Councillors from across North Northamptonshire came together last night for an historic meeting that laid the foundations for the new unitary council in April next year.
Members from Corby, East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough councils joined county councillors covering those areas to take up their seats for the first meeting of the North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority, which was held virtually and broadcast live yesterday evening.
Addressing the meeting, the Shadow’s newly-appointed Leader Councillor Russell Roberts urged all 152 councillors that make up the authority to work as a team to deliver an exemplary new council for residents on 1 April next year.
He said: “In the North we have always embraced growth and change as a way of delivering better outcomes for our residents. We are now charged with building a strong framework which will deliver our new authority on 1 April next year in good order.
“I know we can do this, especially if we come together as one team with an open mind and I look forward to working with you all to this end.”
At last night’s meeting, councillors approved the new interim senior officers, required by law, to head up preparations for the new North Northamptonshire Council, until permanent positions are filled later this year.
Liz Elliott has been appointed Interim Chief Executive, with Glenn Hammons as Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151) and Bhupinder Gill as Interim Monitoring Officer.
Mrs Elliott is Managing Director of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Mr Hammons is Resources and Commercial Executive Director at East Northants Council and Mr Gill is Monitoring Officer for East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough councils.
Members also agreed the shadow authority’s Constitution – the legal framework which sets out how it will be run and do business – along with the Code of Conduct. They also received and endorsed the membership of the authority’s new Shadow Executive (executive committee), which will head up the authority’s preparations for the new Council, and decided the membership of other shadow committees for Overview and Scrutiny, Standards and Senior Appointments.
You can view a recording of yesterday’s meeting on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU8q37k_z0I
Councillor Roberts added today: “This first meeting has played a crucial role in ensuring all the arrangements are in place so we’re ready to get on with the considerable work that lies ahead of us between now and next April.
“It’s great news that Liz, Glenn and Bhupinder will joining us on this important next stage of our unitary journey as we work towards creating an exemplary new Council for all our residents.”
The North Northants Shadow Executive is set to hold its first meeting online next week (Thursday, 11 June), with the agenda available to view at https://cmis.northamptonshire.gov.uk/cmis5live/NorthNorthamptonshireShadowAuthority.aspx