Local Government Reorganisation

Local Government Reorganisation

Main Points of Relevance for Cold Higham Parishioners

12 Jun 20

Background

  • What Is Happening? Northants County Council and South Northants Council (SNC) will disappear.
  • What takes their place? A new, so called 'unitary' council, called West Northants Council.
  • Will West Northants Council cover other areas as well? Yes. The new unitary will cover the areas presently covered by Northampton Borough and Daventry District councils, as well as SNC.
  • When? The new council will start providing services to residents and businesses on 1 April 2021, and the old councils will then disappear.
  • How will this affect us? Responsibility for all services above parish level is currently split between county and district. In future there will only be West Northants who will be responsible for everything.
  • Will Cold Higham Parish Council (CHPC) be affected? Not directly. Parish councils will remain as the lowest tier of local government.

Elections

  • How will the members of West Northants be found? Members will be elected, as with any other council. The first elections were due to be held in May 2020, but these had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • When will the elections be held? The first elections to West Northants Council will be held on 6 May 2021.
  • How many councillors will there be? 93.

Interim Arrangements

  • What is happening now? A Shadow West Northants Council has been set up to prepare for the new regime. This consists of 134 councillors from the current county, district and borough councils, since new councillors could not be elected in May 2020 as planned.
  • When will this shadow council meet? The Shadow Council met 'virtually' for the first time on 2 June 2020, under the leadership of Cllr Ian McCord, the current leader of South Northants Council.
  • What did this meeting do? It agreed the new constitution, set up executives and appointed interim senior officers. A recording of this meeting can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl6rn9nDJ0s .
  • In the meantime? Business continues as 'normal' (Coronavirus permitting), with Northants County Council and SNC operating until April 2021. Councillors will be 'double-hatted' until these councils disappear.

In Future

  • What will happen to The Forum in Towcester? No decision has yet been taken about which buildings within the new council area will be used for what.
  • What will happen to council tax under the new regime? It is believed that there will be harmonisation of council tax across the new region.
  • Will CHPC responsibilities change? It is not envisaged that the parish council will assume more responsibilities at this stage, but this situation will be kept under review.
  • Where can I get more information? There is a web site for West Northants Shadow Council at https://www.futurenorthantswest.org