Seven Northamptonshire councils vote to scrap themselves

Corby Cube Image copyright AFP
Image caption Corby Borough Council was the only one to vote against scrapping itself

A plan to scrap Northamptonshire's eight councils has been backed by all but one of them.

The proposal to replace them with two unitary authorities from 2020 is to be sent to ministers on Friday and is expected to be approved.

Labour-run Corby Borough Council voted against it last night, while the seven Conservative-run authorities backed it.

A government inspector recommended the move in light of Northamptonshire County Council's financial crisis.

Max Caller, who led the government investigation, said one unitary authority would provide services in Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire while the other would oversee Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Currently, some services are provided by the county council and others by the district councils.

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Image caption All council services in Northamptonshire are expected to be run by just two authorities from 2020

The proposal only needed the backing of two authorities to be sent to the government.

Councillors at cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council voted on Tuesday, followed by those at the county's seven district councils.

Leader of Corby Borough Council, Tom Beattie, said: "From holding our own consultation it was clear that a unitary authority was not an option that the people of Corby nor the borough council willingly wanted to be part of.

"It is now vital that Corby contributes to how these new authorities will form and that we ensure we get the best services, outcome and future for the people of our borough."

Conservative leader of the South Northamptonshire Council, Ian McCord, said: "We either vote to go along with the almost inevitable conclusion of two new unitaries, in so doing stand a good chance of positively influencing the future services our residents receive, or else, we vote to shout angrily at the tide demanding that it stops coming in."

But independent councillor Steven Hollowell said: "If the county council had been a unitary authority in the first place it would not have prevented this mess."

The plan follows two notices banning all new spending at the county council amid a £70m shortfall.

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