Existing councillors set to take up mantle of helping form two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire

The county council is to be scrapped next year and replaced by two unitary authoritiesThe county council is to be scrapped next year and replaced by two unitary authorities
The county council is to be scrapped next year and replaced by two unitary authorities | jpimedia
Existing councillors are now set to help launch the two new unitary authority councils that will be created next April.

The two new councils will replace the existing county council and seven district/borough councils across Northamptonshire. The reorganisation comes after a government appointed inspector said that the then cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council should be scrapped.

Elections had been due to be held in May to elect the councillors for the two new authorities, but the elections have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Instead they will take place next May. Had they been elected this year, they would have been working behind the scenes for a year as ‘shadow councillors’ before fully taking on their roles on launch day in April next year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Instead, it means that the current councillors, the majority of which will have served two additional years beyond the four-year term they were elected to in 2015, will now help shape the creation of the new unitaries.

In a report by county council leader Matt Golby, he says discussions are taking place with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to discuss ‘what options are available’ to meet the go live date of April 1 next year.

He said: “This will more than likely mean the creation of two shadow authorities made up of all the current members of the district and borough authorities and the county councillors whose divisions sit in either West or North Northamptonshire. A decision will be expected very soon.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that powers will be given to the two shadow executives (or cabinets) to deliver the new unitary councils. It is anticipated that each council will get two representatives on their respective executive/cabinet with eight in total for West Northamptonshire (two each from the county, Northampton, Daventry and South Northants) and ten for North Northamptonshire (two each from the county, Wellingborough, East Northants, Kettering and Corby).