At a Full Council meeting held on Wednesday 27th February 2019, Corby Borough Council agreed the proposed content of a Structural Change Order (SCO) for any future North Northamptonshire unitary authority.
The purpose of the SCO would be to facilitate the transition from the existing local authorities to the new unitary councils. The Order would define the basic governance and operating principles in the lead up the new unitary authorities coming into existence on Vesting Day.
The Government have requested that a collective response be made by authorities within North Northamptonshire regarding any local preferences for inclusion in the Order. The Secretary of State will ultimately make the final decision on the content of the order based on recommendations.
Corby Borough Council agreed for the North Northamptonshire preferences to include:
- The name of the new authority to be North Northamptonshire
- That the authority be a District authority with County powers
- That the Shadow Authority have an ‘Executive’ structure with an Overview & Scrutiny Committee
- That the number of councilors to be elected at the first election of the Unitary Authority will be 78 in total for North Northamptonshire, including 15 for current Corby Borough area. This would utilise current NCC Divisions across North northamptonshire, with 3 councillors to be elected for each division.
- That the Shadow Executive Committee be comprised of 15 councillors made up of 3 councillors from each of the borough councils and 3 from the County Council
- That the Chief Executive of Corby Borough Council be responsible for convening the first meeting of the Shadow Authority Full Council
- A section 24 order to be put in place on all current authorities which restricts significant spending, new contracts and disposal of assets without further decision making being required
- That initial elections to take place in May 2020 with subsequent elections in May 2025 then on a 4 year cycle
Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Tom Beattie, said:
‘As we await a decision from the Secretary of State on the reform proposals that could see a new unitary authority for North Northamptonshire created as soon as April 2020, we are now in a position that it is necessary to discuss plans and options on how this new authority would operate.
‘These proposals will help us influence the Structural Change Order and gives us collectively an opportunity to influence how we would like to see the new authority set up.’