Following a ‘so called’ county-wide consultation exercise, a proposed submission has been drafted by all eight authorities in Northamptonshire. This will be discussed by councillors at meetings across the county, week commencing 27 August.
Northamptonshire County Council’s councillors will meet on Tuesday 28 August. Details of your borough/district council’s meeting will be on their own websites.
Consultation results and proposal
All eight authorities in Northamptonshire have been asked by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to submit a proposal that meets the following ridiculous criteria:
- A single county-wide unitary is explicitly excluded as an option (why?)
- Each new proposed authority must have a population substantially in excess of 300,000 (why?)
- The proposal must be based on existing council boundaries (why?)
In addition to the criteria set out by the Secretary of State, Government has stated:
- Only one proposal will be accepted, not a range of options (to give the councillors no choices)
- It must demonstrate clear potential for savings (not in the near future)
- It must command a good deal of local support (which it hasn’t)
- Due consideration should be given to recommendations in the Best Value Report
- Any solution should prioritise the Government’s wider housing and growth agenda (ie Northamptonshire must build even more houses)
- Extensive consultation must be carried out (which it really has not been)
Please note, if two or more councils decide to submit the proposal (ie not all have to agree) it will be sent to the government on 31 August, signed by those who have decided to do so. This simply looks like a fix, local and national government are not looking after the interests of the people of Northamptonshire; they are looking for a short term cheap fix (which the proposals certainly are not)