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BRECKLAND COUNCIL ADOPTS RADICAL STRUCTURE

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Breckland is to become one of the first councils in the country to adopt a fundamentally new approach to working fo...
Breckland is to become one of the first councils in the country to adopt a fundamentally new approach to working for local people. Breckland has agreed a radical and imaginative structure which will involve a politically balanced cabinet or executive board. This will abolish the old committee structure which often meant that councillors had little influence over council decisions yet spent a great deal of time at meetings.

The new structure will free members to work more directly for the people of their Wards and break free from old fashioned practices. The new system will lead to:

- A streamlined approach

- More community involvement

- Greater Ward representation

- More say for local people

- More local accountability

- Detailed scrutiny of decisions

- Strong ethical framework

- Highly effective community leadership

Cliff Jordan, chairman of the policy committee, said: 'In a recent national survey 70% of councillors said work representing their community was their most important role, but under the present system only 30% of their time was spent on it. This new way of managing changes this completely, giving greater freedom to all councillors to influence events. This new modern council is already committed to listening to the views of local people, now it will be clear how decisions are made and who should be held to account.'

Diane Foster, who proposed the system, said: 'This is a better deal for local people, simplifying how the council works, while adopting a new ethical framework. It will mean that elected members can concentrate on the economic, social and environmental well being of Breckland and work more strategically to achieve this.'

Adrian Stasiak, in seconding the proposal, said: 'Breckland is a leading council in this new approach. Breckland has been working hard for over eight months, through members' seminars and working groups, to achieve today's outcome. The decision takes account of local research which told us that our residents believe that councillors have a pivotal role in increasing interest in local government. Residents also told us that councillors should take account of local views when making decisions. The new system is much clearer and more accountable in this respect. A more modern system will ensure Breckland is at the forefront of new ways of working, encouraging investment and opportunities in the district directly benefiting local people.'

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