New Town Council for Northampton
Tonight (Monday 7TH December) saw the inaugural meeting of the Northampton Town Council, using existing ward councillors until the Elections in May 2021. This new body is effectively a large Parish council and has been brought into being to represent the residents of Northampton who are in unparished areas with the demise of Northampton Borough Council as it merges into the new West Northants Unitary Authority.
Cllr Jane Birch (Labour Trinity) as the first leader and Cllr Rufia Ashraf (Labour St James) as the first chair of the Town Council.
Cllr Jane Birch says “The formation of a Town Council marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Northampton.
This is not where we would have wanted to be; Labour argued long and hard for a Unitary Northampton. Central government ordered the abolition of all the Boroughs and Districts along with the County Council, and the formation of the North and West Northants Unitary authorities.
With the formation of a Town Council for Northampton we will not only preserve the heritage and history of our town, but our residents will have a powerful voice to speak for them in the new Unitary Authority.
The Town Council will represent the interests of the whole community, understanding the needs of all the different groups. We will consult residents, businesses and voluntary organisations and respond to local views to identify what needs improving and what is worth protecting. A Town Council can act at speed when local councillors are embedded in their communities and well informed about diverse local views.
Northampton Town Council will be the largest in the country, our challenge is to make it the best and increase people’s sense of purpose, belonging and pride in our town.
Cllr Rufia Ashraf says, “It is a historic moment for Northampton, and I look forward to chairing the very first Town Council.”
Cllr Danielle Stone (Labour Castle) Says "I am delighted Labour will be the ruling group for the shadow Town Council and hopefully after the elections in May. We have shown how ambitious we are for our town and our ability to work with local organisations and residents to improve our environments and services. I am delighted that Cllr. Birch is our leader. She is well known in the town and comes with a wealth of experience of developing transformational projects. Cllr Ashraf is also well known for her spirited campaigning and her inclusive approach. The town will thrive under their stewardship."