As a long serving councillor I am a passionate supporter of unitary status for Northampton.
The current two tier set up is no longer fit for purpose. For instance, the Borough Council does waste collection but the County Council is responsible for waste disposal. The Borough Council does licensing but the County Council does trading standards. The Borough Council does planning but the County Council does development control.
A unitary council is a far superior model of local government than what we have at present. Having all services under one roof and a single chain of command makes sense. It allows for services to be truly “joined up”. Have a unitary council will save tax payers money but it will also be a lot more effective. At the Guildhall on last Monday evening it was pleasing to see all political groups giving their unanimous support for a unitary council in Northampton.
The other issue is the current boundaries of the town. They need tidying up. Since the boundaries were last drawn up in the early 1970s things have undoubtedly changed. The borough boundary for Northampton needs to be expanded to take up developments like Buckton Fields, Grange Park and St. Georges Fields on Newport Pagnell Road. There is much planned future housing development immediately on our doorstep (known as Sustainable Urban Extensions) and this must be incorporate within the Borough.
Lastly, we are opposed to having a directly elected Mayor for Northampton. We want to keep the Cabinet and Scrutiny system.
Cllr Arthur McCutcheon is a Labour Councillor on Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council and former Mayor.