The Council’s Forward Plan

Now that the District Council has a ‘cabinet’ system of super-councillors running things , it could be harder for ordinary councillors – let alone the public- to keep an eye on what’s going on.

To counter this, the council now declares a “Forward plan of key decisions”. The official council website explains this as follows:

The Forward Plan sets out the key decisions that the Council’s Executive Board intends to take over the next four months.

Key decisions are those that are likely to result in the Council incurring significant expenditure or savings (i.e. exceeding ?50,000) or are significant in terms of their effect on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more wards in the geographic area covered by the Council.

The Plan gives the public the opportunity to find out what decisions are to be taken, to read the background papers, and comment if they wish. Each item in the Forward Plan gives the name and contact details of the person who can provide further information and to whom all comments should be sent.

All these decisions will normally be taken in public, unless there are special reasons for the information being declared exempt from publication.

You can download the first forward plan here.

Some of the items are:

  • the council taking over the responsibilty of looking after stray dogs from the police
  • the extension of Sweyne Park to include some of the Park School site in Rayleigh
  • proposals on improving facilities for young people in Great Wakering
  • Please note one thing though – decisions on future housing in the district will not be decided by the cabinet. The final decisions will be made by the full council of 39 councillors.

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  • If the ‘super councillors’ are going to take all the responsibility on themselves for making important decisions then they are accountable for the the success or failure of these decisions. No other councillor should take any blame for the failings of these power mad local politicians. It just goes against good practice for an inner circle in local government. We really do need an oversight on these councillors now and a watchdog with teeth!

    What country and what year do they think they are living in?

  • Hi Mike , I think ‘power mad’ is a bit harsh!. It;s not that they want more power for themselves, they are just content for other councillors to have less.

    It’s not clear yet just how much real power the super-councillors have. Very often it seems the real decisions are being made in the Tory group meetings on Monday nights

  • Hi Chris, It is just going down this road in running a council seems to be a backward step. We should have a council with real leaders who are a little more forward thinking and this just isn’t. I have written before about having an inclusive council but unfortunately this kind of decision making is the opposite. It is a big step for these people to take, with elections coming up and I think this will get debated for some time.

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