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DEBATE: Should the council return to the committee system?

JPCT 17-08-12 S12330140X Horsham, Horsham District Council, office building, HDC -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120120817141105

JPCT 17-08-12 S12330140X Horsham, Horsham District Council, office building, HDC -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120120817141105

A return to the committee system could be explored by the council over the next year.

Horsham District Council switched to the cabinet system in the early 2000s, but during Scrutiny and Overview Committee meeting on Monday at least one councillor admitted to being ‘frustrated’ with current arrangements.

Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury) pointed out that new legislation meant they could return to the committee system and proposed they look into it before 2015’s elections.

He said: “I think one of the reasons I would prefer us to move to a committee system it makes us, as far as the view of public perception, less open to the accusations that have been made in recent months.”

HDC has been accused recently of making the majority of its decisions in secret Conservative group meetings.

While he personally though the committee system was preferred Mr Circus added: “None of this is meant to say I have any doubts about the present cabinet. I think they perform their roles with great distinction.”

But he went on to say that even a current cabinet member had told him they preferred the committee system.

David Skipp (LDem, Roffey North) added: “I think what Philip Circus is saying is incredibly sensible and having sat on this council for two terms now I find the cabinet system the most difficult system I have seen.

“It’s frustrating for me as an ordinary councillor. It’s very difficult to understand what role I have within the council.”

What do you think? Should HDC return to the committee system or stick to the current cabinet system? Comment below or the newsdesk.

For more see this Thursday’s County Times.

 

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