Posted: Tue 21st Jan 2020

Plans to cut size and amount of council committees in Flintshire set to be considered

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 21st, 2020

Plans to cut the size and amount of council committees in Flintshire are set to be placed under the spotlight this week.

It comes after it was revealed that Flintshire Council has some of the highest numbers of councillors sitting on scrutiny committees of anywhere in Wales and is struggling to fill spaces.

There are currently six groups of backbench politicians responsible for examining the policies and decisions made by the local authority and other organisations.

That figure could now be reduced to five after proposals were put forward to transfer the responsibilities of its organisational change scrutiny committee elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the number of committee members on each would drop from 15 to 12.

The council said it could also result in a reduction in the amount of senior salaries it pays out.

In a report, Robert Robins, head of democratic services, said: “At the 2019 annual meeting, the leader of the council gave an undertaking that our committee structure would be reviewed during the current municipal year.

“This report provides details of how the review has been carried out, together with a number of options for implementing the proposed change within overview and scrutiny.

“From the outset, it became apparent that the review should concentrate on the number of overview and scrutiny committees; the number of members on each of those committees and also the number of members on the planning committee.

“It has been recommended that the number of overview and scrutiny committees should be reduced from six to five, by disaggregating the remit of the current organisational change overview and scrutiny committee.

He added: “Compared with other Welsh authorities, we currently have amongst the highest number of members on our overview and scrutiny committees and have done for over ten years.

“Some groups have experienced difficulties in filling all of their places, and so the reduction in numbers of members on the committees has been discussed.”

The proposals would see the number of councillors sitting on the planning committee slashed from 21 down to 17.

Meanwhile, membership of the democratic services committee, which is due to consider the plans tomorrow, is earmarked to go down from 21 to 18.

If approved, any changes would come into force after the council’s annual meeting in May.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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