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Borough set to revert to committees

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Maidstone BC has become the latest council to vote to restore the committee system.

Councillors voted by 25 to 20 to scrap the cabinet and scrutiny model and called for a report by 10 December on what structure of committees they should adopt.

The motion was proposed by the Liberal Democrat group, and a council spokeswoman told LGC voting was “not entirely on party lines”. The Conservatives form the cabinet as the largest party on the hung council.

A statement on the local Lib Dem website said the party had promoted the committee system because “under the cabinet and scrutiny system nearly all power is concentrated in the hands of just six Conservative councillors.

“This change will return power to residents through empowering all 55 of their elected councillors to work effectively and influentially on their behalf.”

Councils gained the power under the Localism Act 2011 to change their governance away from the cabinet and scrutiny model that was imposed by the Labour government in 2000.

Nearby Canterbury City Council voted unanimously in July to revert to the committee system and in May a referendum forced Fylde BC to do so.

An attempt is in progress to call a similar referendum on restoring committees at Guildford BC.

Other councils to have made the change include Barnet, Kingston-upon-Thames and Sutton LBCs, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire CCs, Hartlepool and Reading BCs and Brighton & Hove City Council.

 

 

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