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NCC Labour Group Statement

The issuing of a section 114 notice clearly shows that the current conservative administration is not fit to govern this County of ours. We have a failed Conservative administration and a Government that does not seem to care about the effect their decisions are having on our communities. 70% of our financial problems are down to the Government austerity cuts, but the NCC Cabinet have to take responsibility for the other 30% which is down to mismanagement and costly decisions.
This has not happened over night- the Labour Group has been warning about our poor financial state for the last 5 years and moved a vote of no confidence in the cabinet only 3 months ago. Today we are told that this current year’s budget is looking at an overspend of £21.1 million.
We have yet to see the results of the Inspectors report, but it is clear that we cannot go on as we are. The Cabinet should resign and let those with the ability take over. In doing so the primary task should be to make sure we are able to carry out our statutory and safeguarding responsibilities towards children and vulnerable adults and then to put together a sustainable financial plan to bring about financial stability for our County.
In contrast to the County, Labour has shown that we can work in partnership on a win win basis and Corby Borough Council is an excellent example of this, building resilience and serving its community.
Councillor Bob Scott
NCC Labour Group Leader

From the County Group of Labour Councillors

NCC Labour Group Statement The issuing of a section 114 notice clearly shows that the current conservative administration is not fit to govern this County of ours. We have a...

What we did well in 2017 and what we need to do better

I began thinking about my annual state of Northampton address thinking I wouldn’t be able to find much to be positive about. After all,  the Labour groups experience over the year has been one of unrelenting case-loads.  Evictions,  homelessness, overcrowding, debt, domestic violence, crime, fly-tipping and littering and parking, antisocial behaviour. Violent crime is up. Domestic violence - up. Figures for those experiencing loneliness – up! Human trafficking - up.

We know the figures for children living in poverty have gone from 10,000 in 2013 to 15,000 now. We know that for the first time in a decade, mortality rates are increasing; meaning life expectancy is falling for the most disadvantaged. 

The growth in HIMOs has unbalanced our housing market taking family homes out of supply and creating unprecedented churn in our communities.

Our retail offer is in decline with more shops closing and our market yet to be revived.

 As Labour Councillors we know more and more working households and families with children are using foodbanks.

The near collapse of the County is going to impact on our residents. And we will have to pick up the pieces

Life can be pretty grim out there.

But we have indeed got a good news story to tell as well. The Errol Flynn second cinema has been a resounding success- adding to our cultural offer. The Night Shelter with its army of volunteers has been a success. As well as meeting a need this strategy is building social capital.  

Last year we continued to offer town wide events that create a sense of place. Events in the Guildhall have been thrilling. Whether it’s the job fair, or weddings or Xmas parties. Our staff do the most amazing job, are beginning to make a profit, and we applaud them.

Plans for Delapre Abbey, the Museum, the Vulcan works have often been frustrating but are there and going ahead. The move of the University to the Waterside looks as if it is going to complete in time.  One Angel Square has brought more workers into town. We have the wonderful new St Crispin’s community Centre. The Enterprise Zone and our work with SEMLEP  is contributing to growth.

I want to applaud NPH. Their strategy for working intensively to build and renovate on a patch by patch basis is having huge benefits.  As well as leaving the housing offer better than it was before, they are leaving the outside environment better than before and building social capital in neighbourhoods.  That cannot be underestimated.

I want to also applaud our wardens and housing officers. These are visible representatives of the Borough and the work they do has a huge impact.

So in 2018 what do we need to be doing?

People and Place

Can I say, for me, our number one priority is staffing?  We have a problem with unfilled vacancies, staff retention and too many interim staff.   We need to put in place Senior and Permanent members of staff with the skills we need. And who will deliver value for money.

We welcome the move back from 40 to 37 hours a week for staff.

We need staff who understand partnership working, how to build social capital, who will address our housing shortages, the imbalances in the housing market, enforcement and protections for our neighbourhoods.

We need a regeneration plan for the Eastern district.

We need to be more proactive around all those regeneration sites that are lying fallow across the town- Greyfriars, the Chron and Echo site, St Edmund's hospital. There are 9 altogether. We know where they are.

We need to urgently address the issue of air pollution. The latest figures produced by the Chronicle and Echo are horrific. Some sites-like the Drapery - are showing twice permitted levels.

We need to look at our infrastructure needs, - roads, homes, transport.  We need more new schools, a new hospital.  We need to fight for Unitary status.

We need creative solutions to regenerating the town centre and increasing our cultural offer.

We need to recognise the importance of creating a sense of place. Guildhall events, town wide events help us do that.

We need to develop a forward looking, anti –poverty, growth strategy and we need to get our town clean, safe and green.

 

People and Place

What we did well in 2017 and what we need to do better I began thinking about my annual state of Northampton address thinking I wouldn’t be able to find...

Labour Motion on Resourcing Private Sector Housing

I welcome cross party support for this motion and am pleased to accept the administrations amendments to the motion.

It shows we are on the same page with this issue and that can only be good for our residents.

We know we must understand the housing market.

We have to understand what the housing need is.

We need to be able to intervene.

In order to intervene in a way that is helpful to our residents we need more enforcement.

Some developers and some landlords only see the opportunity to make money out of our housing crisis. This is not good enough.

We need developers and Landlords who also have an ethical framework and who want to contribute to the well- being of our town.

We have seen some of those Landlords and we applaud their efforts.

Absent landlords, rogue landlords, who provide an inferior service must be challenged.

Human trafficking must be identified and stopped.

We know we have many more HIMOs in the town than are registered.  They blight our communities. We need to  put that  right.

The private sector team do an amazing job.

They need our support.

They  need more resources.

 Please let’s do this by passing this motion.

Private Sector Housing

Labour Motion on Resourcing Private Sector Housing I welcome cross party support for this motion and am pleased to accept the administrations amendments to the motion. It shows we are...

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