Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

SURVEY REVEALS PATCHY MODERNISATION OF GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES

  • Comment
A survey conducted by SOLACE, CIPFA and ACSS, in conjunction with national law firm Eversheds, focusing on the atti...
A survey conducted by SOLACE, CIPFA and ACSS, in conjunction with national law firm Eversheds, focusing on the attitudes of local authorities towards governance, reveals that most authorities have made significant advances to meet the government's objectives.

With 50% of authorities having or preparing a comprehensive code of governance and over 80% who have introduced them into selected areas, the survey shows that in the run up to the draft legislation, the majority of councils have taken the debate about standards and best practice seriously. Moreover, they are receptive to the need to modernise the democratic structures currently in place.

Roger Vergine, solicitor in Eversheds says: 'Most councils have made progress in advance of the necessary governance legislation, however, it is clear from the survey that despite the flexibility of the government, councils have yet to be convinced that any of the three proposed governance models provide a structure which meets their own requirements and matches their culture.

'The survey suggests that many authorities will opt for the government's cabinet with a leader model, with all its faults, as it is the closest to existing structures. This is not the dramatic re-invigoration of local democracy which is looked for,' says Roger, 'and it must be hoped that the LGA and other national bodies will produce additional models which prove more attractive to authorities. All that is then required is for the government to have the confidence in local authorities to allow them to experiment with a wider range of governance models.'

Main findings of the survey include:

- 92% of councils have a corporate procedure for dealing with ombudsman

- With regard to modernising local democracy, 65% of local authorities are discussing the introduction of executive/scrutiny split in members

- Over a third of councils now have, or are introducing, a standards committee

- 86% have a code following best practice for planning committees, or one in preparation

- 61.7% of councils thought they needed to maintain or increase profile given to probity issues

- A surprising 26.4% of councils do not have a 'whistleblower' code

- Only 53% of councils are taking any initiative on leadership in their community

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.