Labour have announced that it will be supporting the campaign for three unitary authorities in Northamptonshire should they win the next General Election.
The Government was expected to table their Structural Change Order ahead of Parliament dissolving, but opted not to in the face of confirmed Labour opposition. Labour’s Communities team have stated that instead of adopting the current Government’s two unitary councils for North Northants and West Northants, Labour will instead pursue 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. So I can confirm the next Labour Government shall grant Northampton unitary status, under a three council plan for Northamptonshire.”
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 policy when taking Government is to deliver a Northampton Unitary Council. This is the only option that will preserve Northampton’s heritage and deliver a democratic and sustainable future. So the choice for the people of Northampton is a straight one, if you want; proper funding for local services, one council responsible for all services and Northampton to be in control of its own destiny, Vote Labour, because we are the only party offering you this policy.”