Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Council Chamber, St. Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1DE.

Contact: Email:  01604 837722

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were none.


Minutes. pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To approve the minutes of the proceedings of the Meeting of the Council held on 11th March and 16th May 2019.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the Council meetings held on 11 March 2019 and 16 May 2019 were agreed.




Apologies were received from Councillors Bottwood, Flavell and Marriott.


Mayor's Announcements.


There were no Mayoral announcements.


Public Comments and Petitions


Lisa Bradshaw addressed Council advising that there was a lot of fly tipping and littering in the Bouverie Estate.  She went on to refer to littering from take aways and HIMOs.  Ms Bradshaw suggested that there was a need for more communication between Housing Services and Planning; she appreciated however, their heavy workloads.  Parking was another concern that Ms Bradshaw brought to Council’s attention; she was pleased that NPH had put in some parking restriction measures but had not implemented all of them.  She noted that the area of Spring Boroughs had received a number of improvements.  Ms Bradshaw concluded her address by conveying her concerns about the Council’s complaints process.


Ms Anne Wankiri confirmed that she was appealing to Council to provide a Centre for the African Community.  She noted that there is a real need for such a Centre for the African Community to receive advice, help each other and network.   Ms Wankiri commented that a Centre would help the African Community to be able to attend Wellbeing Sessions. There is a hub that is currently used but this is not in an ideal location.


Mr Daniel Soan addressed Council commenting that he supported option B of the report (agenda item 9 – Community Governance Review of the Borough – Potential options for consultation and future action.)  In his opinion, options had originally been limited and these options were a true choice.  Mr Soan referred to Parish Precepts commenting that with a Parish Council it can be ensured that money is spent locally.  He went to query how there can be any differences in costs for Borough or Parish elections.  Mr Soan closed his address by urging Council  to approve option B of the report.


Mr Huffadine-Smith addressed Council. He commented that he was a Parish Councillor for both Upton Parish Council and Duston Parish Council but was making his address as an individual.  Mr Huffadine- Smith referred to agenda item 9 - Community Governance Review of the Borough – Potential options for consultation and future action; giving his opinions on community, governance and review.  He commented that now is the time to think of West Northamptonshire as a whole.  Mr Huffadine-Smith felt that the proposals put forward for Kingsthorpe were excellent; he then concluded his address by commenting that the proposal for widening the boundary for Duston Parish Council could include the northern boundary of Duston.


Mr David Garlick commented that he was addressing Council in respect of Opposition Group Business – “Tackling Climate Change – Playing Our Part2 and Notice of Motion iii).  In his opinion two excellent notices of motion had been submitted in relation to climate change and urged Council to unanimously carry these Notices of Motion. Everyone needs to work together. Mr Garlick added that global warming is a threat to everyone and there is a need to start reducing gases to protect the planet.  Mr Garlick added that there is a need for a Northampton Zero Carbon Group.



Member and Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 129 KB


The Mayor advised that 14 questions had been received from Councillor and members of the public and that the answers had been tabled in accordance with the Constitution.


Questions and answers were given as tabled supplementary questions were asked as detailed below.


In response to a supplementary question relating to question 7, Councillor Nunn commented that he needs to be inclusive of all Groups, not just specific ones; he provided examples of various Groups that he had met with. 


In response to a supplementary question relating to question 13, Councillor Hallam advised that currently there are no charging points in the town centre but there are charging points at various locations in the borough.




Cabinet Member Presentations pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Nunn, as Leader of the Council, elaborated on his report and noted that clarity had now been received from Government to proceed with Unitary in 2021.  Children’s Services would be delivered through the creation of a Children’s Trust. Responding to questions Councillor Nunn noted that the Children’s Trust would be an item for discussion at the next meeting of the Cross Party Working Group.  The West Northants Joint Committee would now have a greater significance for a longer period; it was not expected for there to be additional costs. Councillor Nunn conveyed his thanked to the Head of Regeneration and Economic Development for all the important work that he had done and that interim arrangements for his replacement were being put in place.  Councillor Nunn confirmed that sites for an additional park and ride scheme were being investigated.


Councillor Larratt submitted his Cabinet Member report and elaborated thereon noting key Councillor briefing sessions that had been programmed into the schedule. He highlighted an additional session on HIMO licensing – 26 June 2019 at 6pm and identical session at 11 June 2019 at 1:30pm.  Councillor Larratt highlighted a letter that he had recently received following the Shine a Light on Tibet event; the letter emphasised the gratitude for presence at the event.  The letter was read out to Council.  Responding to questions, Councillor Larratt confirmed that a meeting is being convened regarding street lighting.  In respect of Section 106 Agreements, Councillor Larratt advised that there is provision for elected Members to be involved, pre-planning and that a Protocol had been drafted. Regarding Travellers, the Police had agreed to use its S61 Powers more frequently, which was welcomed.  Should proposals for a Travellers’ Site be put forward they would be pursued. 


Councillor Hibbert submitted his Cabinet Member report and elaborated thereon.  Responding to supplementary questions, Councillor Hibbert advised that a review regarding the death of a recent rough sleeper, a case review would be initiated in the usual way.  He added that rough sleepers can be identified should they stay in the Night Shelter and the formal process can then be followed regarding housing.  Councillor Hibbert advised that the aim of the list for Direct Lets is to reduce it from over 350 to 200.  Councillor Hibbert confirmed that he would liaise with Northampton Partnership Homes regarding the wording of their arrears letters that are issued to tenants.  He confirmed the Outreach Team work with vulnerable homeless women.


Councillor Eldred presented his Cabinet Member report and highlighted the key points.  He conveyed his thanks to the Billing Team and Post Room staff for successfully issuing bills to residents.  Responding to supplementary questions, Councillor Eldred advised that the Guildhall Team has promoted and marketed the Guildhall, generating income.  He was confident that the accounts would be signed off this year and value for money is being received from the Auditors, as are the residents of Northampton.


At this juncture of the meeting, the Mayor advised that the time limit for Cabinet Member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Opposition Group Business

Councillor Beardsworth to make a statement on “Tackling climate change, playing our part”


Councillor Beardsworth made a statement on “Tackling climate change, playing our part.”  She commented that there had been a Climate Change debate over the years and gradually Government had concluded there is a threat to our planet.  Good progress had been made in 2018; for example 5% reduction in the UK’s energy usage.  Councillor Beardsworth highlighted the need for all to work collaboratively.  There is a need for leadership and the Council to commit to reducing the carbon footprint in Northampton.  Councillor Beardsworth added that there is a need to make progress now so that the work can be forwarded to the Unitary Authority to continue.


In response, Councillor Hallam agreed with much of Councillor Beardsworth’s statement and he referred to the recent demonstration, outside the Guildhall, that had taken place on climate change.  He added that the collection charge for bulky waste had been reduced from £25 to £15 but it would be some time before it could be ascertained whether this reduction had made a difference in fly tipping. Recycling can also make a difference, for example in Far Cotton there has been a reduction in fly tipping of 14%. Councillor Hallam noted that climate change is complex and commented on the seriousness of plastics and the damage to the planet.   He added that on 18 June 2019 a cross Party meeting comprising Councillors, Officers and young people had been scheduled.


Councillor Beardsworth reiterated that the Council needs to show leadership, there must be a clear plan on climate change that could be forwarded to the new Unitary Authority but the Plan must be worked on now.  Northampton Borough Council needs to work with Northamptonshire County Council and the other districts on this and work on “getting people out of cars.”  There is a need to improve insulations too and aim to reach Swedish insulation standards.


Community Governance Review of the Borough - Potential options for consultation and further actions pdf icon PDF 111 KB

(Copy herewith)

Additional documents:


Councillor Larratt, as Deputy Leader of the Council, presented the report “Community Governance Review of the Borough - Potential options for consultation and further actions”, he drew Council’s attention to the report of Opinion Research Services (ORS) and the options for consultation. He added that consultation would be wide-reaching and it would initially be discussed by the Working Group.  Councillor Larratt highlighted that it is important that Northampton and the Communities have a strong voice.


Councillor Nunn seconded the report.


Councillor Stone commented that a Northampton Unitary had been wanted and there was a real need for a strong voice for Northampton.  She added that the Labour Group had no objections to Parish Councils but the voice of Northampton must not be diluted.  She was pleased that two alternatives were going out to consultation.  She enquired how the consultation would take place and emphasised the importance of this decision to the town.


Councillor Malpas commented that he could not support this report, the borough of Northampton is an ancient borough.  He added that Councillors wanted to be one big Unitary and there was a need for Councillors to be united.    He went on to refer to the difficulties some Parish Councils can experience, adding that with a Town Council there is uniformity.


Councillor Beardsworth referred to consultation that took place some years previously regarding parishing the whole town and residents had not wanted this then.  She acknowledged that Kingsthorpe had been proposed to be a Parish Council and she had not been consulted on this.  She added that the proposals for a Kingsthorpe Parish Council were big and it would be bigger than the Town Council in Towcester.   Councillor Beardsworth commented that residents had informed her that they did not agree with a Parish Council for Kingsthorpe. She suggested that locality based Councils should be investigated after the new Unitary Authority had been set up.  A Town Council would have a strong voice for Northampton.


Councillor Birch advised that she was an advocate of Community Governance and supported a larger Town Council for Northampton.  Councillor Birch felt that residents in her ward would want to be associated with Northampton, Civic and ancient traditions; which would fall in line with a Town Council.  She commented that the town is suffering from an identity crisis.


Councillor Nunn commented that the report was asking Council to consider going out to consultation and let the people decide.


Councillor Davenport commented that she was speaking on behalf of the residents of Far Cotton. The residents want accountability.  Parish Councillors do not receive an allowance, a Community Council would receive a precept.  Residents felt that they had not previously been consulted with.


Councillor Smith advised that she concurred with Councillor Birch’s comments. She emphasised that consultation must go out as far and wide as possible; it should not be restricted to Residents’ Associations only. She added “Northamptonian” is key.


Councillor Meredith stated that consultation has to go out widely and every household must be issued with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Notices of Motion

i)             Councillor Hibbert to propose and Councillor King to second:


At the moment, most private renters are on short term contracts of six months or a year, and can be required to leave once that term has ended without the landlord having to give any other reason. These no-fault evictions, introduced under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, significantly add to homelessness issues in England, leave tenants wary of asking for repairs, and means renters – including 1 in 4 families – never really know where home will be in a year’s time.


This Council calls upon the Government to amend Section 21 and/or introduce minimum tenancies of 2 years to provide greater security for tenants.


ii)            Councillor Beardsworth to propose and Councillor B Markham to second:


This council recognises the strength of public opinion recently expressed in London and Northampton to address the issue of climate change and the need to address carbon reduction to protect the health and wellbeing of future generations.  The council also notes that the UK parliament has declared a Climate Emergency.


The Council therefore declares “a Climate Emergency” in Northampton and commits to a target of making Northampton carbon neutral by 2030.


The Council Requests a report to be submitted to the council in 12 months’ time and updated in January 2021 setting out the action that has been taken in respect to this motion and detailing how progressing this objective has been communicated to and integrated within the start up plans of the West Northamptonshire Unitary Council.


iii)           Councillor Joyce to propose and Councillor Nunn to second:


All parties within this council acknowledge the urgency of dealing with climate change. We need cross party agreement to develop strategies for a greener, more sustainable society in Northampton. A green revolution is required.


Working with partners we will seek to implement the following actions, which we strongly believe will benefit Northampton in leading an eco-friendly Britain:


·         A ban on single-use plastics within school environments. Schools across Northampton produce a huge amount of plastic waste each week


·         Northampton schools would benefit from educating their students on eco issues through school schemes, where programs could be set up in order to teach students how to stay green in lessons, such as Personal, Social, Health and Economic education or by holding educational assemblies with influential speakers.


·         To help further reduce the damaging effects of plastic littering, the council should support and work closely with schemes operated by companies like TerraCycle who turn many unrecyclable plastics (such as crisp packets and wrappers) into outdoor furniture.


·         To explore with Local businesses and partners options for an eco-rewards scheme that would allow individuals and groups to gain something back from recycling.


·         Northampton Borough Council to commit to reducing carbon emissions, both as an organisation and as the local planning authority and resolve to go further than the UK100 Agreement. To act in line with the scientific consensus that we must reduce emissions to net-zero carbon by 2030, thus use the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.


The Mayor agreed to alter the order that the Notice of Motions would be considered.


The Mayor advised that Councillor Hibbert wished to withdraw Notice of Motion i), which had been seconded by Councillor King. Council agreed to the withdrawal of Notice of Motion i).


Councillors Aziz, Cali and Haque left the meeting at 9:20pm and rejoined Council at 9:30pm


Ms Rachel McGrath, Chair Northampton Food Poverty Network, addressed Council on Motion iv) advising that the Network had been in operation for a number of years.  She added that no one should have to go hungry and there are over one million children living in poverty.         She referred to a Special Commissioners report that had estimated that there are 14 million people living in poverty.  Ms McGrath referred to the upcoming summer holiday period advising that this is when families look forward to breaks but it can create acute financial stress for others, particularly with the loss of free school meals over this period. Holiday hunger can cause stress. She added that there is a need for “Kids’ Clubs” over the school summer holidays that provides both meals and activities. She highlighted that child poverty is becoming the norm.


Councillor Roberts proposed and Councillor T Eales seconded:


“Northamptonshire currently has 15,220 children receiving free school meals. For many of these children this is the only hot/substantial meal they receive.


During school holidays there is a loss of free school meals given out during term time, in addition to the extra childcare costs around the holidays, families already struggling with low budgets find it difficult to feed their children. This has the most impact over the longer summer holiday. Those children most at risk of hunger during the holidays may also suffer from social isolation, loneliness, and inactivity. These factors combined can lead to significant weight loss or gain, and negative impacts on physical and mental well-being.


In 2018 there were a number of campaigns run by charities such as Food cycle and End Hunger UK. There was a £2m fund for children’s food from government, to help prevent Holiday Hunger.


We call on this council to work with Partners to establish Holiday clubs where children can receive social activities as well as food that will provide financial relief for parents on very low incomes, so that no child should go hungry over the school holiday.”


The motion was debated.


Upon a requisition for a recorded vote, there voted for the recommendations:


Councillors Aziz, Beardsworth, Birch, Cali, Duffy, G Eales, T Eales, Haque, Joyce, B Markham, McCutcheon, Meredith, Roberts, Smith and Stone


There voted against the recommendations:


Councillors Ansell, Eldred, Golby, Graystone, Hadland, Hallam, Hibbert, J Hill, Kilbride, King, Lane, Larratt, M Markham, Nunn, Oldham, Patel, Sargeant, Kilby-Shaw and Walker


There abstained the Mayor, Councillor Davenport.


The Motion was not carried.


Martin Sawyer addressed Council on Motion ii) commenting that he had been a Climate Change activist in his youth. He had studied ecology and had left  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Matters of Urgency Which By Reason Of Special Circumstances The Mayor is of The Opinion Should Be Considered.


The Mayor confirmed that he had agreed to hear the following item as a matter of urgency. This was agreed by Council.


Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme Budget pdf icon PDF 111 KB


Councillor Eldred proposed the report that sought approval of an increase in the HRA budget envelope and sought approval of Cabinet to approve new capital schemes and variations to existing schemes.  He highlighted the salient points. 


Councillor Hibbert seconded the report.




That Council approves:

a)    An increase in the HRA budget envelope by an additional  £25M to enable  additional  HRA capital programme expenditure for 2019/20 funded through borrowing, for the acquisition of blocks of homes as the element of delivering affordable homes on major  developments.

b)    An increase in the HRA budget envelope by an additional £6M to enable additional  capital programme expenditure for 2019/20 funded through borrowing, for the acquisition or development of specialist homes (form of supported living) in support of Social Care outcomes.

c)    That Cabinet be authorised to approve new capital schemes and variations to existing schemes during 2019/20, subject to a business case, the funding being available and the schemes being in accordance with the objectives and priorities of the Council.