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Tory Northants - Highest Tax Rise, Poor Services, No Elections

Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem Published: 1st May 2019 14:54

Councillor Martin Johns said: “Local people are being deprived of their democratic right to have their say on how their local services are run. Councillor Martin Johns said: “Local people are being deprived of their democratic right to have their say on how their local services are run.
Liberal Democrats are highlighting that unlike 248 other local authorities there will be no local elections this week in Northamptonshire.

Commenting, Councillor Martin Johns said: “Local people are being deprived of their democratic right to have their say on how their local services are run. Encouraged by local Conservative MPs, the government decreed last November that no local elections would be held in Northamptonshire 2019. The excuse given to overturn the democratic process was that the government is to abolish Conservative-controlled Northamptonshire County Council because its poor governance and maladministration.

Conservative-run Northamptonshire is the prime example of a high tax, small-state, poor or failing local services county. Council tax has gone up by 5% (higher than allowed for any other council) at the same time as bringing in brutal cuts to essential services. In Northamptonshire you pay more, get less for your money, the council is in part run by civil servants from Whitehall and you don’t get a say at the ballot box.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats on South Northamptonshire Council Cllr Chris Lofts says: “It’s a disgrace that the Conservatives have not only made a disaster of running local government in Northamptonshire but are now running away from facing the public at local elections. There are even suggestions that elections may not take place next year; that would be six years without district, parish or town council elections. Conservative-run Northamptonshire has become a byword for poor administration and incompetence, now local people have had their right to have their say taken away. The irony is that nationally the Conservatives’ local election broadcasts declare that the party at local level has ‘a proven track record of managing your money wisely’.”    

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Always Write
At 06:09 on 2nd May 2019, Always Write commented:
It’s a shame we can’t vote as now Mr Lofts is not living in Towcester we could be able to sort that. I remember when a Conservative moved away he made a fuss and won the by-election.

He said then it was not possible to live away and do it properly and others who stood livings a few miles away were unsuitable for the same reason.

Double standards.

peter k
At 12:20 on 2nd May 2019, peter k commented:
We should all be concerned with this lack of a local election. The reason, apart from Northampton Council being in mess, was the need to see the proposed Unitary Authorities bedded in. The expectation was for an election to take place in May 2020 to vote in council members for the new Authorities. However this major reorganisation is now likely to be put off for another year, until 2021. So Council, when will be having our election? And are the Unitary Authorities still the option? We all need clarification and at least a press release on where our local voices are to be heard?

Even a formal answer to the article by Martin Johns would help?
Ian McCord
At 15:57 on 2nd May 2019, Ian McCord commented:
We still await an answer from the Secretary of State on whether or not he will go ahead with the unitary council reorganisation.

However, there will be an election in May 2020, whatever he decides.

There are 3 outcomes, firstly the most unlikely in my view, that he says no and things stay as they are with a county and 7 districts.

The next two are yes outcomes. Yes with a start on April 2020 and yes with a start on April 2010

If 2020 start then we elect the council in May 2020

If 2021 start then we elect the SHADOW COUNCIL, in May 2020. Those people will then seamlessly move into the new unitary authority without the need for another election.

The democratic will of the people will be heard and an election for a new unitary body will take place in 2020, provided the Sec of State does decide to give it the green light.

Ian McCord - Leader SNC
peter k
At 16:53 on 2nd May 2019, peter k commented:
Thank you Mr McCord, a very succinct clarification.

I do agree the first option you mention would be the best. My previous comment on the unitary idea remains the same. That is if the county currently requires eight local councils, members and officers, to run all the much needed facilities, I find it hard to envisage a much smaller group of councillors and staff coping with the same workload.

Peter Kelly
Jeremy H
At 12:00 on 4th May 2019, Jeremy H commented:
I consider this another chapter within a sorry, embarrassing saga. NOT having a vote this week BECAUSE of disastrous policy followed by incumbents (and, to be fair, decisions by those who since resigned or chose early retirement) seems and feels totally counter-intuitive.

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