The piece of legislation (Structural Change Order) that formalises the creation of two unitary authorities in Northamptonshire was laid before the General Election was called in 2019. It was considered by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee and was noted as an ‘instrument of interest’ before purdah started. Then the SCO lay dormant whilst there was no Government in place.
Parliament returns from recess 7 January 2020 after the Christmas break and MHCLG has informed the programme of the next steps for the SCO. First, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments needs to be formed – this is a committee of MPs and Lords and this can take a little bit of time. Once the committee is formed it will start to consider statutory instruments – the expectation is that the Northants SCO would be one of the first that they would consider, given when it was laid before Parliament.
Once the Committee has met and considered the SCO, it will publish a report and then the debates can be scheduled in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The whole process usually takes 6-8 weeks and this webpage will be updated as the SCO continues its passage through Parliament – https://statutoryinstruments.parliament.uk/timeline/WjY9gKI6/SI-2019/
We will keep you informed of any further developments.