Friday, 26 April 2013

The current model is broken - bring back the committee.

Ask yourself what is the core function of a Council?

I would reply to deliver high standard services which aspire to meet the expectations of the local ratepayer. And to deliver those services, be they i.e Planning Control or Education you need to employ professional people that know what they are doing.

In other words the day to day running of the Council should be left to those employed to do so, at the head of which would be a Chief Executive and a Board of Directors.

I have always thought the idea of a Council being run by a 'Cabinet' of Councillors was flawed. After all democracy isn't really that good at choosing suitable candidates to be given such powers. If you believe in democracy you must also accept that sometimes we will make the wrong choice.

And if you want a good example of where it has not worked,  that would here on Ynys Môn. You see when you start paying the leader of the Council £45,000 then it becomes something worth fighting for, it's a good earner. So you start asking questions as whom do I need as allies, and what would I have to promise them for their support....etc etc - and you can see already how this can quickly descend to political infighting. After all if you hadn't been chosen as leader, you'd be upset right?'d want to show that they'd made the wrong choice.

And as we know at Ynys Môn this is worse when the Council has no one in overall control, by which I mean, of the main political parties. And you are left with small groups of independents attempting to form coalitions whilst at the same time trying to promote whomever the leader of their small group is, whilst also attempting to discredit any perceived threat. Of course it's then important to be in the winning group of independents, so we have the hoping frog syndrome, after all if you support the new leader he might give you a nice paid cabinet post.

And history records the house of cards soon falls down - as I said the current model is broken, time to bring back the committee.


Anonymous said...

No, time we just stopped paying our councillors. Expenses yes, anything more, no.

Do the job simply because you want 'to serve'. Nothing more.

The Red Flag said...

The council should be run by employees and the councillors should be there to monitor and scrutinise it and publicly hold it to account.

Sam Parton said...

As the owner of a house in Trearddur Bay I find Anglesey Council to be so backwards in their thinking with little to no accountability for anything. My advice would be to get some more business people involved in the decision making, particularly local entrepreneurs rather than their employees and tap into the tourist market more.

Les. Hayward said...

You are right about that dreadful cabinet system. It is also a disincentive to new Councillors, since it is clear to them how difficult it is to change anything without being a member of the "in" crowd..