19 restrictions also played a part.

He said: “I do think if you spoke to residents a lot will say they have not had that instance of someone knocking on their door, and that makes a difference

“The reason some weren’t enthusiastic at the idea of being a unitary was because of the perception that you can be closer to your community as a local councillor.

“But I think we’ve got to embrace it. It’s here and we’ve now got to make the best of it. “We’ve got to work with colleagues and have a sense of ambition across the whole area.”