Northampton

Northampton Borough Council unitary authority bid defeated

Northampton will continue to have a borough and county council after an application for a unitary authority to be set up was defeated.

Labour borough councillors had proposed putting the two councils' responsibilities under one roof, saying it would help to move the town forward.

However the Conservative-led borough council overruled the application on Monday night.

Leader David Mackintosh said the change would be a "huge distraction".

Labour baffled

He said it would also cost a lot of money, adding: "The reason why I think it would be a distraction is because we have a number of projects on the go."

Labour councillors said they were baffled by the Conservative administration's attitude, saying a unitary authority would bring a range of benefits.

Councillor Les Marriott said: "We have two authorities that govern aspects of Northampton and I think that one of the things we need to do is make sure it is brought under one roof, rather than people wondering who is running what.

"Abingdon Street is a classic example where the county council has responsibility for roads and pathways, yet the borough council has responsibility for the street furniture.

"To do anything with Abingdon Street you need the permission of both authorities to do it."

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