Letter: Democracy will be biggest loser in changes to county

Letter writer Tony Banks says plans to create new unitary authorities in Northamptonshire are an affront to democracy...

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:02 pm
Get out there and vote on June 8

It’s not surprising that nothing has been heard from any of our MPs about supporting Northamptonshire, its local councils, its services and the fate of our fellow citizens.

They are busy with Brexit.

They have difficulties with more than one issue at a time; or, as was said about George W Bush, walking and chewing gum, simultaneously.

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County councillors, most of whom have been party to the debacle of the rotten county council of recent years, have been busy appointing themselves, unelected, to the shadow authorities with no polls planned now until 2020 or even 2021.

I’m asking the Northamptonshire Labour Party to draw up plans to rescue and restore council services, and to consult Labour Party members, with a view to putting them to the electorate at the earliest opportunity.

It’s clear that new sources of revenue will be needed, especially the taxing of internet retailing warehouses across the county where the firms involved, unlike high street retailers, simply do not contribute financially, either, locally or nationally.

As a cornerstone, to retain an effective and dedicated work force, the authorities need to immediately guarantee nationally agreed terms and conditions.

The new authorities will be responsible for some most pressing problems. These include funding for schools and for quality care of older people. Both are in crisis .

They will be responsible for providing housing for affordable rents.

A great deal of work will be needed to unify fragmented organisations many of which function along market lines rather than with housing need as the guiding principle.

Not only will tenants needs be paramount but also all those languishing on, some excluded from, waiting lists for decent housing. Meanwhile, for every week and month that passes, the scope of the tasks that need to be addressed, increase.

Everyone involved is keeping a low profile but there is no indication whatsoever there have been any substantial improvements to a dire situation. It is as if the powers that be cynically believe people will lose interest. This may happen, and democracy and thepeople of Northamptonshire will be the losers.

Tony Banks, Wellingborough