Jill Hope

Northamptonshire County Councillor for Sixfields - a Lib Dem campaigner working all year round, not just at election time Learn more

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Tory County Council cuts £73m and axes 900 jobs and then spends £2m on new quango and Brussels office.

by Jill Hope on 28 February, 2011

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE County Council cuts up to 900 jobs, turns off half the street lights, drops bus subsidies, scraps lollipop men and women…..but it has managed to find £2m for council leader Jim Harker’s vanity project – the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP).

The county council’s bid for a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was rejected by the coalition Government. The Government preferred the bid submitted by the LibDem-run Borough Council. So what did council leader Jim Harker do? He decided to fund his own NEP!

This will include opening an office with two staff in Brussels. Total cost of Cllr Harker’s NEP? Two million quid of council taxpayer’s money.

Bill Newton Dunn, local LibDem Member of the European Parliament said: “Two people isn’t very much to cover everything, so I think the council should speak to other counties in the area and get them to join in the project.”

Councillor Richard Church said: “Making cuts of £73M will destroy far more jobs than this economic investment fund will ever create.”

What would you do with two million quid? Open an office in Brussels?

If  Cllr Harker’s NEP pet project was scrapped, what cuts could be avoided?

  1. The bus subsidy could be reinstated
  2. The lollipop men and ladies could be saved
  3. Save at least some of the work done by the Casualty Reduction Partnership.

If you had £2m to spend, what would you spend it on for the good of Northamptonshire?

See also:
Northampton Chronicle and Echo’s report about the Euro MPs split on £2m business park by Northamptonshire County Council

…compared to the LibDem-run Northampton Borough Council’s successful local enterprise partnership agreed by the Government

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