Local elections that should have taken place today were cancelled because the council responsible ran out of cash.
As voters across the UK head to the polls in the local elections, voters in one corner of the country won’t get a chance to deliver their verdict on a council dubbed “the worst in Britain”.
Northamptonshire voters will stay at home after the government cancelled elections run by Tory-run cash-strapped County Council.
In came in the wake of a financial crisis which saw the council raise council tax by 5% and cancels non-essential spending, including gritting some roads.
County council elections were not due this year as they took place two years ago – but elections to district and parish councils were cancelled in November.
Community Secretary James Brokenshire said at the time said that “elections in such circumstances risk confusing voters and would involve significant costs that would be hard to justify.”
The government is currently believed to be planning to reconstitute all the council tiers as two unitary authorities.
But voters whose lives will be shaped by the council are furious about not being able to have their say on the authority’s future.
Helen Jackson, 68, from Wellingborough described being stripped of her vote as a “disgrace”.
The retired lawyer said: “I think it is quite unfair – I don’t think it is right that we are being penalised for the state in which the council finds itself.
“To be honest, it is anti-democratic, decisions on the future shape of the authority ought to go to a vote of all the people not be made by Tory ministers.”
A spokesman for the council said: “Late last year the government announced that the district and parish council elections scheduled across the county for May 2019 would be suspended until May 2020, which is when the proposed unitary authorities, if they receive approval from the Secretary of State would hope to be up and running.”
Communities and Local Government Secretary Mr Brokenshire is understood to consulting on the future of the authority and will announce “his decision as soon as practicable”.