Latest news on the new council for Buckinghamshire
The second piece of government legislation required to put in place the new single council for Buckinghamshire has been laid before Parliament this month. The Structural Changes Order details how the change to the new council will take place and how it will be set up.
The draft Order will be considered and debated by both Houses of Parliament and we expect it to take around 6 to 8 weeks to progress through Parliament before being approved. The Structural Changes Order confirms the following details:
- The name of the new council will be Buckinghamshire Council and it will have 147 councillors.
- Elections for the new council will take place in May 2020.
- A temporary Shadow Authority will be formed, with all current county and district councillors having a seat on this body; the shadow authority will set the 2020/21 council tax and budget.
- Leadership will be provided by a 17 seat Shadow Executive formed of nine county council members and eight district councillors, two from each district council.
- An implementation team, led by the County Council’s Chief Executive and with a district Chief Executive as deputy, should be established to manage the smooth transfer of services and staff to the new Council
Once this legislation has been approved by Parliament the Shadow Authority will meet within 14 days, bringing together county and district councillors from across the five councils. The Shadow Authority and Shadow Executive are in place until elections to the new council take place in May 2020 when the new council will then elect the leadership and executive member group for the new Buckinghamshire Council.
The county council and district councils are already working together to plan the work needed for the new Buckinghamshire Council to come into operation. Part of the first steps to joining up services has been the sharing of legal services between the county and district councils which was announced last week.
The new single council for Buckinghamshire will go live on 1 April 2020 and will provide all local public services for residents and businesses – this is what’s known as a unitary council. The five current councils – the county council and the four district councils – will cease to exist from that date. In the meantime, the county and district councils remain responsible for services as normal.
If you have any questions or comments on the plans for the new council please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also keep up to date with unitary news from the county council at www.buckscc.gov.uk/unitarycouncil