OpinioN8

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Haringey Governance Review - Area Assemblies disbanded, councillor allowances revised

Haringey has been conducting a review of the way council business is carried out (governance). 

There is quite a lot of information to assimilate on this Haringey web page.

The information includes:

The main findings of the Shared Intelligence report as to the current situation are

  • Although some scrutiny reports have had an impact on the council, overall the Overview and Scrutiny function does not have a discernable impact on the key policies or decisions made by the council; yet it imposes a considerable burden on the council due to the frequency of meetings and the very large number of written questions;
  • Area Assemblies provide a foundation for more engagement with local communities but some assemblies are more effective  than others at engaging harder to reach groups and extending beyond prominent individuals and local vested interests; 
  • There is an appetite for the devolution of some decision-making to councillors meeting at a local level; 
  • Full council meets more frequently than is necessary and is widely perceived to display the less attractive features of party political exchange rather than providing a forum for political debate of the issues that matter to Haringey; 
  • The council has an elaborate committee system that  provides for opaque decision making and which, on occasion, reflects badly on the council and imposes a significant burden on it; 
  •  Many members feel divorced from decision-making and unable to initiate a dialogue with cabinet members or senior  officers. This is widely held to be the main driver of the large and expensive volume of formal questions that is generated within the council.

Report of the Governance Review Delivery Group contains a lot of detail on Councillors allowances. I think the idea is to reduce both the amount of each allowance and the number of allowances paid.

Tags: governance, haringey

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