Local government shake-up on cards
Mar 16 - Leaders of district and borough councils in Northamptonshire have called for a meeting with the Secretary of State for Local Government.
It follows an inspectors' report on the county council which recommends to government that the authority is scrapped with two new unitary bodies replacing all local authorities in the county.
A joint statement from the borough leaders says they don't believe the unitary model is the only way forward and that residents need to be at the heart of any solutions - and that the leaders have suggestions that could contribute.
Corby Borough Council leader Cllr Tom Beattie said "CBC considers itself a well run and efficient Council. As evidenced by our own LGA Peer Review in 2014 we are financially strong to the point that we have recently approved a budget for growth. It is extremely disappointing that because of the failure of others the future of our council is now threatened. The people of Corby deserve better than this.”
On Friday the seven MPs for Northamptonshire released a joint statement welcoming the report's findings while Corby MP Tom Pursglove added that wherever possible the new model should mean Corby people taking decisions about the town.
The Conservative leader of the county council, Cllr Heather Smith, resigned on Thursday following the report's publication.
BFI award for Corby teenager
A teenager from Corby has been picked out by the British Film Institute as "One to Watch".
Emily Fisher, 16, is studying GCSEs at Kingswood Secondary Academy but has also been part of the HD Media community interest company which has been working with youngsters in town on documentary film-making.
Emily's work has seen her nominated and become just one of three people nationally given the award this year from the BFI in association with the charity "Into Film".
Emily now says she aims to go to university and study film production.
Local councils set budgetsUnpublished
Northamptonshire County Council has agreed to a budget which has cut a further £9.9m in spending commitments.
Among measures to be enacted are NCC giving up control of smaller libraries, including at Danesholme in Corby; a reduction in the Highways Maintenance Budget; the loss of bus subsidies and a staff pay freeze.
A government inspection of the county authority over its finances continues - it's set to report in mid-March.
Corby Borough Council agreed to its budget for the year ahead on Tuesday.
It includes a 2.7% council tax increase, which works out at £5 for Band D properties.
Council leader, Cllr Tom Beattie, described the budget as "one of the most straightforward the authority had delivered" which was doing everything government had asked of it in terms of effencies and growth.
However he added a number of factors meant the future finances of the borough council remained uncertain with all local government subject to what he called "significant change going forward".
KGH beset by emergency pressure
Mar 8 - Kettering General Hospital say they are under intense emergency care pressures and are urging local people to use NHS services appropriately and stay away from A&E wherever possible.
A significant number of patients have attended with minor conditions and as a result waited four to six hours – and then often been referred to their GP.
KGH bosses say the high pressure situation – which is also a theme across the rest of the UK – means that both hospital and community services are very full.
Kettering General Hospital’s Acting Chief Executive Rebecca Brown said: “We are under extreme pressure at the moment. We do have a high rate of patients who are appropriately being admitted to hospital and more than half of patients in hospital at the moment are over 75. These patients – often with multiple medical conditions – need to be our priority. Local people can help by not attending A&E for conditions which they could wait and see their GP for. Or maybe they could access other NHS services such as the Corby Urgent Care Centre, NHS 111 advice line or their local pharmacist.”
KGH Medical Director, Prof Andrew Chilton, added: “We would urge local people to do everything they can to support discharges from hospital. Anything people can do to help their relatives to return home - or into appropriate community care – as soon as possible is very helpful because any delays in discharge only add greater pressure on the hospitals’ front lines.”
Auditors warn on NCC budgetUnpublished
Feb 22 - A budget vote at Northamptonshire County Council has been postponed following a warning from auditors.
NCC has been struggling financially - with a non-essential spending ban imposed and an agreement put in place to sell its new, multi-million pound HQ in Northampton.
The county council, who oversee services like Trading Standards, Highways and Libraries - have been told by auditors KPMG that their plans for the financial year ahead could have been unlawful.
KPMG have been looking at how much money NCC would need to spend next year and where it would come from.
A meeting among county councillors is now set to be held next week about what to do next.