Following the announcement that two brand new unitary councils will be established in Northamptonshire on 1 April 2021, the eight councils involved have agreed a way forward.
The transformation programme will see better-quality service delivery across the county, allowing time for creating much more than just two ‘safe and legal’ authorities.
In a joint comment, the council leaders of Corby Borough Council (Tom Beattie), Daventry District Council (Chris Millar), East Northamptonshire Council (Steven North), Kettering Borough Council (Russell Roberts), Northampton Borough Council (Jonathan Nunn), Northamptonshire County Council (Matt Golby), South Northamptonshire Council (Cllr Ian McCord) and Borough Council of Wellingborough (Martin Griffiths), said:
“Now that Vesting Day is later than originally anticipated, we’ve revisited our programme and built in transformational work that will ensure we can deliver better integrated services from day one, rather than after the creation of the new councils.
“Sustainability is key to the success of the two new unitary authorities and part of that is creating services that provide what residents need when they need it most and are flexible. We’re working with health, the voluntary sector and other key stakeholders to make it easier for residents to access the services they need and make sure the right people are working together to deliver that service.
“The programme will be delivered by a team made up of staff from all eight authorities as well as some external programme management support. A Chief Executive from each current authority will lead each of the projects that make up the programme, making it a plan that is owned and delivered by all Northamptonshire councils.”
Cllr Martin Griffiths added: “There are many benefits of establishing two unitary councils in Northamptonshire including repairing the reputation of our beautiful county, a county steeped in heritage and history and one that many thousands of our residents cherish and are extremely proud of.
“It will enable us to continue to provide high-quality and value for money services for our residents utilising modern technologies and practices, while resolving the confusion that some residents find in ascertaining which authority is responsible for dealing with issues and enquiries.
“It also gives us the opportunity to continue to improve adult social care and child protection, ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our society are provided help and support when and wherever it is needed.
“The two new councils will tackle the changing face of our town centres and high streets, and to continue to promote high-quality growth in housing, businesses, and the creation of jobs and a strong economy.
“I am confident that in North Northamptonshire, with our excellent staff and existing well established working relationship between Wellingborough, Corby Kettering and East Northamptonshire, we can create something really special for the people we represent in the months and years ahead.”
Our vision for the new unitaries is set out in a prospectus for change, which can be found at www.wellingborough.gov.uk/prospectusforchange