Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Jeffrey Room, The Guildhall, St. Giles Square, Northampton, NN1 1DE. View directions

Contact: Alice Morgan  01604 837795 e-mail:

No. Item


Welcomes, Introductions and Apologies


Apologies were received from Christiana Owusu-Akuffo, Mike Hill, Mary Dyer-Atkins, and Jean Anderton.



Budget 2014/15 - Cllr. Bottwood pdf icon PDF 392 KB

Additional documents:


Cllr. Bottwood gave an introduction to his role and the background to the budget in terms of debt and changes which have been put forward in order to stream line services.


Cllr. Oldham said that when managing budgets in the authority, it is important that the books do not go into debt. Authorities do not have the choice to go without, services still need to be provided that the people want. There is a restriction on what the authority can spend, cannot go above what the central Government provides.


Cllr. Bottwood spoke about the borough, 2014-18/19, if we do absolutely nothing, 2018/19 we will have a £9.6 million gap (33%).  Current reserves are £3.1 million. Therefore we have to bring in some measures to cut spending and increase income.


AT raised the issue of Decent Homes Standard and the spending of money to replace kitchens etc. in council homes where new kitchen isn’t wanted. This is where cuts can be made. Cllr. Bottwood explained that there are two separate parts of the budget, the General Fund and the budget for Housing. The way the Government has structured housing means that funding for housing is ring fenced. This money for housing has to be spent on homes, which includes the Decent Homes Fund from Government. This money has to be used in a prescribed amount of time, and wouldn’t be able to move this grant over to general fund. If it is not spent, the Government would ask for money back.


Cllr. Bottwood went through the Budget in a Minute. This information can be found here:


Questions and Feedback of the Forum:



NS asked why NCC not doing anything around Parking meters on street? Cllr Bottwood said that NBC are working hard to get NCC to do the same as us. However, due to their budget constraints also and own priorities, they are not able to reduce charges. Have to consider Whole County and not just the town.

Business Incentive Scheme

TM thought it was a good idea to cut parking charges and to introduce the business incentive scheme. TM suggested that empty shops are rented out on a short lease to art groups and voluntary groups to stop them looking empty. Also, TM suggested Arts Markets on Sundays are a good way to encourage more into the town on a Sunday. Cllr. Bottwood said that if the empty shops are Council owned, then this suggestion is easy to do, however landlords of those properties would be reluctant as they want long term tenants. The key would be to get more people into the town, and make the town more attractive, so that people are coming to the town to have a day out, as well as coming to shop. As a result, we would then be in a better position to look at increasing business.

Cllr. Bottwood highlighted that there is a lot going on with Northampton Business. Have a look at Northampton Alive and you will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Any Other Business


Date and venues of future Forum Meetings


The date of the next meeting is on Thursday, 6th February from 14:00-16:00.