Not a good start: Conservatives on Kettering Town Council throw out all motions at last week’s Council meeting.
Opposition councillors were disappointed after last week’s Council meeting when none of the five motions proposed by the Green Party and the Labour Party were passed - four voted down by the Conservative ruling group, and the fifth was amended so many times that it became impossible to take it forward. No motions were put forward by the ruling group.
Most of the motions were rejected because the Conservatives felt they were not within the remit of the Town Council, but needed action by North Northamptonshire Council.
It was pointed out by both Labour and Green councillors, and a number of public speakers, that the Town Council should stand up for “our town” and champion local issues. Decisions should not be left entirely to North Northamptonshire councillors, many of whom will not come from Kettering, but that it was essential for them to be influenced by what the town council had to say.
The local issues included tackling local food poverty by appointing a Food Champion and forming a food action plan; examining the idea of play streets to make it safer for kids to play in the streets; forming a working party locally to prepare for the review of the Public Spaces Protection Order in order to assist North Northamptonshire councillors when they are due to make a decision next year; improving the Council’s communication through social media; and leading the way by declaring an ecological emergency to protect our local wildlife.
Opposition councillors were disappointed at what they said was the refusal of the Conservatives to recognise that the Town Council’s voice was heard, and its failure to stand up for local people.
Councillor Keli Watts (Labour, William Knibb) was dismayed at the “outright dismissal” by the Conservatives of “five really good ideas to show our residents that this new body is excited, ambitious, and has the resident squarely at the centre of its thinking.”
Councillor Emily Fedorowycz (Green, All Saints) added: “It’s a shame that a lot of good ideas were shot down at this meeting, nearly all which would not have cost the council anything. I hope going forward the leading party will be more open to collaborative working as there are a lot of good things we can do together, however not if every motion from another party is voted down.”