Essex council switches to ‘more democratic’ committee system

“Councillors at Basildon last week (25 May) voted to switch to a committee system to run the council in place of the Leader and Cabinet.

Following a vote at the council’s annual general meeting, councillors were appointed to various committees and other positions.

The committees include: policy and resources; housing and community; regeneration and environment; infrastructure, growth and development; planning; licensing; and audit and risk.

Cllr Gavin Callaghan, Policy and Resources Committee Chairman, said: “We have taken a very important step to change the way that decisions are made because we believe it will make the council more democratic and more effective. It is now down to us to prove it.

“All of us need to commit ourselves to listening to what our constituents and our communities are saying and to making sound decisions based on good evidence and careful consideration. We will need to work together and listen to each other too.”

The council has resolved that no one should use the title of Leader of the Council but that the chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee shall assume the responsibilities of a Leader of the Council in a committee system.

Basildon councillors had resolved on 15 December 2016 to cease operating the Leader and Cabinet form of governance and start operating a committee system from the earliest permitted time, which was the AGM in 2017.

The authority cannot resolve to make another change to its governance arrangements, including a return to the Leader and Cabinet form of governance, for five years, except if approved in a referendum.”

One thought on “Essex council switches to ‘more democratic’ committee system

  1. I recall at the Annual Council 2 or 3 years ago, Paul “The Div” Diviani stated on the record that he would love to switch back to the Committee system, but alas it was not legally possible to do so.

    Another falsehood from the Conservative leadership clique desperate to hold onto as much power as possible and equally desperate to minimise their level of accountability. [Owl: if the committee system had been abolished less than 5 years earlier that might have been the reason that no change could be made?]


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