Kettering Council’s Leading Councillors Take a Back Seat

By Mick Scrimshaw on July 5, 2019

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Once again Kettering Council’s ruling Executive Committee has cancelled their monthly meeting with no reason given.

This is the meeting of the councillors in charge who are supposed to take the decisions that affect the running of the council, and once again they don’t feel that they have anything to do; that the council is running smoothly and there are no issues that need their attention.

One issue that arguably needs their attention is the growing homelessness in Kettering! The number of families in council emergency temporary accommodation has now reached record breaking levels and the council's own Scrutiny Committee meeting were so concerned when they met recently they agreed to pass on their concerns directly to the Executive Committee, something that very rarely happens (despite it being a primary role of scrutiny). Those concerns, and the Executive's discussion of them, have now been pushed back at least a month, but it also means the council’s leadership will not be publically discussing any other issue. Not the state of the town centre, nor proposals around unitary. Nor will there be any reports on the council’s financial position or an update on the new arrangements for bin collections or any preparations or decisions on any future plans they have.

These meetings, which are open to the public and the press, are often the only way people, and indeed other councillors, have to find out what’s actually happening at the council, and I simply can’t  believe that Kettering Borough Council is so well run that leading councillors feel it appropriate to  sit back and just let things happen. I’ve criticised the council’s elected leadership before for not taking a more pro-active approach and being involved in decision making, and this seems to be just another example of that.

Mick Scrimshaw is the Leader of the Labour Group at Kettering Borough Council, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance at Northamptonshire County Council. He has a public record of standing up for Kettering as a County Councillor for the Northall division in Kettering, Northants and since May 2015, a Borough Councillor for the William Knibb ward. He is a keen cyclist and also runs a family business with his wife.

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