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Local government in Northampton

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Seats  45
Local government in Northampton
Type  Non-metropolitan district council of Northampton
Leader  Mary Markham, Conservative Since 2015
Deputy Leader  Jonathan Nunn, Conservative Since 2016
Mayor  Christopher Malpas, Conservative Since 2016
Deputy Mayor  Gareth Eales, Labour Since 2016

Northampton Borough Council is the borough council and non-metropolitan district responsible for local government in the large town of Northampton in England. The leader and cabinet model of decision-making has been adopted by the council. It consists of 45 councillors, representing 33 wards in the town, overseen by a mayor, leader and cabinet. It is currently controlled by the Conservative Party and has been led by Mary Markham since her election on 7 May 2015. The main council building is Northampton Guildhall.



Northampton was granted its first town charter in 1189 by King Richard I and was permitted the appointment of a mayor in 1215 by King John. Northampton first existed as an ancient borough in medieval Britain before being one of the 178 boroughs to be reformed under the Municipal Corporations Act in 1835. Under the Local Government Act, it was then recognised as a county borough of 6 wards from 1898, 9 wards from 1900 and 12 wards from 1911. Northampton was granted modern borough status in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 as Northampton Borough Council, a non-metropolitan district council under Northamptonshire County Council.

Northampton is now the most populous urban district in England not to be administered as a unitary authority, a status it failed to obtain in the 1990s local government reform. During the Local Government Commission for England (1992), Northampton was rejected from becoming a unitary authority because it was decided that "the separation of Northampton from its county would have a significant and detrimental effect." The government announced its acceptance of these recommendations in March 1996. In 2000, Northampton applied unsuccessfully for city status, held to celebrate the new millennium.


The leader and cabinet model of decision-making, adopted by the borough council under the Local Government Act 2000, is similar to national government. The council appoints the Leader (usually a member of the group with the political majority) and he or she appoints up to five other councillors to serve on the cabinet. The cabinet members assume responsibility for different key areas of local governance including environment; community engagement; housing; planning, regeneration and enterprise; and finance.

The full council meets various times a year. The full council set the annual budget and the council's overall policies. It also has responsibility for amendments to the council's constitution and is responsible for appointing the leader, the executive, and the committees of the council.

Political control

Political control of the non-metropolitan district has been held by the following groups:

The council comprises 45 councillors who represent the borough. Each councillor typically serves for a four-year term, representing an electoral ward. Each ward elects between one and three councillors by the first past the post system of election. The current composition of the borough council, following the 2015 election, and subsequent by-elections, is 25 Conservative councillors, 17 Labour councillors, and 3 Liberal Democrat councillors. The next election will take place in May 2019.


Local government in Northampton Wikipedia

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