Monthly report on the County Council for June 2019
Monthly Council Report June 2019 Earls Barton Division Northamptonshire County Council
Cllr Rob Gough
Welcome to my report for June 2019
We now have a lot more information on the future of Local Government in the County after confirmation by the Secretary of State for Communities Housing and Local Government.
I have also been looking into some road safety concerns, particularly around Hardwater road and will be hoping to get the County Council to take some action on this.
Local Government Reform
After months of waiting, we finally have an update from the Government on the future of Local Government in Northamptonshire.
It has been confirmed that two new Unitary Authorities will be set up by 2021, and that elections for these authorities will take place in May 2020. The Parish Council elections will also take place at this time. All the villages within my County Council division will fall into the North Northamptonshire Council which will include the current District and Boroughs of East Northamptonshire, Corby, Wellingborough and Kettering. There will be 78 Councillors divided up into 3 member wards.
The Government is also planning to set up a Children's Trust to cover the county to ensure that the current Children's services are not split up. I am very happy to say that we now have a clear direction on what Local Government will look like in the next few years.
There have unfortunately been a significant number of collisions and accidents on Hardwater Road since the start of the year, one in particular ending in tragedy.
I have been asking for people's views on how safety can be improved on this road, particularly about whether the speed limit should be reduced to 40mph. When I have asked about this, there has been some significant level of support for this measure.
However, there have also been some other interesting suggestions by members of the public, and I would also like to push forward the suggestion by Great Doddington Parish Council for stop signs at the Junction of Hardwater Road in the village. Other suggestions have included more focus on trimming the hedgerows along the road, improving visibility at the entrance to summer leys, and traffic lights on the bridge. I will be happy to put any suggestions to NCC Highways to see if we can make this road safer.
Planning applications for Whites Nurserys Earls Barton
Last month, I attended the Borough Council's Planning Committee to speak on a Lawful Use application at Whites Nurseries.
The purpose of these applications is to determine the lawful use of a site that does not necessarily have the correct planning permissions. Most people locally are well aware of Whites, and I think that it is always important to support growing local businesses. These applications don't usually go to the committee, but I thought that it was important that decisions like this are made by people who are accountable, and therefore requested it to be called in. I was also keen to speak to the committee in support.
Despite the officer's recommendation to refuse the application, I am happy to see that Councillors decided to support it.
Further to this, I will be attending another planning meeting this week to support the expansion of the site. I will always be happy to support local business that want to grow and provide more employment opportunities and services.
Finally on a personal note
After over 10 weeks, our daughter Mathilda has come home from the hospital.
It's felt like a lifetime watching her growth from a 30 week premature baby at 2lb 8oz to her coming home on 20th May at 6lb 14oz. Thank you for everyone's patience whilst Victoria and I have been helping to get her home.
She is currently growing more and more every day, and she has already been out and about, including meeting the Mayor of Wellingborough.
Also, a big thank you to all the staff on Gosset Ward at Northampton General Hospital who did a fantastic job making sure our little one is able to have a long a fruitful life.