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Support for review of ‘unfair’ Poole council decision-making process
A REVIEW of Poole’s leader and cabinet decision-making process is set, with support being shown for a return to the committee system.
Cllr Sally Carpenter put forward a motion calling for an in-depth review of Borough of Poole’s decision making process, ‘with a view to reinforcing the democratic process and increasing transparency’.
The Poole People councillor said the current system was: “An unfair system, where only a minority of members actually make decisions and the majority merely make recommendations.”
She said with the council under no overall control, it seemed wrong to have a one-party executive. The council has 42 councillors with four political parties represented.
“It also puts the power in too few hands and leaves the majority of councillors with no authority whatsoever and very little idea of what is going on,” she said. “All councillors should be involved in decision-making.”
The current system was imposed on councils under the Labour Government she said, and now under the Localism Act there was the chance to change.
Calling for councillors’ support, she questioned whether it would not be more democratic and transparent to return to the committee structure, fairer for all members to be involved in decision and policy making and more cost effective. She cited the example of South Gloucestershire Council, which undertook a review and changed from a cabinet to committee system.
The principle of a review was supported by the council efficiency and effectiveness overview and scrutiny committee.
Chairman Cllr David Brown said in his report: “There was a consensus the council’s current decision making processes should be reviewed.”
The review was supported at full council.
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