First steps towards creating Central Beds Council

Councillors from three authorities discuss the way forward on Thursday.

The first steps towards creating a new unitary authority for Central

Bedfordshire will be taken by more than 130 councillors on Thursday evening.

Members of Mid Beds and South Beds district councils will gather with their counterparts from Bedfordshire County Council at an inaugural

meeting of the shadow council at Priory House, Chicksands.

They will decide on a constitution and code of conduct.

Central Beds will take responsibilty for Mid and South Bedfordshire next April, when County Hall is abolished.

A shadow executive led by Coun Tricia Turner, the leader of Mid Beds, will also be set up, consisting of four members from each of the three authorities.

This executive will be the main decision-making body during the

transition period.

Coun Turner said: "This is a historic meeting – for the first time members from all three authorities will be gathering together as one council.

"We will now begin the work of creating a Central Bedfordshire

Council from all the best of the existing three councils.

"We will be working together to find new and more effective ways to deliver all three councils' services to local people."

One of the shadow executive's major tasks will be to agree a budget for the new Central Bedfordshire Council at the beginning of next year.

The first meeting of Bedford Borough Council's shadow executive has yet to be scheduled.