The new leader of Northampton Borough Council says there will be no bid for city status in the foreseeable future as it would be a “distraction” from the regeneration work in the town.
Councillor David Mackintosh, who took over on Friday, said he wants to focus on building projects such as the new bus interchange and redevelopment of the railway station. The new Guildhall leader has also written to the chairman of the Saints, Leon Barwell, and chairman of the Cobblers, David Cardoza, to ask for an early meeting with them to express his support for their expansion plans. Councillor Mackintosh said: “There has been a lot of speculation about a bid for city status but I don’t think there will be a bid in the foreseeable future. There are a number of regeneration projects in the town that we need to focus on. I think it would be a distraction considering the cost involved of putting in a bid. “Northampton is fortunate to have sports clubs which put the town on the map nationally and internationally, and bring thousands of visitors to the town and millions of pounds into the local economy. I look forward to meeting them as soon as possible.” Councillor Mackintosh also announced he would stand down from his role as Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for community services next month: “It has been a great privilege to serve as a cabinet member on the county council. These are challenging times and we have faced unprecedented cuts in funding and many difficult decisions so the work has never been easy but we have always worked well together as a team and I look forward to continuing to work with the county council in my new role.” He will be confirmed as leader of Northampton Borough Council at a meeting on Monday, November 7. He will remain a backbench county councillor for Ecton Brook and Rectory Farm.