MP's call to reform structure of Cornwall Council
8:00am Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
Camborne and Redruth MP George Eustice has called for a reform of the political structure at Cornwall Council
Mp Eustice said that once the dust settles on the recent upheaval, referring to the ousting of the formerleader Alec Robertson, it will be important to learn lessons and sort out the "institutional weaknesses" inherent in the way this unitary authority was set up.
Mr Eustice said: "Firstly, the notion that, after a vote of no confidence, councillors must elect a new leader immediately is clearly bonkers and the procedural rules need to be overhauled to enable an interim leader to act as caretaker for a couple of weeks to allow time for a considered transition to someone new.
"Secondly, the council is too large and finds it difficult to reach clear decisions, so we should consider cutting the number of councillors. At the same time, we need to strengthen local accountability by passing more control to parish and town councils.
"Finally, we need to review the way the council is structured. The advantage of the current "cabinet" system is that it is easier to make decisions but too many councillors feel excluded. The alternative is a "committee system" where more councillors are involved but it is harder to make decisions.
" A third option would be to replace the office of the Chief Executive with a directly elected Mayor for Cornwall with a political staff to manage the council day to day.
He added his own favoured model is one pioneered by Kent County Council who have adopted a "cross between a cabinet and a committee system which gives them the best of both worlds".