Fears of ‘severe’ impact on people in Wellingborough with proposed county council cuts

The county council needs to make savings
The county council needs to make savings

Councillors will discuss their concerns over proposed county council funding cuts and how they could affect people in Wellingborough next week.

A consultation is being held on proposals which could see bus subsidies, libraries, roads gritting and Trading Standards cut as part of £9.6 million savings announced by Northamptonshire County Council last month.

The authority has also said that savings amounting to more than £27 million will be required to deliver a balanced budget for 2018/19.

Since the proposals were announced, groups and individuals across the county have been raising their concerns.

Wellingborough Council is also worried about the proposals which it fears will have a ‘severe and negative impact’ on individuals and families living in the borough.

It will be discussing its concerns and its response to the county council’s proposals at a meeting on Tuesday (November 28).

A report by the council’s managing director states: “Inevitably the changes to services will have an impact on the residents of the borough of Wellingborough.”

The report says the key implications for people in Wellingborough are:

- reduction in highway maintenance, including weed killing, road marking and road safety initiatives

- reduced stock of salt/grit, and reduction of winter gritting regime

- removal of bus subsidies where these are not a statutory duty

- reduction in Trading Standards services

- removal of the fund for county councillors (Empowering Councillors fund)

- closure of Earls Barton, Finedon, Irchester and Wollaston libraries

With the consultation period due to end on November 30, the borough council has a limited period to respond to the county council and the report has said its recommended response is:

- to express concern about the impact of the proposed savings on the lives of the people of the borough

- to invite discussions with the county council to mitigate the impact on local residents

- to advise the county council that the borough council’s own financial position is such that a transfer of responsibility for services is neither feasible or viable

The meeting starts at 7pm on Tuesday (November 28) at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.