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Latest News

Cogenhoe & Whiston Parish Council announced as Star Council Awards finalist

Cogenhoe & Whiston Parish Council announced as Star Council Awards finalist

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Star Council Awards are the only awards in England to recognise the achievements of local council sector.

The awards celebrate the positive impact of local (parish and town) councils, county associations, councillors and clerks.

The judging panel met on 14 September 2018 to choose this year's finalists to make their decision on who will be crowned the local council sector's community champions of 2018. More »

This year, the Council of the Year award will be decided by a public vote and Cogenhoe & Whiston Parish Council was chosen as one of three finalists for setting up the Village Hopper bus service.

Voting is simple and quick on the NALC website where you can also read more about the nominees. » Less

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:42 by Jeremy Cunnington

Annual update on voter registration underway

Those expecting to be able to vote in planned or unplanned elections are being urged to respond to forms being sent to households in South Northamptonshire.

Every year the annual Electoral Canvass starts with a Household Enquiry Form (HEF). This is to confirm which people in the household are eligible to vote. All eligible voters must respond to this form and they can do so quickly and easily online.Yvonne Rees, Electoral Registration Officer for South Northamptonshire, said: "The world around us is rapidly changing and for most people the only way to make a difference to the way it changes is at the ballot box."Legislation dictates some measures I must take to ensure everyone who is eligible to vote is registered, but people will notice some differences this year intended to make the process more efficient."For example legislation requires the Electoral Registration Officers to send voter registration forms with prepaid envelopes so it doesn't cost anyone to register."However prepaid envelopes only cost money if they are used and voters are being urged to recycle the envelope and register online."And when we send out canvassers to knock on the doors of those who have not responded, they will be equipped with tablet computers rather than having to process paper forms."If you do not reply we have to send reminders which cost a significant amount of tax payer's money."It is important to note that completion of the HEF does not mean someone is registered to vote.Anyone who has moved, turned 18, married or changed their name for any other reason must respond personally to the HEF and they will then be sent an Invitation to Register to vote.Anyone finding that information on the HEF is correct can confirm this quickly and easily by: calling 0800 197 9871, texting security codes printed on their form to 80212, or inputting the codes online at www.householdresponse.com/cherwellandsouthnorthants.Those needing to amend the information held about them can do so via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.END

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 16:06 by Deborah Rush

Local government reform proposal agreed by majority of Northamptonshire councils

A proposal for local government reform in Northamptonshire has been agreed by seven out of eight councils in the county.

Daventry District Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Kettering Borough Council, Northampton Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council, South Northamptonshire Council and the Borough Council of Wellingborough all decided to submit the proposal while Corby Borough Council decided not to.This is the conclusion of a process initiated following Government inspector Max Caller's investigation into finances at Northamptonshire County Council. He proposed in his Best Value Report that two new authorities be formed, one for the west of the county and one for the north.The Secretary of State then wrote to the county's eight local authorities inviting them to explore options for reform and to submit one proposal, stating that a range of options would not be accepted.In April 2018, the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government set the following criteria:
  • A single county-wide unitary is explicitly excluded as an option
  • Each new proposed authority must have a population substantially in excess of 300,000
  • The proposal must be based on existing council boundaries
In addition to the criteria set out by the Secretary of State, Government has stated that:
  • Only one proposal will be accepted, not a range of options
  • It must demonstrate clear potential for savings
  • It must command a good deal of local support
  • Due consideration should be given to the recommendations in the Best Value Report
  • Any solution should prioritise the Government's wider housing and growth agenda
  • Extensive consultation must be carried out
A joint consultation was held, focussing on the two-unitary model – the only option which met all of the Government's criteria.The proposal is for two unitary councils: West Northamptonshire, comprising the current area of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire; and North Northamptonshire, comprising the current areas of Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough.Feedback from the consultation showed that while there were differences of opinion across the county, with a strong preference among many respondents in the West for a 3-unitary solution, ORS concluded that: 'the government requirement for the proposal for two unitary councils to command "a good deal of local support as assessed in the round across the whole area of the proposal" is more than satisfied'.PricewaterhouseCoopers' evaluation of this option concluded that: "The analysis in this report has identified that whilst local government reorganisation can achieve a level of cost savings, in itself, it will not lead to the creation of two new sustainable unitary local authorities.Indeed, it potentially risks only redistributing the existing financial instability across two new organisations, unless steps are taken to address the existing cost and income challenges."The proposal has now been submitted for consideration by the Government as it was not a requirement for all councils to agree to it.We expect a response in the Autumn and will be seeking early discussions with Ministers to agree how the councils and the government can work together to ensure that the two new unitary authorities will be financially sustainable and provide high-quality services from the moment they are created in April 2020.END

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 15:38 by Deborah Rush

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