The Minister for Local Government has written to Northamptonshire councils confirming his decisions for the legislation required for the creation of two new unitary authorities.
Known as a Structural Change Order, the legislation sets out timings of elections, duties of shadow authorities (the councils that will be in place prior to the actual North and West Northamptonshire councils) and functions of the joint committees currently in place to manage the process.
The letter confirms that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the May 2020 local elections will be to the shadow unitary authorities with 78 members in the north and 93 in the west. Parish council elections will go ahead at the same time but the district and borough elections will be postponed so current members will serve until the existing councils are abolished.
The joint committees currently in place in the north and west will continue to take responsibility for putting plans in place until the shadow authorities are established with a leader and cabinet in position. Future governance arrangements, including for overview and scrutiny, will be for the new councils to decide once they go live on 1 April 2021.
Read the full letter
As publicised last week, this Order is expected to go before Parliament this autumn and Northamptonshire Councils will respond to MHCLG as a group.