Rob congratulations on an excellent summary of the clarification presented on Friday from the Legal Officer on how Scrutiny recommendations should be formulated this is long overdue.
At last, it may now give a role for non-Executive Council Members provided they actually start reading the reports being presented and get their act together to formulate their own recommendations. Time will tell how effective this process is or whether the Members have a ‘stong’ briefing from the respective Lead Member from within their Group who tells them what to say and recommend.
It will also hopefully mean that Scrutiny Members will stay for the whole of the meeting or miss the all-important vote on a recommendation – on past experience with only 50% of the Members present at the end of a meeting they will probably declare the meeting is not quite and a vote not taken.
The cynic in me also thinks the email on Friday may have come out as both the Chief Executive and Legal Officer are due to leave in the next few months and possibly have greater freedom to put forward this type of ‘clarification’ as last weeks fiasco was not the first time for this to occur.
Hey, well done on this work. It’s always been a mystery to me why so many local authorities want ‘Scrutiny’ to be a rubber-stamping exercise for officer and cabinet member pet projects – or, at best, a dry run before councillors to pick up any obvious snags.
Interesting legal advice – as you have noted.
I wonder how many other councils in Wales follow the same legal line? ie encouraging ‘back-bench’ councillors to come up with their own ideas and submit amendments to the ‘official line’.
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