An opportunity for the voice of the VCS to be heard!

During June and July 2018, all eight councils in Northamptonshire held a joint public consultation into future local government reform in Northamptonshire, focusing on the two-unitary model – this was the only option which met all of the Government’s criteria following the Best Value Inspection of NCC earlier this year.

A proposal has been put forward for two unitary councils: West Northamptonshire, comprising the current area of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire; and North Northamptonshire, comprising the current areas of Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough.

The proposal was agreed and submitted to the Secretary of State on 31 August.

This is obviously a time of great change for all communities in Northamptonshire and it is important that the impact of these changes are understood.

 We would like to understand the impact these changes will have on the voluntary sector and this survey will help to gain people's views about these changes. The results will be fed into a countywide report which will then be presented to decision makers as part of the process to feed into their thinking about the future two unitary authorities.

If you would like to be involved / contribute to the work required to prepare the VCS for the change, or you have any further comments you would like to add please email dawn.cummins@voluntrayimpact.org.uk

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* 1. Which area does your charity cover?

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* 2. Based upon the very limited information that we know about, what are your concerns, if any, about the future proposal for the unitary authorities?

For example do you think that it will affect local people as it might dilute the information that is known about their local needs and therefore decisions could be made without a real understanding about the communities involved?

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* 3. What do you think their priorities should be when looking at proposed structures?

Eg: Should it be about protecting local knowledge? Should they develop a process to ensure that local communities are involved in decisions about their future? Is it about protecting investment?

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* 4. Do you think these proposals represent an opportunity for the voluntary sector and our communities? If so, please explain what you think the opportunities are.

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* 5. Do you think these proposals represent a challenge for the voluntary sector and our communities? If so, please explain what you think the challenges are, and also suggest ways that they would be overcome?

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* 6. Do you think your service will change as a result? If so, how?

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* 7. What resources, if any, would you need to adapt to these changes? Eg: more money? ensuring local authority structures demonstrate their commitment to local communities and voluntary groups?

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* 8. What support would you like from your new local authority? Eg: make sure they keep us informed? Meet with us regularly to make sure we are part of future thinking?

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* 9. What relationship do you think the VCS &/or your organisation should strive to achieve with the new local authority?

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* 10. What do you think the voluntary and community sector should be doing to prepare for the new local authority?

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