It has recently been confirmed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government that the existing councils in Northamptonshire will be replaced with two new unitary authorities as of the 1st April 2021, following the decision to restructure local government in the county. In doing so, he has accepted the proposal put forward by the existing local councils about how that reform should look. The new council for North Northamptonshire (covering Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough) will see 78 councillors representing our communities on the existing Northamptonshire County Council boundaries, but with three members for each division, who will be elected to a shadow authority in May 2020 in the usual way by local people, with a year of preparation then leading into the new council ‘going live’ the following April. The Secretary of State will now lay the necessary legislation before Parliament and I hope that this decision will allow Northamptonshire’s local government community to move forward and build on the provision of high-quality services for local residents. I shall continue to support the existing councils in this work, and in particular help them to ensure that decision-making is taken at the most local level possible, with strong area representation built in.