Northamptonshire councils to be merged

15 May 19

The government has approved plans to replace eight Northamptonshire councils with two unitaries.

Proposals from a commissioner report last year will come into effect in April 2021, with elections taking place in May 2020, the communities secretary has said.

The original proposals suggested establishing the new councils immediately after elections in 2020 but the government has now said ‘shadow authorities’ will be set up instead.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “The two new authorities of North and West Northamptonshire will usher in a new era for the county, transforming the way services are delivered so every resident can have confidence they will receive the high-quality public services they both expect and deserve.”

The eight councils to be abolished include: Daventry, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said that a children’s trust will be established to provide children’s social care across the county on behalf of the new councils.

Plans to centralise children’s social care come as a result of a commissioner report also published on Tuesday.

Children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The decision makes an important step for everyone living in Northamptonshire, and by creating a children’s trust to deliver children’s social care across the two new counties, we will be able to provide the continuity and stability that families deserve.”

Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Matt Golby, said: “The introduction of these new authorities and the children’s trust is a once in a generation opportunity to recast local government in Northamptonshire to offer residents and communities better, more efficient services and more transparent and accountable governance.”

Northamptonshire’s commissioner Brian Roberts told PF in March that the council “still has a long way to go”.

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