THE first meeting of the Somerset West and Taunton Council’s shadow authority will take place on June 7, starting at 6pm at Oake Manor Golf Club, near Taunton.
The shadow council came into being when the Structural Order, confirming the creation of the new, single council, was approved by Parliament and ratified by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP.
Its role is to ensure the safe transition from the two existing councils – Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset – to the new council in April next year. Elections for the new council are due to take place in May 2019.
The shadow council consists of all 84 members of the two existing councils and is an entity in its own right. It will monitor the delivery of the “Implementation Plan” drawn up to make sure that a legal, safe and functioning authority comes into being in April 2019.
The agenda of the shadow council’s first meeting will cover a range of issues and topics including:
- Election of a chairperson and vice-chair
- Adoption of a Code of Conduct
- Adoption of an interim Constitution
- Political balance and appointment to the Shadow Executive and Committees
- Appointment of a Leader (from membership of the Shadow Executive)
- Appointment of a Deputy Leader (from membership of Shadow Executive)
The chair and vice-chair will be elected by all members present. It will also be necessary to appoint “proper officers” – the statutory senior officers: Head of Paid Service, the Monitoring Officer and the Section 151 Officer. Their duty is to secure good governance within the council.