Governance review project
What has happened so far
In May 2014, we changed our governance arrangements in accordance with the provisions of the Localism Act 2011
This allowed local authorities to move away from an Executive system (introduced by the Local Government Act 2000) and back to a Committee System. For 8 years we have operated under a Committee System of Governance.
On 26 July 2022, Council passed a motion instructing officers to undertake a review of our governance arrangements to:
- move to a Cabinet System
- introduce an Overview and Scrutiny function
- strengthen opportunities for public participation
At Annual Council on 23 May 2023, we are set to move from a Committee System to a Leader and Cabinet model (Executive arrangements).
System key features
Most financial and policy decisions taken by politically proportionate service-based committees:
- no individual Cabinet Member decision-making
- scrutiny takes place in service-based committees
- Single party Executive which takes most financial and policy decisions
- Executive Members accountable for portfolios
- Delegated decision-making by individual Executive Members
- Executive held to account by cross-party politically proportionate Overview & Scrutiny Committees
Governance Review Project
After the resolution at Council in July, officers started work on the review of:
- our current governance arrangements
- the steps required to make a legal change to a different governance model, consisting of an all-out change from one governance option to another under the Localism Act 2011
As part of the project, we will adopt a new Constitution and all associated documents and procedures.
We will also consider options for public participation and engagement through a public Constitution.
Who is involved in making the decisions
The Monitoring Officer is leading on developing a new Constitution which will come into force in May 2023
Both political groups have representatives on a Constitution Review Working Group which has been considering new constitution sections as and when they have been drafted.
Members have agreed that the Constitution can be reported directly to Full Council and not via the Constitution & General Purposes Committee.
To date, the following have been reviewed and are expected to be report to Full Council on 24 January: Articles; Terms of Reference of Council; and Delegation to Officers.
The following sections are work in progress:
- Terms of Reference of Cabinet
- Portfolio Holders and Committees
- meeting procedure rules
- Access to Information Rules
- other codes and regulations (for example, Financial Regulations, Contract Procedure Rules)