Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th February 2008
Title of Item/Report
New Executive Arrangements
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report outlining the provisions contained within the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 ("the 2007 Act") regarding new executive arrangements for local government. The report also suggested a Members' seminar as a next step in order to begin to develop the Council's approach to the 2007 Act requirements. It was also proposed to provide details at the seminar of the report and recommendations of the Councillors' Commission - Representing the Future - for Members' views.

It was explained that Part 3 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 ("the 2007 Act") had now revised the Local Government Act (the 2000 Act) provisions and introduced new executive arrangements requirements.

Authorities, such as Stockton, which were presently operating an "old-style Leader and Cabinet executive" as provided for in the 2000 Act, had to make a change in governance arrangements in accordance with the 2007 Act's requirements.

This meant that the Council must vary its present arrangements, and look to introduce a different form of executive as provided for and permitted by the 2007 Act.

The 2007 Act allowed for only two specific executive models:-

• Mayor and cabinet, or
• Leader and cabinet

The Leader and Cabinet executive (England) model was defined in the 2007 Act as an executive consisting of :-

(a) a councillor of the authority elected as leader of the executive by the authority; and

(b) two or more councillors of the authority appointed to the executive by the executive leader.

The 2007 Act had not, however, repealed the 2000 Act provisions which allowed for a form of executive which may be prescribed in regulations by the Secretary of State, such as a directly elected executive, as specified in the 2000 Act.

Members were provided with the details of key features of the Leader and Cabinet Executive (England) Model.

The 2007 Act enabled the Council to continue to operate its present "old style Leader and Cabinet" executive arrangements until the end of a transitional period. This period was from the end of December 2007 (when the new provisions came into force) and ended on 8 May 2011.

The Council must have drawn up and adopted a different form of executive arrangements before the end of this period or the Secretary of State had power to issue an order specifying a different form of executive arrangements.

The 2007 Act sets out certain requirements which a local authority which wished to change its governance arrangements must satisfy and Cabinet was provided with details.

In order to consider the provisions of the 2007 Act in more detail and to discuss the Council's approach to the requirements for a change in governance arrangements, it was suggested that a Members' seminar be held.

Members noted another emerging issue was the work of the Councillors' Commission which had been established in light of the Local Government White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities, to seek ways of encouraging able, qualified and representative people to come forward for election as Councillors and as a corollary to secure public interest and recognition for the work Councillors carried out. The Commission had produced a report titled - Representing the Future. This included sixty one recommendations aimed at bringing about a fundamental shift in perceptions, attitudes and culture concerning local government, local councillors and employees but in order to enable Members to discuss it and its recommendations, it was suggested that details should be provided at the Members' seminar proposed for the new governance arrangements referred to above.

RECOMMENDED to Council that the report be noted and a Members' Seminar be arranged to consider the 2007 Act provisions in more detail; to discuss the Council's approach to the Act's requirements for a change to its present governance arrangements and to consider details of the Councillors' Commission report - Representing the Future.
Reasons for the Decision
To enable Members to consider the requirements of the 2007 Act in greater detail; to discuss the Council's approach to the Act's requirements for a change in governance arrangements and to consider the Councillors' Commission report.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not Applicable
Attachment

Date of Publication: 18 February 2008


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