East Northants Council to look at working with other partners as Government funding falls

Cllr Steven North
Cllr Steven North

A council is to look at working with other partners to ensure they can continue to provide a good service for residents as Government funding is reduced.

A motion was put forward at a meeting of East Northants Council on Monday calling for councillors to agree to look at other ways for the authority to still provide good services but with less money.

The motion, proposed by Cllr Steven North and seconded by Cllr Glenn Harwood MBE, said: “The Government, under the guise of devolution, has indicated the current ways of working are not fit for purpose.

“East Northamptonshire Council will work with all partners to find the best way forward, that delivers our corporate plan, is most economically sound, and delivers quality services to this area.”

Speaking after the meeting, leader of the council’s Conservative group Cllr Steven North said: “With the money that comes in from the Government being less and less, we need to do a lot more working together, it’s time to look at all of that.

“Councils around the country are putting in similar motions and this was our motion, which was supported.”

Northamptonshire currently has two tiers of local government, with the county council and then the district and borough councils who each have responsibility for certain areas.

Cllr North said they have to look at all the options, including areas such as education and the health service, to work out what is the best way forward for people in East Northants.

He said while there is no Government white paper on this, they want to consider all the options and reports will now be drawn up to see what could work best in the future.

Cllr North said: “All councils are looking at their own options so we are too.”

He said with less money everything is being squeezed, but the council still wants to deliver on the promises it made in last year’s elections.

He said: “We were elected last May with a good track record, we have looked after our finances well and we have got an agenda to deliver, like Rushden Lakes and we are trying to build an extension for housing and we have got lots of plans going on so the basis of my view is in the interests of the people who elected us in.

“The last thing we want is less services and more cost.

“Our council is in a pretty good place and will continue for a couple of years, but the Government is looking for change.”

Cllr North said while they are still in the early stages, this motion was needed to get the process started.

He added: “It’s open to everything.

“In the best interests of East Northants residents it’s not discounting anything outright, but there is a bottom line that people shouldn’t be worse off.”