Residents’ association defends proposals to form new parish council for Kingsthorpe

The proposals were discussed at the Guildhall this week
The proposals were discussed at the Guildhall this week

A residents’ association has hit back at criticism from borough councillors over its plans to form a new parish council for Kingsthorpe.

The Whitehills & Spring Park Residents’ Association (WASPRA) has submitted plans to establish the new council as part of a Community Governance Review by the borough council, which is also looking at establishing a town council for Northampton.

But the plans for Kingsthorpe Parish seemed to be met with resistance from two senior councillors at the Northampton Borough Council meeting on Monday evening (June 3).

Liberal Democrat leader Sally Beardsworth said: “What they are proposing is for thousands of homes, it’s bigger than the town council in Towcester. It’s massive. We have not been consulted on this either.”

Councillor Jane Birch, the NBC Labour councillor for Trinity and county councillor for Kingsthorpe South, said: “Our town centre is suffering an identity crisis. This will only divide our communities. I’m appalled at the proposals for Kingsthorpe.”

But Sean Brady, co-chair of WASPRA, said: “We are disappointed that the discussion document was presented as a rigid proposal during the NBC meeting, and that we had neglected to consult a large proportion of Kingsthorpe over the matter. We were further disappointed that the councillors that spoke against the proposal had not made contact with us prior to the meeting to discuss.”

WASPRA says that it was due to consult with residents and ward councillors in the second phase of consultation, but says that feedback has been ‘largely positive’ so far’. The parish would be provided at a cost of 50p per week for residents.

Mr Brady added: “Our idea for a full Kingsthorpe parish is part of an ongoing consultation, and our main objective is, in fact, to see a full consultation with all Kingsthorpe residents, with the information presented objectively.

“So far our research shows that 84 per cent of our residents believe a parish would achieve more for the area than a town council, and 89 per cent believe that the parish should include all of Kingsthorpe. It is our aim during the second phase of the consultation, to engage with all willing local councillors, and open the discussion with all residents groups and stakeholders within the area.

“We strongly feel that a Kingsthorpe Parish would have the development and improvement of the area at the forefront, enriching a diverse community with great potential, without the shackles of political agendas or bureaucracy.”