Buckinghamshire Council has outlined a series of political arrangements from 1st April in the light of the Government’s decision to delay this year’s elections to May 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Shadow Leader, Martin Tett said that although there were still many details to sort out, the new Council will commence as planned on 1st April. The council’s leadership will follow guidance from the Government with the following arrangements in place:
All 202 current Shadow Authority councillors will become councillors of the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April until May 2021.
The existing Shadow Executive members will form Buckinghamshire Council’s new Cabinet until the elections in May 2021
The Council’s new constitution (its operating rules and procedures) will come into force on 1st April and new committees will be established.
The Government is due to introduce emergency rules which will allow committees to hold virtual meetings for a temporary period.
Martin said; “These are clearly challenging and unprecedented times on a truly global scale. However, we will still be launching the new Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April as planned and continuing to provide services to residents with the minimum of disruption. A vast amount of planning and preparation is going on across all our services and we will be keeping people informed as decisions are made. It’s clear that the next few weeks and months will be difficult for all, but we will get through it.
“While we are taking sensible steps to ensure political continuity for the new Council, I know some councillors had made personal decisions not to stand for election this year. It will of course be open to them to stand down as they planned or alternatively consider staying on for an additional year. Once we know what those councillors want to do, we can finalise our proposals.”
Martin added; “I have spoken with both the Lib Dem and Labour Leaders. We are all agreed that this is not the time for party politics. We all share the commitment to best serve the residents, businesses and communities of Buckinghamshire at this time of crisis. We remain in regular dialogue with Government and expect to confirm all legislative and other changes required as soon as possible.”