The Cabinet System Should Be Scrapped






If anyone is looking at the District Council website to try to find out who initiated the idea to build houses on Brocksford Green – well it’s not easy!

But the decision seems to have been made by the Council Executive? (the Cabinet) back in December 2012 under “Asset Review”. The officers report was private and confidential , and isn’t shown on the council website. However these are the minutes(click on them to enlarge). We can’t be 100% that this was the decision, without seeking out a copy of the confidential paperwork.


asset minutes

As you can see, it deals with quite a few sites. Also note that this was a meeting of the cabinet, which at that time consisted on 8 councillors, all selected by Cllr Cutmore, none of them from Rayleigh!? Ordinary ward Councillors are NOT permitted to speak at cabinet meetings ! Which meant that no Rayleigh member could have spoken on this.

If the ward Councillors had wanted to challenge this decision – well, at that time any 3 councillors could have got together to refer it to Full Council. But none of them did. And by the way, that right of referral has since been taken away by the Conservatives.

It’s time the Cabinet system was scrapped. It’s undemocratic and expensive. And it’s not even that effective – if there had been an open debate involving all Councillors in 2012, the idea would have been squelched back then, saving council officers much-needed time and money.

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  • Chris. Can you identify any meeting where the disposal of the Rayleigh Town Sports and Social Club was suggested for development? Was this a similar set up? Who was making the decisions then?

  • When you exclude local residents and council representation from these kind of planning meetings then you are not doing your job properly. Get rid, save money and put a fairer system in place.

  • This appears to be a common policy by Cllr Cutmore that when something relates to a specific area and a committee or group is required he does not involve anyone from that area as we saw with the Flood Advisory Group. [EDITED ] With feelings in the district moving steadily against the Local Conservative Party anyone who agrees to join one of Cllr Cutmore’s groups is accepting a poison chalice.

  • To any fair minded person , the concept of an ‘inner circle’ making all the key decisions ( which can apparently be kept confidential ) is blatantly undemocratic.
    Why would the decision making have to be kept from the public (ie:- those who elected the councillors to serve the public) ?.
    This is probably the clearest example of why the Electorate accross the country no
    longer trust ‘politicians’ ( of any hue at any level ) including the Commons & Lords.
    However I take heart now, at long last , the apathetic British public are waking up to
    the fact that we need a seismic shift in the model of governance in this land – and all
    though it will still take some years it is inevitable.

  • The cabinet system appears to have been corrupted by all it’s secrecy.For a cabinet to work it should only formulate policies ,which are then debated in full Council.In Parliament there are more rigorous stages for any Act to go through,Committee,three readings in the two Houses and Royal Assent.These are all safeguards, most of the time advised by highly Qualified Civil Servants .Decisions in RDC by contrast appear to made at the first stage with little or no input by our wider representatives who must feel what is the point of turning up at times! Time for more Councillors to kick the cosy habits and actually speak their mind .Thought it was going to happen last year ,Toby seems the only one with principles .We live in interesting times !

  • Election time sound bites , that is all those phrases were – be prepared for a myriad of
    ‘Spin’ promises as we move towards the General Election , how stupid do they think we are?…

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