Wrexham County Borough Council, the ‘Executive Model’ and Democracy

Home Forums Wrexham.com Forums Wrexham Forum Wrexham County Borough Council, the ‘Executive Model’ and Democracy

  • Author
    Posts
  • #137230

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    The views of Wrexham people and that of the Executive of the Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) are increasingly becoming detached. The evidence for this assertion is deductible from many local platforms, such as that the Wrexham.Com forums, local news, and discussions about issues such as the former Groves School site and the expenditure on the new Wrexham Art Hub. The consequences of poorly using discretionary powers preventing the public to raise questions at council meetings make them suspicious of the real aims of the WCBC. In recent times people have been concerned about the executive unnecessarily making decisions behind closed doors, reducing the potential for the public and the majority of council councillors in full council being unable to scrutinise them satisfactorily. The result is that despite voting at elections, many people now feel that cannot influence local policies and question the effectiveness of the democratic process. The evidence suggests that local democracy in Wrexham is failing.

    It is my argument that to avoid future controversies about local policy, improving peoples’ and the vast majority of councillors influence on them, and improving confidence in the local democratic process, changes are required about how the WCBC makes decisions. The crux of the problem seems to be the undemocratic executive model decision model used by it. The formation of the executive appears undemocratic as the criteria for a councillors inclusion appears a mystery. Depending on peoples’ viewpoints the selection criteria may seem irrational. For example, Councillor Hugh Jones is a vocal member of the WCBC executive. Admittedly, he was elected by his constituents, but does that make him a suitable conduit for the views of all WCBC councillors on the areas of responsibility in his portfolio? Is it possible for a highly professional man, an ex-airline pilot, living in an expensive area of rural Wrexham to reflect the perspective of the majority of the Wrexham electorate?

    My personal opinion is that to make the WCBC more aligned to the views of its electorate, and for the public and all elected councillors members rather than a selected few to be able to influence council policy satisfactorily, requires a move away from the executive model. How the WCBC makes this change and realigns itself with democratic values, I am sure will be a further subject of much debate!

    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by  WrexhamUser. Reason: Grammar!
    #137271

    wrexview
    Participant

    The Cabinet style for Councils was introduced by Tony Blair and it firmly puts power in the hands of a small group of Councillors. Until the Cabinet (Executive Board ) was introduced Full Council Meetings were the power house of the Council and every Councillor’s vote counted. All Councillors had the opportunity to speak and a genuine dialogue took place. The majority often won the vote but everyone had their say.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  wrexview.
    #137358

    The Monitor
    Participant

    The Cabinet System was indeed by Tony Blair, but what we have here is NOT the Cabinet System, but a mockery of the Real Cabinet System. The Cabinet System as used in the British Government is as follows:

    The Cabinet decides to introduce a new Law, Procedure or Action.

    This new Law, Procedure or Action action is then sent to the
    House of Lords for examination and debate.
    If the House of Lords vote on the Law, Procedure or Action and
    vote in favour. Then:

    It goes before the Whole of Parliament to be voted on by Our Representatives, the MPs.

    If the New Law, Procedure or Action is voted out by the House of Lords, it is then sent
    back to the Cabinet for further debate and possibly tossed in the bin.

    At all times, the Full Parliament are involved in the process, unlike what we have in Wrexham.
    Where often the full council does Not get to vote and so are rendered without power, meaning that
    most of Wrexham Electorate have no power.

    #137374

    wrexview
    Participant

    Is the Cabinet style mandatory? Is it in the power of the Full Council at their Annual General Meeting to alter their Standing Orders and abolish it ?

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  wrexview.
    #137376

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    The Cabinet style is not mandatory and different Councils across Wales have different strictures to maintain democracy. You are correct that if the correct number of Councillors put a proposal forward then the Constitution could be changed at an Annual Meeting.

    The concern I have at present is the lack of engagement that a very large number of Council Members elected in May are undertaking. It is a disgrace that they were elected to represent their constituents yet they don’t even turn up to meetings. I would urge every elector in Wrexham to track down their local Council member and ask them about what they have been doing since being elected and drawing down their monthly allowance.

    If YOUR Councillor is not engaging then it does not matter whether there is a Cabinet style or open Council system it will remain democratically ineffective.

    #137476

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    The Cabinet style is not mandatory and different Councils across Wales have different strictures to maintain democracy. You are correct that if the correct number of Councillors put a proposal forward then the Constitution could be changed at an Annual Meeting.

    The concern I have at present is the lack of engagement that a very large number of Council Members elected in May are undertaking. It is a disgrace that they were elected to represent their constituents yet they don’t even turn up to meetings. I would urge every elector in Wrexham to track down their local Council member and ask them about what they have been doing since being elected and drawing down their monthly allowance.

    If YOUR Councillor is not engaging then it does not matter whether there is a Cabinet style or open Council system it will remain democratically ineffective.

    It appears that changes are possible, but it depends on the will of our councillors. I was unaware that some councillors were failing in their duty to represent their constituents, that is unacceptable and agree that they need to be held to account for their absences at meetings. However, I do wonder if this lack of engagement might not result from the current executive model; Is the lack if engagement pure apathy, or are councillors becoming quickly disillusioned when they realise the amount of influence they have within the WCBC?

Content is user generated and is not moderated before posting. All content is viewed and used by you at your own risk and Wrexham.com does not warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information displayed. The views expressed on these Forums and social media are those of the individual contributors.
Complaint? Please use the report post tools or contact Wrexham.com .

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.