VIDEO: County council leader assured new unitary authorities 'won't fail from day one'
Northamptonshire County Council leader Matt Golby has had 'assurances' from the Government that two new unitary authorities would not be set up to 'fail from day one'.
The cash-strapped county council historically decided to vote today to end its own existence in favour of backing a proposal to create two new unitary authorities.
North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire would replace the county council and the seven district and borough councils across the area in 2020.
Though the plans are far from without their risks, Councillor Golby says he has had regular discussions with government officials about the proposals - which, legally, only need the backing of one council to be considered by Westminster.
He said: "There’s still a lot of work to do and we need to work with government and we need to work together and make sure that these two new unitary authorities are viable.
"A big part of the change over the last six months is working with government rather than being critical of them. I have had some assurances that these two new unitary authorities won’t be set up to fail from day one. I don’t think they’re getting rid of us because of reputational problems."
This afternoon at county hall, the councillors voted to back the 'Northamptonshire Local Government Reform Proposal'. All seven of the district and borough councils will follow suit this week, starting with the Borough Council of Wellingborough this evening (Tuesday August 28).
Councillor Golby added: "We want everyone to support these proposals. Everyone was given the opportunity to say what they wanted. I have got a feeling that the majority of the other councils will back this."
Corby and South Northamptonshire have already registered disappointment at the proposals, but may still reluctantly vote for them with seemingly little alternative.