Northamptonshire Local Government Reform

Impact

Will all services of the county council, boroughs and districts transfer to the two unitary councils?

Yes. All services will be provided by the new unitary councils.

What changes will residents see?

Residents shouldn’t see any immediate changes to services as a direct result of the reorganisation. However the creation of two new unitary councils provides opportunities to transform and improve public services in Northamptonshire to make it easier for residents to access the services they need and make sure the right people are working together to deliver that service.

The vision for the new unitaries is set out in the Prospectus for Change.

Will my bin be emptied on the same day?

It’s very unlikely that changes to services like bin collections will happen from April 2021 as a result of the introduction of unitary councils. However, councils may make improvements to any of the services they provide in order to provide residents with the best service. Any changes will be communicated to you well in advance of them happening.

Will I have to pay more Council Tax?

When the councils join together, their Council Tax levels will be harmonised, so that everyone in the whole area of each new council pays the same (subject to allowances that people may be entitled to). The level at which they will be harmonised and the period over which that will happen will be decided at a later date by the new shadow authorities.

How will business rates be affected?

Business rates are set nationally and the role of local authorities is just to collect them. However, there are various discretionary rate relief schemes and the new councils will need to decide how they will apply those in future.

Will I still be able to claim benefits when the changes are made?

Yes, the new authorities will take over responsibility for benefits from the existing councils.

Is it possible that two new unitary councils will be more remote and unable to keep in touch with local areas or support local parish and town councils?

It will be important for the new councils to put in place arrangements to ensure that the interests of local areas, as well as those of different groups within our communities, are recognised and addressed.

Does this mean the libraries will stay open?

The libraries will remain the responsibility of the county council until the new unitary arrangements are in place and so any further decisions on libraries will be made by them.

Will this affect which school my child attends?

No.

Where will the two unitary councils be based?

This level of detail has not yet been discussed.

What will the creation of unitaries mean for staff of the current councils?

Councils will continue to operate as separate independent bodies until March 2021, at which point staff will be transferred over to the new unitary councils. Details of how the new councils could be structured will be discussed later in the process and staff will be involved in the consultation about that, as required by employment legislation.

Members of staff from across the eight councils are actively involved in the unitary preparations, with Trade Unions also engaging throughout the process.