COUNCILLORS have this week made recommendations to a new council on who should serve in senior officer roles.

A task force of senior elected members from Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council met in Whitehaven on Thursday.

The Joint Committee is tasked with paving the way for the new Cumberland Council which will succeed them on Vesting Day – April 1, 2023.

In its final meeting, the committee recommended a group of experienced council officers for key interim roles on the new authority’s first year.

Cumberland Council will meet as a Shadow Authority for one year, briefly co-existing with the existing councils until their preparation work is complete.

READ MORE: Date set for Cumberland Council forerunner's first meeting

Councillors unanimously agreed to recommend Andrew Seekings as interim chief executive for that initial 12 month period.

Mr Seekings is the chief executive of the existing Allerdale Borough Council.

Members also recommended Catherine Parkinson for the interim monitoring officer role and Pam Duke for the interim chief finance officer position.

Ms Duke serves the county council in the same role and Ms Parkinson is the authority’s monitoring officer.

Director of governance and regulatory services Mark Lambert said: “The Joint Committee’s responsibility in this area is to recommend names to the Shadow Authority in order that it can fulfil its duties in its first meeting.”

Cumbria County Council member Celia Tibble proposed that the officers be recommended for the roles.

However, Cllr Tibble proposed an amendment that officers only receive pay for their roles on the existing councils.

“That the Joint Committee does not recommend the payment of honoraria for the above positions.”

Cllr Keith Little and Mike Johnson seconded the motion.

Carlisle City Council member Lisa Brown said: “Just for clarification, these aren’t just for the first meeting, these are for the term until the actual positions are appointed, is that right?”

Chairman of the committee and leader of the county council Stewart Young said: “I believe so, it’ll be a matter for the new authorities what they decide to do but I think the important thing is we need to get officers present at that first meeting and then the new authorities will take their decisions.

“They are required to make permanent appointments to these three statutory positions by the end of December and they’ll have to go through a proper recruitment process for that.”