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Decision details

Proposal for Alternative Governance Arrangements for Sheffield City Council

Decision Maker: Co-operative Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Purpose:

In May 2020 a referendum will be held to determine whether the Council retains its leader and cabinet model of decision making, or moves to the committee system model.  The Council is required to draw up and publish proposals for a committee system before holding the referendum.  The report presents a proposal as recommended by Full Council, for Cabinet’s consideration.

Decision:

10.1

The Executive Director, Resources, submitted a report presenting proposals for a committee system and for an enhanced leader and cabinet model of governance, as recommended by Full Council at its meeting on 5 February 2020, for consideration by Cabinet.

 

 

 

In May 2020, a referendum will be held to determine whether the Council retains its leader and cabinet model of decision making, or moves to a committee system model.  The Council is required to draw up and publish proposals for a committee system before holding the referendum.

 

 

10.2

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:-

 

 

 

(a) as recommended by Full Council at its meeting on 5 February 2020, approves:-

 

 

 

(i) the proposals for an enhanced Leader and Cabinet governance model; and

 

 

 

(ii) proposals for a Committee system of governance to be published before a referendum, as set out in the report; and

 

 

 

(b) requests the Director of Policy, Performance and Communications, in consultation with the Director of Legal and Governance, to publish a notice as required by the Referendum Regulations, setting out the main features of these proposals, and to undertake additional activity to ensure that they are communicated to people in the city as clearly as possible before the referendum, including showing the indicative costs of both systems.

 

 

10.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

10.3.1

The Council must produce and publish a proposal for a committee system, as required by the 2011 and 2012 regulations. The proposals for a committee system meet the principles endorsed by Full Council in January 2020 and were recommended to Cabinet by Full Council in February 2020.

 

 

10.3.2

The proposals for an enhanced Leader and Cabinet model reflect the same principles and were also recommended to Cabinet by Full Council.

 

 

10.3.3

The Council will also take into account the governance principles and ways of working in the further development of proposals for either model of governance and following the referendum in May 2020 (as outlined in the further work at Section 9) to enable it to meet its ambitions set out in paragraph 4.2 of the report.

 

 

10.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

10.4.1

The Council must produce a proposal for a committee system before a referendum under the 2011 regulations. There is some scope to look at different designs of committee system. In looking at the outline design of the proposals, the work done by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee (OSMC) has been taken into account, including the evidence considered by the Committee relating to approaches taken at different local authorities.

 

 

10.4.2

Alternative governance models in operation at other local authorities were looked at by the OSMC during the scrutiny exercise concerning governance. These included strengthened arrangements for pre-decision scrutiny in a Leader and Cabinet model of governance, such as in Rotherham Council and the development of proposals for a committee system underway at Cheshire East Council.

 

 

10.4.3

The Council does not have to consider proposals for an enhanced leader/cabinet model as part of the requirements before a referendum. However, we believe it is very important, following the review by the Scrutiny Committee, to reflect on how the existing arrangements work and say how the existing arrangements might be enhanced to help meet the governance principles adopted by Full Council in January 2020.

 

 

10.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

 

None

 

 

10.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

 

None

 

 

10.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

 

Eugene Walker, Executive Director, Resources

 

 

10.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

 

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee

 

 

 

Publication date: 20/02/2020

Date of decision: 19/02/2020

Decided at meeting: 19/02/2020 - Co-operative Executive

Effective from: 27/02/2020

Accompanying Documents: