Unitary programme re-designed to include more transformation work prior to Vesting Day 2021

Following the Secretary of State’s announcement, two brand new unitary councils will be established in Northamptonshire on 1 April 2021 (Vesting Day), a year later than we originally anticipated.

This extra time allows the councils to carry out some transformation work on the services currently delivered across the county.

This will require a different approach to delivering the programme, which previously focussed on ‘safe and legal from day one’ – this remains a priority but re-configuring services is just as important.

The Chief Executives and Leaders have re-visited the plan to build in this extra time and have agreed a single integrated plan for the whole county with a greater focus on transformation. We know that when we get to implementation, the West and North will do things differently, and the plan will accommodate that variation.

This ‘one programme, one team’ approach will involve all eight Chief Executives taking ownership of work streams and being collectively accountable for their delivery to the Leaders’ Group.  This approach will ensure that this transformation programme is owned and delivered by all Northamptonshire councils.

Our vision for the new unitaries is set out in the Prospectus for Change, which can be found on the Council’s website at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/lgr

Cllr Chris Millar – Leader

Ian Vincent – Chief Executive

 

WOULD YOU MAKE A GOOD PARISH COUNCILLOR?

Have you ever considered volunteering to become a Parish Councillor? If the answer is no, then you should reconsider. The Parish Council plays a vital role within Yelvertoft. The Parish Council works towards keeping the Parish an attractive place to live and can influence the future of the area.

Here are a few reasons why you should give the role your consideration:

  • You would like to help keep the Parish a desirable place to live
  • If you’re female or under 25 then have a good think, as women and youngsters are under-represented in local authorities
  • You are interested in planning and development
  • Be a voice for the people of the Parish
  • Training and support are available
  • As a resident your opinions are important

What is a Parish Council?

A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. As it is the authority closest to the people, a parish council is invariably the first place people will go with concerns or ideas. For this reason, it is a vital part of any community.

Why become a Parish Councillor?

As a parish councillor you become someone your community will look to for help, guidance and support. A member of the community with the power to influence decisions for the benefit of the parish. Seeing your community change for the better, as a result of decisions you have helped to make, is something that can give you a sense of achievement and pride.  Yelvertoft is an area with a rich history and preservation of the area is of great importance. The Parish Council helps to ensure the area continues to be a desirable place to live, go to school, work and visit.

What decisions do Parish Councils make?

Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect their local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), highways issues and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities. It’s true to say that on their own, parish councils have limited powers to make decisions, but they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions such as Daventry District Council, Northamptonshire County Council and developers. In this respect parish councils are extremely powerful. The organisations that make the final decisions know that a parish council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something, and its views will be taken seriously.

How much time does it take up?

The Parish Council holds a meeting once a month to which members of the public are also invited. Meetings usually last three hours, depending on the agenda set for the meeting to discuss. In addition to the regular meetings, councillors are occasionally required to attend other meetings representing the Council. Such meetings won’t happen too frequently, so it’s not going to take over your life.

Am I eligible to be a Parish Councillor?

To stand for election on a parish council, you must:

  • be a UK or commonwealth citizen, or;
  • be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or;
  • be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union;
  • be at least 18 years old.

To be eligible to stand for an election for a particular parish, you must:

  • be an elector of the parish, or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish, or;
  • during the previous 12 months have worked in the parish (as your principal or only place of work), or;
  • for the whole of the previous 12 months lived in the parish or within three miles of the parish boundary.

What support is there?
The Parish Council is supported by the Northants Local Councils Association (NCALC), which offers advice and training. The other councillors are friendly and always there to help. The role of the Parish Clerk is to support the Parish Council in several ways. The clerk carries out administration tasks, acts as legal adviser/researcher and liaises with outside agencies. The role of parish councillor is voluntary but expenses can be paid. We always have a training budget for Councillors to attend any training course they require to carry out their duties.

Don’t take our word for it!

The best way to find out what it’s like to be a parish councillor is to talk to someone who’s doing it now. Come along to a Parish Council meeting, or speak to one of our councillors and find out what they think of the role, or contact the Clerk.

Government says yes to two unitary councils for Northamptonshire

Two brand new unitary councils will be established in Northamptonshire on 1st April 2021 (Vesting Day), the Government confirmed today. The West Northamptonshire unitary will cover Daventry District, Northampton and South Northamptonshire and the North Northamptonshire unitary will cover Corby, East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough.  The existing district and borough councils and Northamptonshire County Council will all be abolished.

The Secretary of State James Brokenshire has reviewed all the evidence and representations received, and has now decided that replacing the eight councils with two unitary authorities is in the best interests of the residents of Northamptonshire.

Parliamentary Orders will follow later this year and there will be elections to the Shadow Authorities in May 2020.  Shadow Executives for the two unitaries will be selected from those elected and will determine the structure, budget and service delivery models for the new councils.

Services which complement one another but are currently divided between the district, borough and county councils, such as bin collections, waste disposal, planning and roads, will be brought together under each of the two unitary councils.

In a joint comment, the council leaders of Corby Borough Council (Tom Beattie), Daventry District Council (Chris Millar), East Northamptonshire Council (Steven North), Kettering Borough Council (Russell Roberts), Northampton Borough Council (Jonathan Nunn), Northamptonshire County Council (Matt Golby), South Northamptonshire Council (Cllr Ian McCord) and Borough Council of Wellingborough (Martin Griffiths), said:

“Now we’ve received the decision to progress with unitary, we will focus our efforts on creating two brand new councils that put the interests of residents at the heart of all decision making. This re-organisation needs to be about transforming how we deliver services so that they are more joined-up and make sense for residents across the county. We have a strong track record of collaborative working with each other and with partners and we will build on this to deliver services that make a positive difference to people’s lives.

“These new councils will also be major players in delivering the housing and jobs growth that Northamptonshire and the Cambridge to Oxford arc so badly need.”

“We have been working hard towards an anticipated 2020 Vesting Day but that was always going to be a tight timetable to meet if we were going to transform services as well as ensuring that they were safe and legal on that date.

“We therefore welcome the announcement that Vesting Day will be 1st April 2021.  That gives us more time to plan carefully and confidently for the future to ensure that we create two sustainable unitary councils that, while being very different in nature, will be exemplars of how to provide excellent services for our residents.”

Daventry District Council Leader Councillor Chris Millar said: “We are pleased to have received the Secretary of State’s formal decision which means we can all now focus fully on delivering these two new unitary councils in readiness for an April 2021 start.

“We are under no illusions as to the very tight timelines involved and the huge amount of work still to be undertaken to deliver these two new authorities. However we see a wonderful opportunity to embrace wider public sector reform by including the local health organisations as part of a package to deliver better services for our residents. Rest assured that Daventry District Council, while it still exists, will do all it can to influence the creation of the new West Northamptonshire Unitary Council in the best interests of our residents.”

There will be elections to the Shadow Authorities in May 2020, so those newly-elected councillors will be able to work with officers to design and implement the new councils for several months ahead of Vesting Day.

Daventry District Council

Hotline launched to help improve housing conditions

A new hotline has been launched by Daventry District Council in a bid to improve living conditions for people in privately rented or shared housing.

The dedicated number 01327 302288 has been set up to help people report in confidence any concerns they may have about the condition of a privately rented property in the District.

People are also encouraged to report any Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) – commonly referred to as house shares – that they believed may be unlicensed or in a poor state of repair.

The new initiative comes in response to the massive growth of the private rental sector in recent years. According to national figures, there were 2.5 million landlords in the UK in 2018, and 11 million people living in rented accommodation.

As well as the new hotline, people can also report a suspected HMO or a privately rented house in disrepair in confidence by visiting www.daventrydc.gov.uk/hmo or emailing

And while most landlords take their responsibilities to their tenants seriously, a small minority do not, allowing their tenants to live in poor conditions, causing ill health and distress.

National figures suggest that as many as 1 in 3 rental properties are not of a decent living standard, and 1 in 6 rented houses are dangerous to live in.

The rental market plays an important role in providing housing for people living in Daventry District, and HMOs provide cheaper accommodation for residents whose housing options are limited.

However they can also pose greater risks than other types of accommodation for overcrowding and fire, which is why Daventry District Council is working to ensure that all HMOs in the District are safe and properly licenced.

Councillor Richard Auger, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health and Housing on Daventry District Council, said: “Our District is a popular place to live and work, and with the rental sector increasingly popular, it is more important than ever to ensure everyone here has a safe, well-managed place to live.

“In some instances, HMOs have been used by opportunistic rogue landlords, some driven by monetary gain, to exploit vulnerable tenants, and rent properties that are overcrowded, sub-standard and potentially dangerous.

“We are working with landlords and our partners to protect the health and safety of the tenants, but I would appeal to residents across the District to help be our eyes and ears on this, and report any concerns they have to us so we can investigate and take action where required.”

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For further information please contact:

Ian O’Pray, Media Officer at Daventry District Council, on 01327 302310 or email