Leader vows to make West Northamptonshire Council the best in the country after Conservatives take control
“This is what we campaigned to do"
The leader of the Conservative Party on West Northamptonshire Council said he wanted to create the best council in the UK.
After his party crossed the line to take control of the new authority, Councillor Ian McCord, told the Chronicle & Echo: “This is what we campaigned to do. I’m pleased we will have control of the council and I hope we can tighten our grip on it.
“We will bring the best of all component parts in West Northamptonshire to create the best council in the UK.
“Our priorities are the same ones we campaigned.
“We want to make West Northamptonshire a place where people are proud to live, visit, study and invest.
“We will deliver care services and day to day services.
“We have great plans in place for the Children’s Services.
“The children’s trust has been set up and the initial visits have been done and are encouraging.
“The green shoots of recovery are there. We will embrace them and work hard to make sure, above all, that the children’s services are safe.
“We endeavour to have a rating of outstanding in Children’s Services. That might be a little way in the future but we are working towards it.”
Speaking about the low turnout figure, he said: "“Obviously, we always want turnout to be as high as possible. I think turnout was always going to be rather depressed in this election, simply because of the odd circumstances with Covid - there will still be some nervousness with people coming out and associating in public.
"Although, thing is, every day went by, you could feel more and more normality coming back. It is what it is but, nonetheless, it’s the same across the county.
"I don’t think we are any worse than anywhere else and it’s up to us now to show that, as a country, that democracy is still alive and the election wasn’t kicked down the road again.
"It was always going to be difficult and I think the winning margins are pretty clear, people of west Northamptonshire in general have voted for a fresh start and a bright future and a Conservative administration.”
The leader also spoke about the impact of the pandemic on campaigning.
"We certainly missed that pre-election time and, in a normal year, we probably would have started a good year out - a year before - and we would be working up and we would have certainly had maybe more literature out around the - this is who we are, I am Ian and when I am not doing this, I work in print, that type of thing which really we didn’t manage to do so by the time we were into more of that full on campaign about these are our policies and this is what we do so unfortunately there has had to be a little bit of a sacrifice on that just due to Covid.
"The peak time for us would have been at the end of last year or the Autumn and the early part of this year in March so right in the middle of lockdown 3 so unfortunately, I think that has just been an unfortunate side effect which probably contributed to the low turnout.
"With hindsight, you can always say we can do more with this but you have to balance that out with costs and the law with the amount of money we are legally allowed to spend so yes we would all like to spend X hundred thousand pounds and X million page views on Facebook but unfortunately the law wouldn’t even allow it even if I had the money to do it."