Consultation to open on plans for a town council in Wellingborough

Wellingborough Council's offices at Swanspool House
Wellingborough Council's offices at Swanspool House

The creation of a town council for Wellingborough has taken a step forward and a three-month public consultation about the idea will begin on Monday (July 23).

Wellingborough is the first of the borough councils in Northants that has made moves to create a new town council ahead of the likely scrapping of all of the seven district and borough authorities in May 2020.

Central government has ordered that a unitary system must come into the county after the financial failings at Northamptonshire County Council, which had led to a shake-up of the whole governance system for the county.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday (July 18) councillors of all political persuasions gave their backing to the proposal which is being made as part of a community governance review.

The suggestion is for the new town council to have nine wards and to be represented by 23 councillors, which will give an average representation of 1,667 electors for each councillor.

The current wards of the borough have been used as the basis for the warding of the new council with some boundary changes around the Croyland ward.

The nine new wards will be Brickhill, Croyland, Hatton, Isebrook, Queensway, Redwell, Rixon, Swanspool and Victoria.

The first election for the new town council is proposed for May 2019.

Council leader Martin Griffiths said: “I am sure that we will make it work.

“The matter is now subject to a review.

“I know that neighbouring councils have been looking very closely at what we have done and I would like to congratulate our officers for the quality of the work they have done.”

The councillors also voted to change the town boundary to include the two large housing developments on the edge of the town.

A report presented at the meeting said: “A change is also recommended to amend parish boundaries between the town and Finedon and Great Harrowden parishes, in line with the sustainable urban extensions in Stanton Cross and Glenvale Park under development on the edges of the town.

“If existing boundaries remain, both developments would have town/parish boundaries running through them, therefore dividing the community from an electoral registration point of view.

“The effect of the proposed boundary changes would be to bring the total areas of Stanton Cross and Glenvale Park within the remit of the town council.”

The three-month consultation will end on October 23 and final proposals will go before full council on November 27.

Residents can find out more about the review and how to have their say at http://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/