Author: Mick Scrimshaw

Report highlights the worsening financial problems of Northamptonshire County Council

An emergency report has gone to Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet meeting setting out their bleak financial position. The report highlights the pressures on demand that the council is currently facing which is something the Labour opposition raised as part of the budget process earlier this year. It should hardly come as a surprise It goes on to talk about focusing on statutory services which suggests cuts to non-statutory services. This is deeply worrying as it means that the council could be thinking of withdrawing from any and every service they are not legally obliged to deliver. We already know...

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Council Tax Support – Kettering still the highest charging council in the country

Once again Kettering Borough Council have been proven to be by far the highest charging council in the country for their disabled and vulnerable residents. Council Tax Support is the amount of help vulnerable residents (the disabled and those on benefits) get towards paying their Council Tax bills. Up until a few years a ago a government grant meant that councils could offer up to 100% discount, but now they are asked to decide for themselves how much they charge which has led to some big discrepancies up and down the country. Of the 326 council in England 62...

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New Policing Models

Kettering’s Town Forum was given a briefing by the local Police Inspector this week about how policing will change in Kettering. These changes are being forced on the police primarily by budget cuts, but also from a need to adapt to different forms of criminality and policing techniques. There will be a reduction in officers on the beat, but the police hope that there will not be a reduction in their capabilities. She started by explaining how much policing had changed during the last twenty years she had been in the job and how these changes were likely to...

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Public service consultation for the future of East Midlands rail franchise

There is currently a public consultation over the future of the East Midlands rail franchise which could have serious ramifications for Kettering and Wellingborough. I understand that there are proposals that the train service between London and Kettering may be cut, and that there are no proposals to cut fares despite many regular users currently being unhappy with the service. A local commuter has contacted me claiming the idea is designed so that more people can get a seat as a lot of people stand now at peak times, and by classing the Sheffield, Derby, and Nottingham routes as...

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Kettering nursing home to close

According to press reports a Kettering Nursing home is about to close because it’s not financially viable to run. I met with the manager a year or so ago as they had written to me with their concerns about the County Council budget. Their complaint was that the rates the County Council paid for Council clients was far too low, and not enough to cover the actual cost. They are right, and Northamptonshire County Council pays one of the lowest rates in the whole country. I was told that this was making the running of care homes unviable and...

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