Shropshire Councilis the unitary authoritywhich will cover most of the ceremonial county of Shropshire, in the West Midlands of England. It will be formally established on April 1, 2009, upon the abolition of the non-metropolitan districts of Bridgnorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, South Shropshireand Shrewsbury & Atcham. The other unitary authority in Shropshire, covering the remainder of the county, is Telford and WrekinBorough Council, which was established in 1998.
The new council will inherit almost all of the properties and assets of the former district councils and county council. The logo for the council will be the existing County Council shield with "Shropshire Council" written to the side, in white and blue. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/shropshire/7608918.stm ]
The new council will at first be the existing Shropshire County Council (which is the "continuing authority") until elections take place in either May or June 2009. It is proposed that the council will, as from the first elections, consist of 74 councillors from mainly single-member electoral districts (there may however be a number of 2-member and even one or two 3-member electoral districts). The issue of the number of councillors and the electoral district boundaries is currently under consideration by the
Boundary Commission for England. It is planned that in most instances the electoral district boundaries will follow parish boundary lines, with the main exceptions being in the larger towns, where the parish will contain more than one electoral district. Shrewsbury for example, which was parished in 2008 as part of the change in local governance, will contain 17 electoral districts.
The council's seat will be at the Shirehall in
Shrewsbury, the county townof Shropshire.
The council will have three major positions which councillors may be appointed to. They are:
*Chairman - who will be the ceremonial head of the council
*Speaker - who will chair the full council meetings
*Leader - who will be the leader of the controlling political group
The Leader and 9 additional portfolio holders will form the Cabinet. This will effectively be the executive branch of the authority.
The permanent head of the administration of the council will be the
Chief Executive. The employees of the council will be structured within 7 directorships, each being headed by a permanent director. The 7 directorships will be:
*Legal & Democratic
*Performance & Partnerships
*Human Resources & Development
*Children & Young People's Services
The directors of Legal & Democratic and Performance & Partnerships will also be Assistant Chief Executives.
The area covered by the unitary authority is expected to be sub-divided into three areas, each of which will have an area committee which will deal with more local matters such as licensing and development control. The areas are expected to each consist of council electoral districts with a combined representation of around 25 councillors, therefore each area will be roughly equal in population. The councillors who represent an area's electoral districts will then form the area committee for that area.
It is currently proposed that the areas will more or less run along the following lines:
*Northern - consisting of the present districts of Oswestry and North Shropshire
*Central - consisting of the present district of Shrewsbury & Atcham
*Southern - consisting of the present districts of South Shropshire and Bridgnorth
Where the area committees will meet has yet to be formally arranged.
This is similar to the arrangements at the neighbouring
Powys County Council, where the area covered is sub-divided into three areas, each consisting of a previous administrative division.
2009 structural changes to local government in England
*Shrewsbury Town Council
* [http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/onecouncil.nsf Shropshire County Council] - One Council: Latest news and information
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