AN INTERIM chief executive of the new authority is set to be appointed by a task force of senior Cumbrians.

The final meeting of a committee tasked with paving the way for the new Cumberland Council is set to take place in Whitehaven on Thursday May 12.

Cumberland Council will take over in April 2023, governing Carlisle, Allerdale and Copeland and led by the councillors elected on May 5.

But for the next 12 months, councillors elected this past week will serve as a Shadow Authority, completing the transition process before the existing city, county and borough councils handover to them on Vesting Day.

News and Star: Andrew Seekings, chief executive of Allerdale Borough CouncilAndrew Seekings, chief executive of Allerdale Borough Council

The Joint Committee of county, borough and city leaders meeting next week have been making recommendations to the Shadow Authority on issues such as councillor expenses, the constitution and Code of Conduct.

In their final meeting, the taskforce will make recommendations on who the Shadow Authority should appoint in high level officer positions.

A report prepared for the meeting reveals that Andrew Seekings is in line for the top job on the Cumberland Council Shadow Authority.

Senior councillors will be asked to recommend that Mr Seekings is the interim head of paid service for Cumberland Council during its shadow year. He is currently the chief executive of Allerdale Borough Council.

Recommendations will also be made for the interim monitoring officer and interim chief finance officer roles.

It is not yet confirmed who officers will ask the Joint Committee to recommend for the finance and monitoring officer roles.

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The report prepared for councillors reveals: “Article 9 of the Cumbria (Structural Changes) Order 2022 requires that at its first meeting the shadow authority for Cumberland must designate on an interim basis an officer of the County Council or one of the Cumberland councils to be responsible for performing, in relation to the shadow authority, various statutory duties of the Head of the Paid Service, the Monitoring Officer and the Chief Finance Officer.”

A previous meeting saw the Joint Committee agree to appoint an interview panel for the vacant position.

The interview panel was made up of: Allerdale Council leader Mike Johnson, Carlisle City Council leader John Mallinson, Copeland Council executive member David Moore and Cumbria County Council cabinet member Celia Tibble.