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Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public



Members of the public raised questions as follows:-




Woll Newall




Has this Committee been given the power to fulfil the Council’s legal obligation to “draw up proposals for the operation of the modernised Committee system” and publish them before March?  If not then, which cross-party group is in charge of producing the proposals and why is it not mentioned in the report?




Nigel Slack




(a)      The current review is expected to come to Council with a proposal within three months.  This demonstrates one of the issues around Cabinet systems.  If the Cabinet Member responsible does not take the steps needed to progress a decision, the risk escalates that a wrong, or at least ill-informed, decision is taken.  I have been tasked with facilitating two significant public events in this review.  The first will concentrate on the review this Committee is deliberating, on what form a future “modern committee system” might take.  Will this Committee undertake to treat evidence from the public event as seriously as that from internal sources and their own evidence sessions?




(b)      Will all meetings and deliberations of the Committee on this matter of Governance Review be webcast to ensure fullest transparency for the public and Councillors?




The Chair stated that the Committee would undertake to treat evidence from this public event as seriously as that from internal sources and its own evidence sessions, and confirmed that all meetings and deliberations of the Committee on this issue would be webcast.




Shelley Cockayne




(a)      In light of the fact that those Cabinet post-holders in favour of a move to a modern committee system resigned because of their belief that this is a better system for representation, participation, partnership and transparency, does the Panel in front of us have the best visionary minds for the job at hand?




(b)      In tandem with Mr. Newell’s question, surely a separate Committee with the sole focus on exceeding your legal responsibilities, a Panel that includes non-partisan experts and other interested community contributors, is what is required?




The Chair, in reference to the questions raised, and which had not been responded to, stated that there was a likelihood that responses to the questions would be provided, either as part of the introduction to the report or as part of the presentation to be made.