'In the future a Town Council by election in Desborough could cost local tax payers over £12,000' Phil Sawford
Phil Sawford

MUSICAL CHAIRS

The last time Desborough held ‘All out’ elections for the Town Council was on the 7th May 2015.  Local people elected 11 Conservatives (3 of them didn’t live in the Parish) and 1 UKIP representative to fill the 12 seats on the council.  All of them subsequently resigned.

In all there have been 16 resignations since May 2015.

LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Over the past twenty years, on average, only one third of the Parishes in the Borough of Kettering have held elections in each four year cycle but in Desborough we always have contested elections and this is good for a healthy local democracy.

THE COST OF DEMOCRACY

In future local people will have to pay towards the costs of elections and by elections through the Parish Precept. This was decided at a meeting of the North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee on Thursday 24th September 2020 where it was resolved that –

‘The Shadow Executive Committee advises the town and parish councils in Kettering Borough that they should precept for the possibility of election costs arising in May 2021, and that future by-election costs will also be borne by them where these are triggered after 1st April 2021.’

The full report can be found at – Document.ashx (northamptonshire.gov.uk)

Just an early example of levelling up (or levelling down) whereby costs will be passed on to Parish and Town Councils when the new North Northants Unitary Council kicks in.

PAY AS YOU GO

Council Tax payers in Desborough will have to contribute around one third of the cost of the elections on May 6th 2021, through the Parish Precept, as the elections also include the election of Police Commissioner and members of the Unitary Authority. The cost to local taxpayers is expected to be £4,500 for Loatland and £4,000 for St Giles.

How much will a by election in Desborough cost in the future?  Well, if one third for Loatland Ward is £4,500 and one third of St Giles Ward is £4,000 I will let you do the mathematics.

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