THE FIRST meeting of a new council for Eden, South Lakeland and Barrow-in-Furness takes place next week.

Westmorland and Furness Council will take over as the sole responsible authority on the patch by April 2023.

But first the new unitary council must meet as a Shadow Authority, serving alongside the existing county and district councils until their preparation work is complete.

The Shadow Authority’s first meeting takes place at the council chamber in County Hall, Kendal at 2.30pm on Tuesday May 17.

The first order of business will be to elect a chairman and vice chairman for meetings in the coming year.

Councillors will be asked to approve Code of Conduct and standards arrangements as well as a proposed constitution.

Recommendations have been made on who should fill the statutory officer roles on the new council.

A leader of the council will be elected and the authority looks set to be Liberal Democrat controlled.

The Lib Dems took a clear majority of the seats with 36 at last week’s elections.

Councillors will be informed of the political balance on committees as well as a proposed members’ allowance scheme and calendar of meetings.