Local services could deteriorate and the expertise of dedicated staff lost to communities across Northamptonshire unless serious consideration is put into investing in the council workforce when two new unitary authorities are formed in the county.
Northamptonshire County Council’s financial mismanagement led to a decision to scrap it in 2018. Two unitary authorities, North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council, will take over its functions, along with those of seven district and borough councils, from April 2021.
In addition, a new Northamptonshire Children’s Trust will deliver social services for children on behalf of the two councils.
We have launched a campaign today, Northamptonshire Needs to Work, to highlight the value of high-quality community services and the importance of retaining the staff who deliver them.
To begin the campaign, it has started an online petition calling on local councillors to make a commitment to invest in services and the workforce.
We are urging residents across the county to support its aims, to ensure Northamptonshire has proper services that meet the needs of the community after the creation of the new authorities.
Residents and council staff across the county will be watching closely to ensure Northamptonshire’s new local government structures bring about genuine public benefits, and aren’t a cloak for cuts to vital community services.
UNISON Northamptonshire County branch secretary Kevin Standishday said:
“This massive change for local government, with the formation of the two new councils and a Children’s Trust, is a perfect opportunity to undo the mistakes which led to the county council’s bankruptcy.
“We need well-resourced services run by staff who are properly paid and looked after. This will end the recruitment problems of the past and mean we have a county which works for the benefit of every resident, including staff who live and work here too.”
UNISON Wellingborough branch secretary Yolande Morgan said:
“Employees at the current borough councils are concerned the new authorities will repeat mistakes the County Council made.
“These include misspending council tax-payers’ money on agency staff and vanity projects, rather than investing in services and retaining current staff as the borough councils have been trying to do. Lessons have to be learned.”
Visit the campaign page & on social media for more infomation;