Northamptonshire governance crisis ends Cherwell council partnership

Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council's partnership is ending
Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council's partnership is ending

The crisis over cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council has led to the end of the ‘successful partnership’ between Cherwell district and South Northamptonshire councils.

The local government review in Northamptonshire has required the leader and the administration of Cherwell District Council to ‘reflect upon its future and consider what is best for its residents’, a spokesman said.

As a result they are minded to formally end their eight-year, successful partnership with South Northamptonshire, the spokesman added.

South Northamptonshire Council has said it fully understands and accepts Cherwell’s decision, stating the separation is 'totally amicable'.

The exact details and process for this separation have yet to be worked out – but officers were told of the decision on Friday.

The two councils share a chief executive and leadership team as well as many different services after joining forces in 2010.

Both councils said all decisions will be taken with the best interests of residents and council staff at their heart, and regret that external circumstances have forced this split.

Those circumstances involve the demise of Northants county council, the running of which has been taken over by government commissioners, which prompted a review of how the county is governed.

It is thought the government favours a unitary authority to replace the existing councils, but one could not look after the entire county as it is too big, and a proposal for a council just for Northampton has been voted down.

Councils have been given an extension on the deadline to submit proposals for the governance review by the government.