Tuesday, 8 April 2014

County Council Accountability Changes by Cllr Sebastian Kindersley

As you know we don’t usually report on political matters because it drives everyone mad but there is a matter of concern which has potential adverse consequences that you should be aware of. 

The County Council is moving to a committee-based system in May, following on from many years under a cabinet and leader model. This is the result of a full council decision last May, and detailed preparations have taken place over the course of the past eleven months. Under the new system, all the different political groups will together populate the different service area committees, which will be decision-making groups.
The Conservative group has not made up its mind as to whether or not to participate in the new system. It is being publicly encouraged to boycott the new system by its former leader (who was deposed by the electorate in May last year). At the moment the Conservatives as a minority administration still control the cabinet and hold the council leadership; the current leader has indicated he is unable to support the committee system and will be standing down as group leader. A new leader has not yet been elected. 

The other groups – Lib Dem, UKIP, Labour and Independents – are all working together to support preparations for the system, and council debates and decisions over the year have become increasingly cooperative and constructive. 

It is a huge shame that the current situation is now uncertain, and hopefully a decision will be made that is geared to the delivery public services, rather than unhappiness about changes in the political landscape.