Published 20th August 2018
Plans for a "radical" shake-up of local government at Northamptonshire County Council have been revealed in a new government report. Under the proposed restructure, revealed earlier in the year, eight existing authorities would be replaced by two new councils. The unitary bid was put out to public consultation, which found there was "widespread public support" for the overhaul, although support varied for the two-unitary proposal, which was approved of in the north but opposed in the west. The report also noted that, “Whilst local government reorganisation can achieve a level of cost savings… it potentially risks only redistributing the existing financial instability across two new organisations.” Cllr Ian McCord, leader of South Northamptonshire Council, said while he had "a very heavy heart and a lot of regret", the proposal was "very pragmatic and sensible," while Corby BC leader Cllr Tom Beattie said a situation not "of our making" left councillors "forced into a position of coming up with a solution that means abolishing our own councils."
The county council’s draft proposal to be considered at an extraordinary meeting later this month says, “It is likely that new town and parish councils will be created in areas that are not already parished, and the extent to which powers are devolved will also need to be considered. A balance will need to be struck between local decision-making and the overall efficiency, effectiveness and economy of service delivery, taking into account the varying levels of capacity, capability and enthusiasm of town and parish councils to take on additional responsibilities.” The new councils are likely to include Northampton, Kettering, Wellingborough and Corby which will be among the largest local councils in the country.
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