We asked, you said, we did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

Update on 14 May 2021: The links below have been updated following the transfer of committee meetings to the North Northamptonshire Council Moderngov website.

The budget for North Northamptonshire Council will provide a range of services to residents and businesses across the area including care to vulnerable adults and children, education, the disposal and collection of waste, household waste recycling, economic development, housing and support for the homeless.

The budget consultation period commenced on 11 December 2020 and ended on 29 January 2021. The draft budgets have been subject to scrutiny by the Shadow Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

The consultation provided residents, local partners and other stakeholders the opportunity to review the budget proposals and provide feedback during the seven-week consultation period.

The consultation focused on the draft budget proposals that would likely effect residents and service users. However, respondents were invited to comment on anything within the Draft Budget.

You said

Using the various means available to consultees, local people and organisations contributed to the North Northamptonshire Council Draft Budget 2021-22 Consultation 376 times.

Council Tax harmonisation proposals:

  • The majority of respondents (60.38%) said they strongly agree or tend to agree with the proposal to harmonise Council Tax in the first year, while just over a quarter of respondents (26.08%) said they strongly disagree or tend to disagree with the proposal

Council Tax increase proposals:

  • 50.75% of respondents said they strongly agree or tend to agree with the proposed general Council Tax increase of 1.99%, whilst 33.84% said they strongly disagree or tend to disagree
  • 40.93% of respondents said they strongly agree or tend to agree with the proposed 3% precept increase for Adult Social Care and 42.29% said they strongly disagree or tend to disagree

For more information about the responses to the North Northamptonshire Council Draft Budget 2021-22 Consultation, please see Appendix G - Consultation Feedback Summary from the North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority meeting on 25 February 2021.

We did

On Thursday 25 February 2021, the North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority approved the 2021 to 2022 budget for North Northamptonshire.

For more information about the budget, please see the:

We asked

Update on 14 May 2021: The links below have been updated following the transfer of committee meetings to the North Northamptonshire Council Moderngov website.

In October, the Shadow Executive Committee supported the aim to launch , subject to consultation, a new North Northamptonshire housing allocation scheme on vesting day, 1 April 2021, to supersede the existing schemes covering Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough Councils. 

The consultation ran for six week consultation which ran from 4 November to 15 December 2020. 

We asked for views on the proposed draft housing allocation scheme and asked respondents “To what extent do you agree or disagree with this proposal” against ten key proposals:

  1. The proposed inclusion of certain non-qualifying categories (restricting access to the housing register)
  2. The proposed local connection criteria
  3. The proposed ‘free movement’ across North Northamptonshire (some exceptions apply)
  4. The proposed priority banding criteria
  5. The proposal to disallow access to those applicants with no housing need (limited exceptions apply)
  6. The proposed approach to allocating village properties
  7. The proposed property eligibility rules – who can be considered for what property type
  8. The proposed approach to allocating disabled adapted properties
  9. The proposal to remove choice for homeless and emergency need cases to ensure timely housing solutions
  10. The proposed sanctions for property refusals 

You said

The North Northamptonshire Council Draft Housing Allocation Scheme Consultation received 238 responses.

Overall, across the ten proposals, the consultation returned a rate of 63% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the proposals, 15% disagreeing or strongly disagreeing, and the remaining 22% of responses neither agreeing nor disagreeing or not knowing.

The consultation feedback highlighted the following areas of concern which were considered in detail by the Shadow Executive Committee on Wednesday 3 February 2021:

  • Non-qualifying applicants with ‘no housing need’ especially private renters
  • Restricting choice for Band A applicants whilst ensuring suitable property offers having regard to the proposed ‘free movement’ rules
  • The allocation of village properties and village local connection

For more information on the North Northamptonshire Council Draft Housing Allocation Scheme Consultation, please see:

We did

The North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee on Wednesday 3 February 2021 resolved that:

  1. The final draft housing allocation scheme for North Northamptonshire contained in Appendix A to the report be approved.
  2. The aim to launch the new scheme on vesting day, 1 April 2021 be supported.

Reasons for Decision: The alignment of existing housing allocation schemes into one North Northamptonshire scheme will create equality of opportunity to access social housing across North Northamptonshire and bring cost savings and wider benefits to North Northamptonshire Council and its customers.

Please see the North Northamptonshire Housing Allocation Scheme report for the Shadow Executive Committee to see the impact of the consultation responses and how the consultation feedback has been used to shape the final draft scheme.

The feedback from the consultation will also inform future monitoring and reviews of the scheme and be fed into the workstreams that are considering the future Housing Strategy for North Northamptonshire and the housing allocations processes underpinning the new allocation scheme. 

We asked

Update on 14 May 2021: The links below have been updated following the transfer of committee meetings to the North Northamptonshire Council Moderngov website.

From April 2013, each Local Authority has been required to determine a LCTSS, which replaced the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme.

The Council Tax harmonisation Task & Finish Group considered all the background information and proposed the following for consultation:

  • The LCTSS headline rate at 25%
  • Backdating of LCTSS restricted to 1 month
  • Removal of the family premium for new claims
  • Limit on the dependents allowance to two dependent children
  • Temporary absence outside the UK limited to 4 weeks
  • Removal of the Work Related Activity Component for new Employment and Support Allowance claimants
  • Removal of the Severe Disability Premium where another person is paid Universal Credit (carers element) to look after them

The 8-week consultation ran for the period 5 October 2020 to 30 November 2020. 

This was more than the required statutory 6 weeks as members of the task and finish group recognised that the proposed changes could have an impact on vulnerable people therefore wanted to do more consultation than minimum required.

You said

North Northamptonshire Council Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTSS) Consultation 2021-22 received 409 responses.

  • Proposal 1: Almost half of the respondents agreed with the proposal to harmonise the minimum Council Tax contribution to 25% of Council Tax liability for working age people. 39% disagreed and 11% did not have an opinion
  • Proposal 2: Exactly half of the respondents agreed with the proposal to remove the award of a family premium when assessing new claims for LCTS. 21% disagreed and 23% did not have an opinion
  • Proposal 3: More than half of the respondents agreed with the proposal to limit the child allowance to two children. Just over a quarter disagreed and 14% did not have an opinion
  • Proposal 4: Just under half of the respondents agreed with the proposal to restrict backdating to 1 calendar month. 32% disagreed and 15% did not have an opinion
  • Proposal 5: 68% of the respondents agreed with the proposal to restrict temporary absence outside of the UK to 4 weeks. 15% disagreed and 13% did not have an opinion
  • Proposal 6: 41% of the respondents agreed with the proposal to remove entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) where a person is paid Universal Credit (Carer’s Element) to look after them. 34% disagreed and 16% did not have an opinion
  • Proposal 7: 44% of the respondents agreed with the proposal to remove the WRAC for new Employment and Support Allowance claimants. 20% disagreed and 27% did not have an opinion

For more information about the feedback received, please see Appendix 1 - Council Tax Support Consultation Analysis Report.

We did

On Thursday 7 January 2021, the North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee resolved that:

  1. The outcome of the consultation as detailed in Appendix 1 be given due regard;
  2. The Equalities Impact Assessment in Appendix 2 be given due regard; and
  3. The proposed new North Northamptonshire Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2021/22 as detailed in Appendix 3 be approved.

Reason for Decision: To ensure that the shadow authority complies with its Constitution in setting the budget for North Northamptonshire.

A few issues were raised from the consultation, which were clarified in the Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2021/22 report to the North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee on 7 January 2021.

For more information about the North Northamptonshire Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2021 / 21, please see the North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee meeting papers of 7 January 2021.

We asked

Update on 14 May 2021: The links below have been updated following the transfer of committee meetings to the North Northamptonshire Council Moderngov website.

The North Communications & Engagement Task and Finish Group were given a Brief, in June 2020, to come up with ideas for a Visual Identity / logo for the new North Northamptonshire Council.

The Consultation Hub was utilised to facilitate a widely publicised survey for residents, members and staff to give their opinions and suggestions on the 3 shortlisted draft logos.

The ‘Have your say on the new North Northamptonshire Council logo’ survey ran for 3 weeks from 17 August to 6 September 2020.

You said

The ‘Have your say on the new North Northamptonshire Council logo’ survey received 3,330 responses.

  • The favoured design received 1,339 votes
  • The second design received 679 votes
  • The third design received 516 votes

796 respondents did not give a preference.

The preferred design was that of a castle, a river, greenery and a Red Kite.

Suggested amendments following survey comment analysis:

  • Change the appearance of the water so it is less resembling of the sea
  • Make minor adjustments to give a more modern / mature feel
  • Give an explanation of the relevance of each element, especially the castle

For more information on the ‘Have your say on the new North Northamptonshire Council logo’ survey, please see:

We did

On Thursday 26 November 2020, the North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee resolved that:

  1. the final logo design be approved;
  2. it be noted that the design was shaped around the feedback from the online logo survey, which went out to staff, trade unions, councillors, partners, and the public; and
  3. it be noted that talented in-house staff were used in the development and iteration of the logo throughout and avoidance of any extra cost to the FN Programme and the taxpayer.

Amendments following survey comment analysis:

  • The river was made to look more smooth and it was repositioned with some greenery below – this represents a riverbank
  • Minor adjustments to placement were made to give a more fluid design
  • The Red Kite in the logo is representative of the rerelease and subsequent success of the bird from the mid 90’s. The castle is representative of the rich heritage and stately homes through North Northamptonshire and the trees, greenery and river illustrates the rich rural landscape of North Northamptonshire

We asked

Update on 14 May 2021: The links below have been updated following the transfer of committee meetings to the North Northamptonshire Council Moderngov website.

Prior to 1 April 2021, each sovereign council in the North Northamptonshire area had their own customer services opening hours.

In June 2020, the Programme Delivery Group approved in principle the harmonisation of hours for customer services opening hours for the North and West Northants subject to consultation with the public on preferred hours.

The consultation was limited to four options to manage expectations and enable the customer services opening hours to be harmonised with minimal impact on resources. Respondents had the options of:

  • 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • 9:30am to 5:30pm
  • I don’t mind

The ‘Customer Services opening hours in the new Northamptonshire unitary authorities’ survey took place from the 27 July to 23 August 2020.

You said

In total, the ‘Customer Services opening hours in the new Northamptonshire unitary authorities’ survey received 1,225 responses from residents of Northamptonshire.

Feedback on preferences:

  • 8:30am to 4:30pm preference – 150 responses 
  • 9:00am to 5:00pm preference – 151 responses
  • 9:30am to 5:30pm preference – 152 responses
  • I don’t mind / no preference – 148 responses

There was no clear preference between the opening hours choices for North Northamptonshire – even where respondents chose just one preference.

We did

Given no distinct preference in the North Northamptonshire area, opening hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm were recommended for a number of reasons:

  • The 9:00am to 5:00pm option was one of 2 clear favoured scenarios for the respondents in the North of the county
  • It would be cheaper than going 8:30am to 5:00pm for all. Rather than staying the same in 3 locations and expanding the hours of operation by 15 minutes each day in East Northants, this option represents a potential cost saving in the future or reallocation of the resources for back office functions
  • Adopting this option could avoid the need for staff disruption to working hours and consultation considering the FN programme drive for Safe and Legal

On Thursday 29 October 2020, the North Northamptonshire Shadow Executive Committee approved the recommended customer services opening hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm for North Northamptonshire Council.

The analysis of consultation feedback alongside the telephony call volume data informed the recommended opening hours.

For more information about the approval of the customer services opening hours for North Northamptonshire Council, please see the: