A Town Council for Northampton?

Consultation on a Northampton Town Council

With the introduction of a West Northamptonshire Unitary, Northampton Borough Council is about to consult on options about Northampton in respect of a town council and /or increasing parishes.

The Labour group is very concerned about a number of issues.

First, the wish of the people in Northampton, the wish of South Northants and Daventry is for a Unitary Northampton. However, these wishes have been ignored by the Borough and the Tory Government with the proposal for a West Northamptonshire Authority being pushed through.

It is believed that the Tory councillors are encouraging residents associations and communities to set up new local Parish Councils. Our concerns are:

· This will lead to further fragmentation of the identity of Northampton and Northamptonians

· It will dilute the voice of Northampton in the new West Northamptonshire Authority

· The cost to a local tax payers will be increased. Parishes each need staff and elections, exactly the opposite of the reasoning of moving to the larger Unitary Authorities.

· The civic history and traditions of Northampton, including the Mayoralty, need to be preserved.

Of the three options being presented for consultation the Labour Group favours option A. A town council for the whole of the Borough excluding existing Parish councils, but with an option for the existing parishes to become part of the town council if they choose.

We favour this option because:

· This will give the town of Northampton a strong and unified voice within the new unitary authority

· This provides the most cost effective solution, spreading the cost of administration over the whole town. 1 lot of staff, 1 lot of premises, 1 lots of elections, properly funded with clear roles, responsibilities and assets.

· Protects the mayoralty and heritage of the town

· A town council can provide a greater range of services such as, community transport, museums, events and tourism.

There should be an option 4. A town council to include the whole of the town (disbanding current parishes if that is what local people wish).

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