First West Northamptonshire Joint Committee takes place

The first meeting of the West Northamptonshire Joint Committee was held at Northampton’s Guildhall last night (Tuesday 26 March).

Its primary task in the coming months is to pave the way for a new Shadow Authority which will navigate the course toward local government reorganisation in the west of the county.

With no apologies from members, the meeting moved on to the election of a Chair and Vice Chair for the Committee.

Northampton Borough Council Leader Cllr Jonathan Nunn and Daventry District Council Leader Cllr Chris Millar were agreed for these respective posts.

Questions were then taken from members of the public, before Committee members turned their attention to the Committee’s Terms of Reference and Standing Orders.

Cllr Jonathan Nunn said: “One of our first acts as a Committee was to agree a slight change to our proposed Standing Orders in response to an earlier comment from a member of the public.

“I hope this demonstrates the spirit in which we intend to conduct these meetings, one of receptiveness and inclusion, where people can be confident that their voices are being heard.

“The Committee’s remit is very narrow and there are many matters which we will not be able to consider directly, but we welcome any comments and questions which relate to our specific work.”

The Committee was also given a brief update on progress toward local government reorganisation by Northampton Borough Council Chief Executive George Candler.

There was then a discussion about the remit and membership of three Task and Finish Groups, each of which will have a Committee member as Chair.

It was agreed that representatives on each Group should be drawn from the wider membership of the four councils on the Joint Committee, and that the Group Chair should have discretion over numbers.

Chairs of the Task and Finish Groups were agreed as follows:

•Cllr Peter Rawlinson from South Northamptonshire Council – Governance 

•Cllr Alan Chantler from Daventry District Council – Interim Appointments 

•Cllr Suresh Patel from Northamptonshire County Council – Independent Remuneration Panel

The Committee is currently expected to hold a total of three meetings, the second of which will be on Tuesday 14 May and the third on Wednesday 5 June, both at 6pm, with venues yet to be finalised.