Questions and Answers 3- Ward Councillors Being Kept Out Of Things




This is the question that Jackie asked at Full Council:

“According to the Council Website:

“The main role of local ward Councillors is to represent the area covered by their ward and the people who live there. They provide a voice for and help to all members of the community and are involved in making decisions on behalf of residents and contributing to the Council’s policies. “

In what way did the Council involve the ward members in the decision-making process regarding the Grange Community Centre??


?I am grateful to Cllr Dillnutt for raising this question as I think it highlights a key benefit of the new political decision making structure and the role of Area Committees. The key decisions on Rayleigh Grange, which prompted the report to the last meeting of the Executive Board, were taken under the old committee system. In fact, the original report on the Grange was considered by Policy, Finance and Strategic Performance Committee at its meeting on 19 April 2007 (min 133/2007). It is the decisions from that Committee which resulted in the recent report to the Executive Board.

If the current political decision making structure had been in place at that time, then the original Grange report would have firstly gone to the Area Committee prior to any report going into the Executive Board. In that way, the local ward Councillors and other local Councillors with an interest could have specifically inputted and shaped the eventual report to be considered by the Executive Committee. Thus, under the new system which we are now operating, there is a very transparent process through which ward Councillors can be seen to be inputting into the decision making process.?

This all sounds lovely, but it isn’t happening like this. What goes to the area committees is strictly controlled. For example, Chris and June Lumley are trying to act on behalf of their ward concerning Residents Parking Schemes. But this didn’t go to the area committee and of couse Chris and June weren’t allowed to speak at the cabinet meeting. Ward members (in this case Lib Dems, but could be Tories or Indies )
are being kept out of things!

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