Over the next few weeks teams of Councillors will start their work to investigate some of the issues that matter most to people in Northampton.
Earlier this year Northampton Borough Council's Overview & Scrutiny Committee asked for people to submit their ideas for issues the Committee should look into. The Committee has the power to look into any issue affecting residents or the town, and ideas do not even need to be related to Borough Council services.
After looking at all of the suggestions for possible investigations the Committee found that there were four popular themes for further work.
Scrutiny Panel 1 will look at crime in our town. The Panel will study the town's crime statistics and take an in-depth look at where crime is highest in Northampton. This work will be used to assist the future Police and Crime Commissioner.
Scrutiny Panel 2 will look at the town centre from the perspective of a shopper. The study will look at parking, how the town looks, the experiences of shopping in Northampton and what factors influence people in deciding to return to shop in our town. The report will help to guide the future development of the town centre.
Scrutiny Panel 3 will look at the infrastructure requirements of the town and how new developments can help. The study will look at what planning powers can be used to fund new or improved infrastructure in our town. The report will help the planners and the Council's Planning Committee.
The Committee will also look at scheduling a review that will investigate the issue of people sub-letting Council properties. The review would help to identify the scale of the problem and what can be done to identify can take action against individuals who misuse Council properties.
Councillor Les Marriott, chair of Northampton Borough Council's Overview & Scrutiny Committee said: "Earlier this year we had a fantastic response when we asked people what they wanted us to look at. Some questions we were able to answer immediately and the rest could be grouped into several key areas. Which means we now have a number of interesting issues to take a closer look at, and will again be asking for people to get involved and have their say as each investigation progresses.
"Over the next 12 months we will be looking to get to the bottom of each issue, and producing reports and recommendations that not only answer the question but can be used to make our town a better place to live, work and visit."