Issue - decisions
Councillor Paul Hiett
In the absence of Cllr Hiett, Cllr Martin proposed the motion, hoping for another unanimous vote in support, as with the previous motion. She commented that other councils had already decided to introduce different models of governance, but that the task group should not pre-empt any particular model. She informed members that the political group leaders had discussed the matter. Any member would be able to become involved in the review.
Cllr Molyneux said that he was happy to second the motion. He believed that the cabinet system had merit and worked well, being better than the previous system operated by the council. However he also believed that it was right to explore all options and decide what was best for the district. However, the chosen option must be one that got things done in a timely and businesslike way. It was important to involve all councillors and he thought that the council was not far away from that currently. He asked that task group members approach the review with an open mind, looking at the facts and not making decisions based on emotions.
Cllr Gardiner supported the motion saying that it was far sighted, but wished to see the involvement of the local MP in the governance arrangements.
Cllr Edey hoped for an outcome that would be fair, democratic and involve all members and she reminded members of her own motion, which had been deferred.
Cllr Pugh asked members to note that the recommendations from the cross-party task group would come back to Full Council, which would make a final decision on governance arrangements.
Cllr Morgan hoped for a review that was not political, but that explored a system that would be more inclusive than the current one. He thought that some members felt disenfranchised 'looking in from the outside'. However he did not wish to see the return of the old committee system, which had not been businesslike.
Cllr O'Neill emphasised the need to enter the enquiry with no pre-conceived ideas, but that the outcome must have addressed inclusivity and have sought input from all members.
Summing up, Cllr Martin believed that there was a consensus for this review to happen, but that the matter was for this council, not the local MP.
Cllr Martin proposed and Cllr Molyneux seconded the motion.
Councillors agreed to vote on a show of hands.
RESOLVED - that this Council establishes a cross party task group to investigate models of governance as a credible and inclusive alternative to the current system. This task group will be politically balanced, having the power to elect its own chair and make recommendations back to Full Council for a decision.