A new Northampton Town Council featuring 25 councillors is set to be formed in the next few weeks, as are new councils in Kingsthorpe and Far Cotton.
Far Cotton & Delapre Community Council will feature 12 councillors, while the new Kingsthorpe Parish Council will have 15 councillors.
Elections are due to take place in May for the new councils, with the first Northampton Town Council meeting scheduled to take place on Monday May 18 at 6pm at The Guildhall.
Councillors at the existing Northampton Borough Council voted to pass through the legal arrangements to form the new councils at a meeting last night (February 24). The borough council is set to be abolished in May next year alongside Northamptonshire County Council, when both will be replaced by the new West Northamptonshire Council unitary authority. It will also see services merged with the existing district councils
Those in favour of creating the new councils argue they will give a stronger local voice that would be missing from the very large new unitary authority.
It effectively retains a two-tier government structure in Northampton, although things become confusing this year as the shadow authority for the unitary means that there will be four councils in effect during most of 2020, with elections in early May seeing residents cast votes for two councils that won’t yet exist (West Northamptonshire and the respective town, parish and community councils).
While the plans were plain sailing for the new town council and Far Cotton & Delapre, the Kingsthorpe proposals proved controversial with residents who turned up to the meeting saying they were not properly consulted, with many houses not receiving letters, and that the plans were being hurried through. The borough council’s deputy leader Councillor Phil Larratt defended the consultation.
There were also concerns that the new Kingsthorpe Parish Council would be too large, with the area being covered comprising five wards instead of the three being argued by members of the public, opposition councillors and the residents’ association originally tasked with exploring the proposals.