New town council agreed for Northampton – as are new councils for Kingsthorpe and Far Cotton & Delapre
A new town council will be formed for Northampton to run alongside the upcoming unitary councils – after elected members green-lighted the proposals last night (January 21).
A new community council for Far Cotton & Delapre will also be formed, as will – more controversially – a new parish council for Kingsthorpe. Plans to extend the boundaries of Duston Parish Council were rejected however.
The new town council for Northampton, which will offer a lower tier of government below the much larger West Northamptonshire unitary council when it launches in April 2021, is set to be the largest community-level council in England according to the Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils (CALC).
Danny Moody, chief executive of Northants CALC, which represents all the parish and town councils in Northamptonshire, said: “This is a great day for the people of Northampton. The new town council will give them a voice when the existing borough council is dissolved to make way for the unitary council. West Northamptonshire Council (the unitary council) will be able to concentrate on strategic matters such as adult social care and highways, and the town council can concentrate on what matters most to the local community of Northampton.”
The historic decision to form the new authorities was taken by councillors at The Guildhall last night, and follows a lengthy consultation with residents.
But the decision was not without controversy, as a lot of Kingsthorpe residents spoke out against the consultation for the new parish council there, saying they had not received letters.
Lib Dem leader Councillor Sally Beardsworth said: “I don’t understand the need to bulldoze this through. We agree on the town council and Far Cotton & Delapre, but take Kingsthorpe back to the community and then let them decide.”
A motion from Labour councillor Gareth Eales to defer a decision on Kingsthorpe, but approve the other councils, was then voted down.
Independent councillor Julie Davenport (Delapre & Briar Hill) said she would support the proposals for a community council in Far Cotton & Delapre, saying: “We want local people and local accountability.”
According to Northants CALC, which is assuming responsibility for setting up the new councils, the first election of councillors to the new Northampton town council will take place on May 7 later this year, with its inaugural meeting taking place shortly after.