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The Borough faces a two year period of great uncertainty. We will be subject to an imposed Local Government reorganisation with central government and the County Tory MPs calling the shots. This is what has happened so far:

1974     

The Conservative Government created a two tier system of Local Government and imposed a County Council for Northamptonshire. Prior to this Northampton was a County Borough (i.e. a Unitary Authority) and ran its own services including social care and schools. There was a fight back against this over the years, but it was not supported, even by County Labour Councillors

2017

January               

Motion calling for a Unitary Northampton taken to Borough Council by Labour and amended by the Tory administration was passed with cross party support.

February             

Inspector sent in to the County

March 15th         

Inspector Reports the County is bankrupt and guilty of financial mismanagement.

March 27th          

Secretary of State statement to abolish the county, reorganise Local government in Northamptonshire, send in commissioners for Governance and for Finance.

April                     

Letter signed by leaders of all the Council parties to Secretary of State calling for a Unitary Northampton.

May 3                 

Special Council Meeting called by all the political parties with a joint motion calling for an information and awareness campaign to engage all residents in support of a unitary Northampton.

May                      

Meeting with Civil Service. Districts and Boroughs were told the Government:-

Wants One Proposal for reorganisation

Will not agree to changed boundaries

Insists that reorganisation would be on the basis of no less than 300,000 head of population

Will not provide more money

Has ruled the County debt will be carried by the reconfigured authorities

All the Districts and Boroughs agreed one, joint proposal to government with two unitaries- West Northants and North Northants. PWC commissioned to write proposal. To be consulted on using focus groups by deadline date of end of August.

May 9th                

County Labour Leaders and PPCs meet Secretary of State for communities. Andrew Gwynne MP acknowledged Northampton’s position but commented he thought Government is unlikely to budge.

May 14th             

Tory administration argued against and voted against its own motion. Labour puts up a vigorous and well-argued case for Unitary Northampton. Vote was 18/22 against.

June 4th              

Tory administration to bring a paper to Council reversing Borough policy on Unitary for Northampton.The CLP has posted a petition. Please use the link here. https://www.change.org/p/fight-for-northampton-we- need-our –own-council

In the meantime the Sixfields saga rumbles on with no conclusion.  The budget for 2016/17 has not yet been signed off. Tory incompetence piled on Tory incompetence.                                                  

Unitary- where we are now

The Borough faces a two year period of great uncertainty. We will be subject to an imposed Local Government reorganisation with central government and the County Tory MPs calling the...

My speech to the Special Council meeting May 14th   

I went shopping on Saturday at Waitrose and while I was there I asked the manager how many people he would expect through door over a usual weekend. He reckoned around 2000 people would come into the shop during that time.

So this is the number of people you and I see usually when we shop. If half that number of people changed their vote to Labour we will no longer have two conservative MPs in Northampton at the next general election.

These MPs, together with the imploded Tory-run County Council which has devastated the services paid for by tens of thousands of tax payers, have let Northampton down. Bankrupt both financially and in many other ways, our MPs have failed to stand up for a Unitary Northampton which is the only fair solution of our crumbling local government. They have failed to defend a Northampton Unitary and have sought to protect their political heartland by standing back and allowing the Secretary of State for Local Government to make far reaching and life changing decisions affecting these tens of thousands of tax paying resident without proper consultation - so far.

So, Labour will challenge this and right now I am putting the Tories under notice.

Labour will show the residents of Northampton borough that their views are important and which, so far, have not been taken into account by Central Government; that their MPs do to appear to have challenged Central Government’s decisions. Labour will campaign to raise awareness about this democratic deficit. Labour will be out on the streets, door knocking, meeting voters at residents meetings, taking this lack of democracy to the electorate so that if and when there consultations in the coming months, voters will understand their choices and know what to do to bring about the changes they want to seen in the town we all love.

Labour for Northampton

My speech to the Special Council meeting May 14th    I went shopping on Saturday at Waitrose and while I was there I asked the manager how many people he would...

I am proud that Labour has championed a Unitary Northampton ever since 1974 and that we brought a motion to council in January 2017 proposing a Unitary Northampton as Borough policy.

The motion was strengthened by the administration and passed with cross party support.

The motion before us seeks to build on that and is asking for a number of actions to be urgently put in place. The need for urgency is because the government is intending to abolish the county, abolish the borough and create a new authority for West Northamptonshire. This proposal puts our wonderful historic and growing town in with South Northants and Daventry. What kind of a shelf life do you suppose this will have? One term? Two terms? It is unlikely to succeed. There is no geographical, cultural, social, economic or political reason for it.

The urgency is because the people of the town do not know what is being proposed.

 It is urgent because the people of the town have not been consulted and have not given a mandate.

It is urgent because we have 2 ½ MPS who have failed to fight for Northampton. Who have treated the county and councillors from their own party with contempt.  Who have arrogantly presumed to find a solution to issues with reorganisation without any consideration of what is in the best interests of Northampton.

These are the MPs that belong to a government that is starving the county of funding. That are presiding over a situation where we have growing child poverty, an acute crisis in adult social care, escalating crime figures and a growing sense in our communities of alienation from politics and civic life.

The prospect of a Unitary Northampton is an exciting one. It puts the people of the town, and their elected representatives in the driving seat. At last. No more paternalism from Big Brother county council. We have everything we need in this town to become a successful Unitary town. We have population growth bringing more jobs, more housing, more spending power. We have a wonderfully diverse community that can offer existing employers and incoming employers the skills, knowledge and expertise to trade in the global economy. We have rich and developing cultural industries which together with our cultural heritage will put us on map as a tourist destination. We are a university town, we have  a major  railway hub, good communications , and an enterprise zone.

Diluting our position by setting us within a rural context is not going to work for Northampton and isn’t wanted by South Northants or Daventry. They will be, how can I put this? - Reluctant bedfellows.

Our role as the Borough Council is stand up to government. To continue the proud dissenting tradition of the town, to fight for Northampton and its people.

Please support the motion calling for an awareness campaign so that our citizens understand all the issues, that seeks support from all sectors for a Unitary Northampton,  that invites the secretary of state and our MPs to engage with us.

Special Council Meeting- fighting for Northampton

I am proud that Labour has championed a Unitary Northampton ever since 1974 and that we brought a motion to council in January 2017 proposing a Unitary Northampton as Borough...

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