Town council for Kettering agreed

Kettering will have its own town council from 2021.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 12:29 pm
The new town council will retain the insignia of the current borough council.

The borough council’s members decided at the full council meeting on Monday (January 13) to create the new authority which will come into existence at the same time as the new North Northamptonshire unitary is created.

The town council – which will have the same powers as a parish council – will just cover Kettering and provide some services, although what those will be is still to be decided. It will have 20 councillors elected from nine wards largely based on existing borough ward boundaries.

The borough council, along with all other eight existing councils in the county, will be scrapped at the same time.

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The current insignia, regalia and civic plate held by the borough council as well as the mayoral chains of office will be handed over to the town council as will the market charter.

Kettering Council leader Russell Roberts said: “The council believes that parish councils play an important role in local democracy, both in terms of community empowerment and engagement, and the design of local services. Establishing a town council will ensure that the town of Kettering is effectively represented so that governance within the borough continues to be robust and capable of meeting future challenges.”

The borough council ran a public consultation during September and October last year however there were only 164 respondents.

Eighty per cent of respondents were in favour of setting up the new council.

At the full council meeting Independent councillor Jim Hakewill asked whether elections for the town council could be held this May in line with the elections for the shadow unitary authority and the police, fire and crime commissioner elections. He argued this would save £40,000 in election costs.

But executive director Martin Hammond said that could not happen as it was too late to organise.

A reorganisation order for the new town council will go to the borough council this April. In February 2021 the outgoing borough council will set the precept for the new town council.

Corby and Wellingborough, whose borough councils will also be scrapped in 2021, have also agreed to create new town councils.