Charles Bradlaugh was a radical Liberal M.P. for Northampton, he may have been a Liberal but he always put the town and his constituents first He is part of over 800 years of democracy in our Borough.
Above all else Bradlaugh stood against the establishment and the Conservative Party.
Following 12 years of Tory rule on The County Council, during which they cut services to the bone and mismanaged the finances so badly that they couldn't pay the bills, our Local MPs, also Conservatives, have called for the County Council to be scrapped.
But not only do they want to scrap Northamptonshire County Council but they are prepared to throw away Northampton as well. Willing to see it become part of a new Council Stretching from Brackley to Naseby.
They are being helped in this by Conservative Ministers in Whitehall who appear prepared to play with figures and change the rules to give our MPs what they want.
Local Liberal Democrats asked Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat MP for Bath to raise the matter in Parliament .
What she found out is that despite there being a "consultation period" where local councils can make representations it looks like a done deal and the people of Northampton will see their Borough Council Disappear.
“The Conservative government has told us to consult widely on options but made sure that there is no real choice on offer” says Councillor Brian Markham. a long standing Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor and a former Mayor of Northampton.
" I hope that people from all parties and none will stand up for our town and our history and demand a proper democratic voice for our town".
You can see our questions to The Minister and his answer below.Read more
Cllr. Heather Smith Tory Leader of troubled Northamptonshire County Council has resigned after a Government Inspection said that the council should be scrapped.
Just a reminder - last year's @LibDems manifesto for #Northamptonshire called for the abolition of the county council. We however, favoured 3 unitaries.
Liberal Democrat Councillors in Towcester have a record of Campaigning All Year Round!
Just because it has been built doesn't make it right !
Westone Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor Brian Markham supports local resident's objection to hotel extension.
People living near to Westone Manor Hotel have sent in letters and organised a petition against a Retrospective Planning Application for additional bedrooms at the hotel. The new application comes after the owner ignored a previous consent and went ahead with building something twice the size agreed .
Brian says " I realise that refusal of the new application may cause difficulties for the hotel but I am convinced if what has been built had been included in the previous plans then it would have been refused or at least scaled back. Just because it has been built doesn't make it right".
Cllr. Markham is asking that the matter be referred to Planning Committee for a decision rather than decided by officers. "Given the level of local interest in the matter I think that it is only right that people should be able to air their views in public".
Northamptonshire County Council had a special meeting Yesterday 22nd February and councillors were told that the council would fail to balance its books by the end of March.
Councillors were told that the spending controls imposed in February are unlikely to bring the £20 million savings needed to balance the books . Where this leaves the council remains unclear but it is clear as one member of the public put it, "we live in interesting times ".
In a long debate Lib Dem and Labour Councillors called for the Leader of the Council to go . Cllr. Dennis Meredith ( Lib Dem Talavera ) also questioned why, when they they knew that they were heading for disaster, Conservatives had appointed an additional 2 cabinet members in December at a cost of around £9,000 extra each. Not much toward £20 million but a sign that even when cutting everything else Tories can always find jobs for the old boys.
Councillor Dennis Meredith ( Lib Dem Talavera Ward) Claims that Enterprise , The Council’s current grounds maintenance contractor has given up.
Cllr. Meredith says that litter-picking, clearing fly-tipping and other routine jobs are not being carried out in areas such as Southfields. He believes that Enterprise ( Who’re losing the work from June this year) are just not responding to councillor or residents requests to clean up areas.
He says other councillors across the town have told him the same.
The Conservative controlled council have promised to put an extra £ 1 million in, to clean up the town, once the new contractors take over in June , but Cllr. Meredith says that there is still work outstanding from last Autumn which nobody seems to worry about.
I asked for assurance that officers would continue to monitor performance of the existing contract but am not happy with the response.
People cannot wait another 4 months with fly-tipping and rubbish in their neighbourhoods says Dennis
More pictures below.Read more
Liberal Democrats Protest outside County Hall last November
Northamptonshire's Tory MPs and Local Labour
are calling for the Conservative's in charge of the failing County Council to be sacked and for Government Commissioners to step in and run the authority. They need to be wary of what they wish for. If the unelected officials step in then they will slash and burn , cutting all services to the bone and doing away with non-statutory services like bus subsidies.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council, Cllr. Chris Stanbra is calling for a local democratic solution with local politicians from all sides working together to provide a long-term and sustainable solution to county finances. See Chris's 5 Point Plan Below