Northamptonshire’s eight local authorities jointly thank all the people who have taken part in the recent consultation on local government reform in the county.
The information gathered from the questionnaires, telephone surveys and workshops held across the county is now being independently analysed ready for publication at the end of August. The results will help inform a final proposal that will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The Government’s invitation to submit a proposal follows a Best Value Inspection of Northamptonshire County Council, which concluded that its financial, cultural and governance problems could not be solved in isolation and recommended that plans be developed for two unitary authorities.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has asked that the eight authorities in Northamptonshire submit a proposal that meets the following criteria:
- A single county-wide unitary is explicitly excluded as an option
- Each new proposed authority must have a population substantially in excess of 300,000
- The proposal must be based on existing council boundaries.
In addition to the criteria set out by the Secretary of State, Government has stated:
- Only one proposal will be accepted, not a range of options
- It must demonstrate clear potential for savings
- It must command a good deal of local support
- Due consideration should be given to recommendations in the Best Value Report
- Any solution should prioritise the Government’s wider housing and growth agenda
- Extensive consultation must be carried out