Saturday, 27 November 2010

New style of leadership forced on Thanet District Council

The council has to change the way that it is governed, the present system of cabinet and leader has to be changed under the 2007 act.

The council is going to change this at the May 2011 elections and this change will be to one of two types of leadership.

Either the new style stronger leader appointed by the councillors, or a leader elected by the ordinary voters, hopefully at the same time as they elect the councillors.

The council is obliged to engage in a public consultation about this issue, if you want to take part in this consultation your views have to be sent to the council by 15th December 2010.

Oddly enough the council doesn’t seem to have one of their normal consultation forms or interactive websites, that I can find, they don’t seem to have sent out a press release about this, in fact information on the council’s website about the whole thing is a bit on the sparse side.

Here is their webpage about it http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/cllrs_democracy__elections/governance_models_consultation.aspx
Strange that this consultation doesn’t appear in their list of consultations either, see http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/consultation.aspx

In the past all of the councillors who have expressed a view on this seem to be in favour of keeping the status quo. Well that isn’t an option anymore, so it would be interesting to hear what they think.

I have discussed this in some detail with some of the senior council officers and they seem to very concerned about the prospect of us, the electorate, choosing a leader.

At the moment they seem to be saying that no matter what the result of the consultation they wouldn’t allow a new leader to be elected at the same time as the councillors, as this would make the electorate electing a leader more expensive, what we apper to have here is a rigged consultation.

They are in effect saying that if you want to choose the leader of the council they will ensure that it is more expensive.

My main gripe with the current system is that the cabinet chooses the leader and the leader chooses the cabinet.

OK having written this, I have to admit that the workings of local government is not something that I understand that well, so it may contain mistakes and corrections would be welcome.

7 comments:

  1. Also sent to TDC

    First of all I'll state that I prefer the directly elected mayor option

    Secondly. Although I'm sure that it won't make a scrap of difference, I don't think that the changes required by the 2007 Act have been sufficiently widely promulgated. Heaven forfend that the present Council wished it to remain so! The Act requires that the local authority must publish in one or more newspapers circulating in its area a notice which—

    (i) states that the authority has drawn up the proposals,

    (ii) describes the main features of the proposals,

    (iii) states that copies of a document setting out the proposals are available at their principal office for inspection by members of the public at such times as may be specified in the notice, and

    (iv) specifies the address of their principal office.

    I read the local papers fairly closely and I don't remember seeing such a notice published. Please advise in which paper and on what date such a notice was posted.

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  2. Wouldn't it be nice to elect to scrap the lot surely it is the head of the legal team that makes most of the decisions behind the scenes away.

    This would save a lot of council tax just by reducing the current pantomine and pomp & ceremony passing as governance.

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  3. Excellently put, However the chances of this happening seem slim at best.

    Never before have we had such a group of misguided and wholly ineffective shiny suits all following the one in front like the preverbial lemmings.
    Has there ever been a decision made by this council that has felt like it had sound thought and reason behind it, where it was a good decision for Thanet as a whole, the answer is NO. Self obsessed, blinded by ego and self worth, what a shameful bunch our council truly are !!

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  4. Two thoughts really (Maybe three!)

    1. TDC Constitution Leader is already elected by Full Council. (though in effect this means the nomination of the majority group)
    2. The Council has already decided to recommend this option rather than the elected Mayor option.
    3. I dont think the three towns are ready to accept an elected Mayor as representing all of Thanet. Town identity is too strong.

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  5. I have lived in Thanet for over 30 years and would like to see one Mayor for Thanet. Keeping the towns separate give us less power and control and keeps us divided allowing the leaders, mayors whoever to fight for their part of Thanet. Together the community can grow, become stronger and access more funds. Individually leads us to fight amongst each other, wasting time, energy and resources creating poor relationships and communications, Pesonally I find the wrangles between councillors and majors etc ridiculous and would not be tolerated or accepted in business as a whole and that most people do not act in such a manner when being paid by the people to advocate, liaise and make decisions on their and their communities behalf.

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  6. I have lived in Thanet for over 30 years and would like to see one Mayor for Thanet. Keeping the towns separate give us less power and control and keeps us divided allowing the leaders, mayors whoever to fight for their part of Thanet. Together the community can grow, become stronger and access more funds. Individually leads us to fight amongst each other, wasting time, energy and resources creating poor relationships and communications, Pesonally I find the wrangles between councillors and majors etc ridiculous and would not be tolerated or accepted in business as a whole and that most people do not act in such a manner when being paid by the people to advocate, liaise and make decisions on their and their communities behalf.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Town Identity is too Strong? The majority come from outside of Thanet originally these days and see ourselves as Thanet people, not Margate, Ramsgate.... Maybe it is those who represent us having lived here a long time or all their life feel this separate identify between the towns and hold on to this identity which has created divide and misfortune instead of seeing an opportunity for positive change, inclusiveness and innovation

    ReplyDelete

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