At the moment in Northamptonshire we have what is called a two-tier local authority system. This means we have an ‘upper tier’ council which covers the whole of the county and deals with things that have an obvious county-wide need such as highways, adult social care and children’s services looking after children in particular vulnerable children and those in care.
Below that are seven lower tier councils such as Kettering Borough and Corby Borough Council. These councils provide services that are generally seen as having a more local feel such as town centre renovation and the maintenance of local parks as well as things like street cleaning and bin collection.
In answer to the incompetence of the County Council and the financial crisis this has caused, the Government have "suggested" that all of these eight councils (i.e. the County Council and the seven district and borough councils') should be abolished and two brand new ‘unitary’ councils replace them.
One for the North of the county (Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and East Northants) and one for the West (Northampton, Daventry and south Northants). These new councils would provide all the services currently provided by the current two tier system for their particular area.
To that end the government have asked that all the councils responds to their suggestion by 31 August 20128 and all the current eight councils will be discussing this matter in a series of special individual council meetings during the next two weeks or so.
To help facilitate those discussions there has recently been a public consultation over the whole county and the results of which along with a draft proposal to send to the government along with some other supporting evidence has been published today. We've gathered links to these documents for you here:
For more background information you may also want to read: