Labour have announced that it will be supporting the campaign for three unitary authorities in Northamptonshire.
Labour’s Communities team have stated that instead of accepting the Government’s two unitary councils for North Northants and West Northants, Labour will instead argue for three authorities, one being a Northampton Unitary Council.
A review conducted by Deloitte of the possible options for reorganisation scored the three unitary option highest particularly in this model’s ability to address key service challenges, opportunities or real transformation and locally accountable leadership – with Deloitte recommending that both the 3 unitary and 2 unitary model continue to be considered as the situation in the County Council develops.
Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
“Local Government should reflect local geography and population, which is why we think Northampton, a huge historic town, should have its own unitary council.”
“Despite one of the Government’s own councils effectively declaring themselves bankrupt, we have yet to see them recognise the appalling consequences of their austerity programme for people up and down the country – instead they are dismantling local democracy.”
Cllr Gareth Eales, Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South, said:
“The people want our town ran in Northampton by Northampton, so I am delighted the national Labour Party are campaigning for the Government to deliver a Northampton Unitary Council. This is the only option that will preserve Northampton’s heritage and deliver a democratic and sustainable future.”
Sally Keeble, Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North, said:
“Northampton needs to have its own Council. We’re a big, complex urban area and we must be able to decide our own future and plan our services to meet our needs. Northampton people said in the consultation that they wanted their own council. Labour is supporting the people’s choice.”
Cllr Danielle Stone, Leader of the Labour Group said:
“The Tories propose to spend several millions of pounds on this restructure which has absolutely no guarantees of success, as the new council will still be saddled with the same debt and the most vulnerable will still be unsafe. We need properly funded local government and a structure that reflects the population.”