Governance Review – Reinventing the Wheel?
Cornwall Council has set up a panel to review the governance of Cornwall Council. In simple terms this is the administrative and political process on how a council runs. This review is being held because the Department for Local Government via the Localism Act allows a council to run on a mode of government that bests suits the area.
Currently, Cornwall Council operates the Cabinet system via the strong leader model. Now, under the Act, a council can have a Cabinet system, Committee system, or some sort of hybrid. It can even have a mayoral system if a referendum is passed. The question is; what is the best for Cornwall? That $64,000 question will have to be answered in the coming months
During the review I hope these questions will be answered. Part of the process is to hold Inquiry Days, consultations, and visits to other local authorities to see how they work under the different models. The public will also be able to have their say that will be fed into the process. Once all that information is collated, the various options will be presented to the whole council who will have to vote for a mode of government which cannot be changed for five years.
So what is the best form of running Cornwall Council? Do people really understand the difference between a Cabinet, Committee or some sort of hybrid? Do people really care as long as the services they receive, or expect to receive the best? I fear for most people would not be interested which system is used as long as the end results are the right ones.
Of course, Cornwall Council has not been perfect. The change to local government in 2009 was massive and then add-on the cuts from central government things have not been easy. However, does that mean we have to change everything? A feeling amoungst the backbenchers is to revert back to a committee system. Is that right? Could this just be a knee-jerk reaction to a lot of members feeling disenfranchises?
Here are the links to the previous meetings of the panel
So what do you think, change, or continue with the current model? Will reinventing the wheel result in a square wheel? Feel free to comment