Business leaders in Wellingborough are encouraging people to make sure they speak up about the future control of their town.
Residents and businesses owners will have the opportunity to speak to representatives from the Borough Council of Wellingborough (BCW) about plans to establish a new town council in May next year.
Following plans to create a new unitary authority to collectively govern Wellingborough, East Northants, Kettering and Corby, a public consultation was carried out between July 23 and October 23 last year and, as a result, the Borough Council of Wellingborough agreed to adopt an order to establish a town council for Wellingborough. More than 80 per cent of responses were in agreement that Wellingborough should have a town council. Currently, the town of Wellingborough has no local government representation at a parish level.
The President of the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce, Simon Toseland, said: “The creation of two unitary authorities within the county is presenting some challenges for the combined authorities. However, with change comes opportunity and the formation of a town council will hopefully pave the way to a more integrated relationship between local government and businesses.
“We would strongly recommend that people take this opportunity to engage in the process, either directly or through the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce. As the Borough Council states, now is the time to present your views and take an active role in helping shape the future.”
One issue of concern is the loss of the Business Improvement District (BID) after the Borough Council of Wellingborough voted against its renewal in March this year.
BIDs are common place in many towns throughout England and, in Wellingborough’s case, attracts an estimated 50,000 visitors a year to the town through the staging of events. The BID also provides other benefits for town centre businesses, including cheaper and more sustainable waste collection and recycling.
Members of the council’s Development Committee will meet on Monday, 9 September, at 7pm to discuss the future of Wellingborough BID.
Simon Toseland, added: “We hope the council will carefully re-examine the opportunity and support the BID.
“It is known that where local authorities are looking to secure funding initiatives from Central Government, having a BID in place actually helps their cause – not having a BID gives the impression, wrongly or rightly, that if a town won’t put its own hands in its pockets to deliver improvement then why should Central Government use tax payers money to help.”
Residents who have any queries about the process of forming a new town council or who might be interested in standing for election, are invited to speak to council representatives at the Swansgate Shopping Centre on Monday 19 August, between 11am and 3pm.
For more information about the community governance review visit: www.wellingborough.gov.uk/cgr2018