Vote against unitary plans would have 'cast South Northamptonshire to the sidelines'

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The leader of South Northamptonshire Council felt that the authority had no choice but to back plans to form two new unitary authorities - and voted so with a 'heavy heart'.

Conservative leader of the council Ian McCord felt that to vote against the proposals would cast South Northamptonshire Council aside.

He said: "The choice facing us was both stark and clear cut.

"We either vote to go along with the almost inevitable conclusion of two new unitaries, in so doing stand a good chance of positively influencing the future services our residents receive, or else we vote to shout angrily at the tide demanding that it stops coming in.

"My heart longs to protest loudly and proudly at the iniquity of this appalling situation; to vent my fury at the guilty men and women elsewhere who have led us down this appalling path; to man the barricades in defence of our council and its services and defend our reserves and lack of debt, of which we are so rightly proud.

"But, what would that achieve?"

The submission, which will see all eight current councils dissolved to make way for the two new unitary authorities, has now been submitted to government. The local councils expect a response from Whitehall by autumn.

Councillor McCord continued: "The interests of our residents will be better served by us taking our seat around the table. By being able to make the best of this situation as the huge amount of work begins to plan delivery of vital public services that will shape our area for generations to come.

"A vote against, would, in my view, have cast us out to the sidelines, and in so doing deny our communities the voice that they, need and deserve. A voice they elected us to put on their behalf.

"But despite my fury and at times gloomy mood, I do still have a sense of hope and optimism that mustn’t be entirely lost."