England's 'largest' town council set for Northampton

One Angel Square, Northamptonshire County Council HQ
Image caption Northamptonshire County Council is to be scrapped in 2021 with new unitary authorities taking its place

England's largest town council is to be formed as part of a county's new political landscape.

Northampton Town Council was voted into existence on Monday, by Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils (NCALC).

It will be the largest community-level council in England, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

It will operate under two unitary councils approved last year to replace Northamptonshire County Council.

The county council voted to scrap itself in 2018 amid financial struggles.

Image copyright PwC
Image caption Eight councils in Northamptonshire will be scrapped and replaced by two unitary bodies in 2021

A new community council for Far Cotton & Delapre will also be formed, as will a new parish council for Kingsthorpe.

However, plans to extend the boundaries of Duston Parish Council were rejected.

The town council for Northampton will offer a lower tier of government below the much larger West Northamptonshire unitary council, when it launches in April 2021.

Danny Moody, chief executive of Northants CALC, which represents all the parish and town councils in Northamptonshire, said: "This is a great day for the people of Northampton.

"The new town council will give them a voice when the existing borough council is dissolved to make way for the unitary council.

"West Northamptonshire Council will be able to concentrate on strategic matters such as adult social care and highways, and the town council can concentrate on what matters most to the local community of Northampton."

The historic decision to form the new authorities was taken by councillors at The Guildhall after consultation with residents.

But the decision was not without controversy, as many Kingsthorpe residents spoke out against the consultation for the new parish council there, saying they had not received letters.

According to Northants CALC, which is assuming responsibility for setting up the new councils, the first election of councillors to the new town council will take place on May 7 later this year, with its inaugural meeting taking place shortly after.

Image caption Northamptonshire's two new unitary authorities will open for business on 1 April 2021

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