Finding new way forward for council

Finding new way forward for council

Finding new way forward for council

First published in Letters

MAY I respond to Cllr Charles Nicholls' letter (We will scrap cabinet system, Hereford Times, August 21) where he claims that the It's Our County group want to do away with the cabinet system on Herefordshire Council, to be replaced by more committee and council-making decisions.

He is wrong to think that an 'executive' can be totally replaced by committee-made decisions.

Someone has to be held accountable for implementing committee decisions, and to make the daily decisions that come up in any executive's member portfolio.

There is already argument that council takes too long to make decisions. With a committee-run council, there has by law, to be an agenda published and seven working days' notice published, before a meeting can take place!

Too long to get Balfour Beattie,for example, to be asked to take on extra gully cleaning duties!

The Independent group of councillors is looking at a more flexible and commutative system of government where councillors have more say in decisions that will affect the county's long-term future. A system that will involve more scrutiny and better public participation.

I favour an 'executive' of all the 'talents'. I hope that the IOC, Lib Dems, Greens and if they wish, the Tories, will join the Independents now, to draw up a new system of government prior to May's election.

We need to consult the public too, all of which takes time. Once decided, a new constitution and standing orders will need to be drafted. The Independent group are ready to lead on this formidable task and I hope that following September's meeting of council, in the Shire Hall, that councillors from across the political divide will see this as their most important immediate task.

CLLR CHRIS CHAPPELL Independent, St Martins & Hinton Ward, Herefordshire Council

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