MP’s Unpopular Plan to Merge Councils backed by local Conservatives
|Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem||Published: 31st August 2018 11:22|
Last night Liberal Democrats voted against the local Conservative MP’s plan for abolishing South Northamptonshire Council and merging it with Northampton Borough and Daventry, to form a unitary council. The plan comes in response to the disastrous and costly failure of Conservative run Northamptonshire County Council. South Northamptonshire’s MP failed to attend the meeting to listen to councillors’ concerns. Reorganisation is expected to cost £30 million.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat and Towcester councillor Martin Johns said: “Local people made their voice clear in a publicly funded consultation, rejecting the Conservative plan; 98% of parish and town councils also rejected the proposal. It was disappointing that despite every Conservative who spoke at the debate voiced their dislike of the proposal, they still overwhelmingly voted to back the party line and their MPs. The Tories are kidding themselves if they think voting for this proposal will give them more influence, they have already said, ‘we have been bounced into this’.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, councillor Chris Lofts said during the debate: “This proposal is flawed and undemocratic and isn’t in the best interest of our residents in South Northamptonshire. The full responsibility for this disaster lies with the Conservatives, with their financial incompetence, obsession with low tax, cutting services to the most vulnerable, vanity projects and failed plans for privatisation.”
At the debate, Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Johns said: “This Conservative MP’s plan will result in much higher council tax and at the same time deliver much reduced services. In future, South Northants residents will see local planning decisions decided by Northampton councillors, who will dominate the new unitary council. Villages close to Northampton will be at great risk from inappropriate development as will Brackley, Towcester and areas around Cosgrove and Deanshanger close to Milton Keynes. I can foresee a great deal of concrete being poured over greenfield sites once South Northamptonshire Council is abolished in May 2020.”