Residents, businesses and other stakeholders in Northamptonshire are invited to have their say on a re-structure of local government in the county.
The invitation follows a Best Value Report on Northamptonshire County Council (NCC), which concluded that NCC’s financial, cultural and structural problems could not be solved in isolation and recommended that plans be developed for two unitary authorities.
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 criteria:
- A single county-wide unitary is explicitly excluded as an option
- Each new proposed authority must have a population substantially in excess of 300,000
- The proposal must be based on existing council boundaries
Formal consultation on the draft proposal starts on 13 June and runs for six weeks until 24 July, 2018. It will include an open questionnaire available online; paper copies will also be available (locations for this will be confirmed nearer the time) a representative telephone survey, focus groups with residents in each area as well as events with other stakeholders. All details will be published on each council’s website and in the local press.
Other consultations by the local media and by individual councils may take place at the same time so it’s really important that you respond to the official Local Government Reform Northamptonshire consultation being run by all eight Northamptonshire councils for your comments on the proposal to be considered.
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
- It must demonstrate clear potential for savings
- It must command a good deal of local support
- Due consideration should be given to recommendations in the Best Value Report
- Any solution should prioritise the Government’s wider housing and growth agenda
- Extensive consultation must be carried out