Daventry Town Council requests transfer of parks, open spaces and market from district council ahead of unitary move

Daventry Town Council argues the town's services and assets should be look after by people who know Daventry
Daventry Town Council argues the town's services and assets should be look after by people who know Daventry

Daventry Town Council is in talks with the district council over the transfer of the town's market, parks and open spaces ahead of the move to a unitary model of local government.

The move to a unitary, planned for April 2020, will see Daventry District Council, South Northamptonshire Council and Northampton Borough Council become a single local authority.

In light of this, the town council opened discussions with the district council over the transfer of assets and services, arguing that Daventry's parks, market and open spaces should be cared for by people "who know and care for the local area".

Deborah Jewell, chief officer of Daventry Town Council, said: "The town council has given this matter due thought and consideration and would not be discussing the transfer of town assets from the district to the town council if it thought it would not be in the town’s best interest to do so.

"Daventry Town Council has a duty of care to the residents of the town to preserve its assets, including parks and open spaces, as well as buildings, not just for the current generation but for generations to come.

"Local councils play important roles in residents' lives and it is important that those who live and work in the town have a say in how services are delivered in the future.

"We believe that those services would best be delivered by Daventry Town Council, who know and care for the local area, rather than an autonomous body who is removed from the town."

Daventry District Council has advised that they have a duty to preserve the freedom and flexibility of assets and services for the new unitary authority.

The town council challenged this view and insisted it is the duty of both councils to preserve the town’s heritage and work together to transfer the town’s parks, open spaces and market to the town council "as the rightful custodian".

Ian Vincent, the chief executive of Daventry District Council, has acknowledged the importance of preserving the town’s heritage and the ownership and management of its assets being governed by the authority that best represented its community.

But he added that legislation and contractual obligations may prevent any transfer.

The town council has challenged the legal reasons and is seeking legal advice to pursue the transfer of the New Street Recreation Ground, open spaces and the market.