West Northamptonshire Shadow Executive agrees new task groups to drive forward unitary preparations

The first ever West Northamptonshire Shadow Executive met virtually last night  to continue driving and delivering the plans for creating a West Northamptonshire Council.

Following last week’s inaugural West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority meeting with over 100 councillors taking part in discussions, members of the newly formed executive committee met online to agree terms of reference for a suite of member-led task groups that will drive the unitary plans.

These working groups involve over 50 councillors from across West Northamptonshire and a range of political groups. They will help to progress a variety of major work streams such as governance, Council Tax harmonisation, budgets, senior appointments and equalities as well as transformation, which remains a key element of the plans for the new council.

Shadow Executive Leader, Ian McCord, said:  “This is the start of a new era for West Northamptonshire. All four councils are working as one team to create a new council that brings together the very best from the past, but which is also keenly focused on the future. These are difficult times for residents and we remain committed to helping them through COVID but we’re also looking to the longer-term future where we can provide better services to help residents live happier and healthier lives.

“There was a healthy debate around these member task groups and the key activities that they will deliver in the creation of West Northamptonshire Council. We agreed that the achievements of each group will be shared at future executive meetings where members of the public can hear the progress to date including on how we are setting budgets and appointments to key statutory roles including the new Chief Executive.”

A recruitment campaign was recently launched to attract the brightest and the best candidates to the most senior roles in the new West Northamptonshire Council. These include Chief Executive, Director of Finance, Monitoring Officer, Director of Adults Social Care and the Director of Children’s Social Care. A dedicated recruitment website is attracting a great deal of interest as enthusiasm grows for the future of West Northamptonshire.

Cllr McCord added: “I would encourage all interested candidates to take a look at the roles on offer and then tell us why they think they are the best person for the job. Elected members will be involved in the process to recruit the best talent through the task groups and look forward to receiving strong applications.”

These key roles will be filled by October this year well in advance of April 2021 when West Northamptonshire Council is formed. For more details, go to www.shapethefuturenorthants.co.uk

A recording of the West Northants Shadow Executive meeting can be viewed on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUbrADnO4nM