Corby Borough Council wants unitary date pushed back

Corby Cube Image copyright AFP
Image caption Labour-run Corby Borough Council was the only Northamptonshire council to vote against scrapping itself

The only council to vote against two new unitary authorities for Northamptonshire has asked for the proposed creation date to be put back.

Seven of the county's eight councils voted in favour of the plans, which were prompted by Northamptonshire County Council's financial crisis.

Labour-run Corby Borough Council voted against and its leader Tom Beattie said 2020 was too early.

He said an extension was needed "to achieve a successful reorganisation".

Max Caller, who led a government investigation into the county council, said one unitary authority should provide all local services in the existing districts of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire while the other would take over all services in Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Corby is the only council not controlled by the Conservatives and its councillors will vote on their response to the government's current consultation at the full council meeting on 16 January, the Local Democracy Reporter Service said.

It will also decide whether to set up a Corby Town Council, which would have the same powers as a parish council.

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

In a statement, Mr Beattie said the council would "continue to work with the other Northamptonshire local authorities to ensure our residents get the best possible outcome and services they deserve".

He said: "We have always been clear that we do not support the unitary proposals. We believe there are benefits from current and future joint working arrangements that can be achieved without unitarisation.

"That being said, if this is what is decided by the Secretary of State... we do believe that in order to achieve a successful reorganisation of this scale that the proposed vesting day of 1 April 2020, is extended and this is proposed within our recommended response and proposed 'Evolutionary Model'."

The council want the creation of the unitary authorities to be extended until 2023, and see a phased transition of services.

Meanwhile, the Conservative-controlled county council, which has an overall budget of about £441m, has said its estimated overspend for the year has been reduced from £30m to £11m.

Matt Golby, county council leader, said: "Clearly we are not out of the woods yet and we simply cannot in any way become complacent as there is still a lot of work to be completed.

"But what is clear is that we are now firmly on the right path."

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