Revised approach to Future Northants programme expected

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Government legislation is expected soon to set out a revised approach for the proposals to create two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire.

In a statement, the Leaders of Northamptonshire’s councils said: “Next week the Government will publish, and legislate for, its response to dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.  It will include reference to the planned reorganisation of Local Government in Northamptonshire. We welcome the clarity this will provide.

“We expect that this legislation will outline the creation of two new Shadow Authorities to come into being in May this year. Just as they would have come into being had the local elections not been postponed.

“Because of the delay to these elections, the current councillors across all district, borough and county councils, as elected representatives, will form these new organisations on an interim basis until elections are held on the 6th May 2021.

“Due to this different approach and the absence of newly elected bodies, we also expect the government to nominate those local councillors who will be interim Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the Shadow Authorities as opposed to these being selected locally. Those nominated will take on this responsibility until such time as elected representatives can be returned to the new councils.

“The coronavirus is likely to have a profound impact on our society. Its impact on local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire is minor in comparison to the hardships and tragedies impacting our communities. However we welcome the clarity the government intends to provide so that work can continue on the creation of two new unitary councils.”