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Rules relaxed for local health boards

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Local health and wellbeing boards will be able to decide for themselves which councillors to appoint as members, rather than having to reflect the political make-up of the council, the Department of Health has said.

The department has agreed to abolish rules that would have required the boards – made up of councillors, clinical commissioning group (CCG) representatives and senior council officers – to be politically proportionate.

It will now be up to local boards to decide which councillors should have a seat.  

In a document outlining its decision, the department said that during a consultation it had heard widespread calls to scrap the proportionality rules, which are in the 1989 Local Government and Housing Act.

It said concerns had been raised that having to appoint councillors from across the spectrum would “inherently alter the nature of the board, cutting across the collaborative aspects.” This could alienate CCG representatives, it said.

The proportionality rules will still apply to councils’ overview and scrutiny committees.

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