Fringe Box



Letter: Effective Scrutiny Requires a Change in GBC’s Constitution

Published on: 3 Jun, 2024
Updated on: 3 Jun, 2024

From: Adrian Chandler

former Conservative borough councillor

In response to: GBC Lib Dems Are Committed to Effective Scrutiny

I have been following this discussion with some interest as I was the chair of GBC’s Customer and Community and Joint Scrutiny committees when the new governance was being set up [c. 2015].

I received strong representations from the Liberal Democrats that the new Overview & Scrutiny Committee that was being created should be chaired by a member of an opposition party. I fully supported this view in the interests of democracy and accountability. However, things don’t seem to be working in deed or spirit from what I observe.

Having given this a bit of thought, I propose the following change which I hope starts to bring back the accountability we all desire.

At the council selection meeting, committee members vote for their own chair and vice chair. Councillors who are not a member of the committee in question do not have a vote. I suggest that when choosing chairs and vice chairs of scrutiny committees the above applies but additionally, no member of the ruling party (or coalition if a minority administration) on that committee has a vote either.

I think the same should be applied to the Corporate Governance Committee as that is also an opportunity for the ruling administration to mark its own work. It may need a change to the constitution but I’m sure that could easily be made. I should think this change could be made quite quickly.

See also: Coercing the Opposition Leader Was Unprincipled

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Responses to Letter: Effective Scrutiny Requires a Change in GBC’s Constitution

  1. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    June 4, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    I fully support the idea that the chairs of the new Overview & Scrutiny and Corporate Governance Committees should be elected solely by the opposition councillors.

    Ramsey Nagaty is a former GGG borough councillor.

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