01 Oct Kettering Borough Council Approves New Town Council For Kettering
Kettering Borough Council agreed, at its meeting on the 23rd September, an Order which creates a new Town Council for Kettering, from April next year. It also agreed boundary changes between the town of Kettering and Barton Seagrave and Cranford Parishes, whilst the Burton Latimer Town boundary was straightened out to follow the line of the A14 at its north easterly edge.
The new Town Council will, initially, look after allotments, the market and become a statutory consultee on planning applications in Kettering. Future work for the Town Council will be agreed between it and the new North Northamptonshire Unitary Council once both have been established next year. The Mayoralty for Kettering Borough will end, and the new Town Council will take on the Mayoral assets and title, with a likely change back to the coat of arms that Kettering had before 1974, the last time there was local government re-organisation.
Elections to the Town Council will take place on 6th May next year, at the same time as elections to the unitary council and for the police, fire and crime commissioner. There will be 20 councillors, elected on the basis of the existing Kettering Borough Council wards, except for the Ise ward, which becomes geographically bigger as the town boundaries are expanded.
The first budget for the new Council will be set by Kettering Borough Council in December 2020, ready for council tax bills when they go out in March 2020. After that, the Town Council will set out its own budget each year and agree its precept.
The boundary changes mean that a part of Cranford Parish will be included within the new Town boundary, to reflect the building out of the East Kettering urban extension. At the same time, Barton Seagrave Parish council will also expand, taking in houses north of Barton Road in the area of Barton Hall, and all the land between the A14 and Cranford Road to the east of Barton Road.
Kettering Town is the only part of the existing Borough area which has no parish council, and with the imminent abolition of Kettering Borough Council, along with all other councils in the county, and the creation of two new all-purpose “unitary” councils, it was felt that Kettering need the same level of representation as other parts of the new North Northamptonshire area. The plans come as the culmination of a year-long process, involving two stages of public consultation, a process interrupted by two unexpected elections in 2019 and a pandemic.
Cllr Russell Roberts, Leader of the Borough Council, and Leader of the North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority said:
“I know from my own experience, the value of Town and Parish Councils. It is important that they provide a voice at a very local level, for local interests, to represent those interests to public service providers, and to help hold to account the new unitary council. I am also delighted that the Mayoralty of Kettering will continue in this new guise to provide that civic focal point which is a part of Kettering’s history and identity. I wish the new Council well.”