Daventry District Council

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Dangerous bridge repairs boosted by council after ownership confusion

James Averill

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daventry District Council is to contribute £200,000 towards the strengthening of a dangerous bridge to take 44-tonne vehicles after confusion about who was responsible.

The Hellidon Road Bridge, built in the 1890s over a now disused rail line in Charwelton, has been shut since June when it was discovered it was "unsafe".

Hellidon Road Bridge

The bridge is technically owned by Aero Research Partners who were willing to pay £150,000 for the strengthening along with the Historic Railways Estate - part of Highways England - who pledged £200,000, but the Department for Transport stopped this latter contribution and the district council stepped in.

Councillor David James said the closure had caused considerable inconvenience to residents, visitors to the area and businesses.

The Conservative-run council voted the £200,000 through despite criticism from Labour members who said it was an inappropriate use of local public finances.

Northamptonshire: Further backing for unitary proposals

Northampton Borough Council is the latest local authority in the county to vote to back proposals to create two new unitary authorities in Northamptonshire in 2020.

The scheme - backed by 22 councillors, with 17 voting against - will effectively end the existence of the council and six other district councils across the country, as well as the cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council.

Northampton Guildhall, home of Northampton Borough Council

The result of Wednesday's meeting means Northampton joined the county council, Wellingborough, East Northamptonshire and Kettering in backing the reorganisation, with three remaining district councils (Corby, Daventry and South Northamptonshire) to vote on it on Thursday.

It also means the current two-tier system of government, which has been in place since 1974, is almost certain to be replaced by the one-tier unitary authorities, which would provide all services under one roof.

The plans will now go before James Brokenshire, the minister responsible for local government.

BreakingConservatives hold Daventry

The Conservatives have retained control of Daventry District Council, despite Labour gaining two seats previously held by UKIP.

In the new council, the Tories have 30 seats, Labour has five and the Lib Dems have one.

Daventry District Council count