District Council changes the way it operates.Posted on: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
From today, Newark and Sherwood District Council is changing its governance structure. As a political body, its governance structure determines how it makes the decisions which affect local people. It is moving away from a Committee system to a Cabinet style of governance.
But what exactly does this mean? The Full Council elects a leader, who in turn appoints the Cabinet. Newark and Sherwood’s Cabinet will be made up of six elected councillors; five Portfolio Holders as well as the Leader of the largest opposition party. Each Portfolio Holder has a specific area of responsibility and has delegated powers to make decisions within their remit. In the Newark and Sherwood District Council Cabinet structure, there will be five areas of responsibility. The Portfolio Holders will be:
- Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy, Performance and Finance.
- Councillor Keith Girling, Deputy Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council and Portfolio Holder for Organisational Development and Governance.
- Councillor Rhona Holloway, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Visitors.
- Councillor Tim Wendels, Portfolio Holder for Homes and Health.
- Councillor Roger Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Cleaner, Safer, Greener.
Most Councils across the UK operate under this model.
The decision making process will be quicker and individual Councillors will be named against decisions which allows for greater accountability. Decision-making will continue to be transparent, with all decisions made by Cabinet and Portfolio Holders being published on the District Council’s website.
Decisions made by the Cabinet and Portfolio Holders, and the District Council’s performance, will be reviewed by a Policy and Performance Improvement Committee which will be chaired by Councillor Ronnie White, with Councillor Penny Rainbow as Vice-Chair. This committee is made up of 15 members, representing the political composition of the District Council. Any serving District Councillor can request, at any time, that this Committee look at any activity or service the Council is undertaking.
The new arrangements also allow for greater input from residents and tenants. For example, there will be a tenant engagement group which will allow tenants to express their views on decisions that will be made which will affect them.
Statutory functions for example planning, audit and licensing will remain the same as their current system.
The move was approved by the Full Council on Tuesday 17 May 2022, with no opposition from any Councillors.
Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council explains a little more about the change in governance, “The District Council will continue to deliver a huge array of services to residents and tenants across the district including managing over 5000 Council homes, maintaining parks and open spaces, operating the environmental health and food safety service, collecting your bins, operating the Palace Theatre and Newark Castle, supporting our local economy, bringing investment into the district and dealing with all planning applications. That will not change.
“What will change will be the way in which we make decisions that affect these services. We will be able to respond more quickly to challenges that arise and we will be held more accountable for the decisions we make.
“A cross party Councillor working group has led these positive changes. That same working group will continue in order to ensure that we can make any adjustments and ensure its delivering good transparent decision making for our residents and then, in six months’ time, a report will be taken to Audit and Governance Committee to resolve any of those.
“Every Councillor has a role in scrutinising the work and decisions of the District Council. I want to encourage all members to step forward with their questions as, with the new Cabinet model, there are many opportunities for us to all work collectively together, with the residents at the heart of our decision making.”
During last night’s Full Council meeting, Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of the Labour Group said: “I want to thank everyone involved in bringing us to this position today. I personally think that it (the new Cabinet structure) will be transformative in the way we work.”
This change comes in advance of the County gearing up for a devolution deal for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire which could see a combined authority set up for the East Midlands. This combined authority would become the third largest in the Country and could see its first Mayoral election take place in May 2024.
Notes for editors
The full calendar of meetings are available on the District Council website.
The scheduled Cabinet meeting dates are:
- 7 June 2022
- 12 July 2022
- 20 September 2022
- 1 November 2022
- 6 December 2022
- 17 January 2023
- 21 February 2023
- 4 April 2023
PPI Committee meeting dates are:
- 13 June 2022
- 12 September 2022
- 28 November 2022
- 30 January 2023
- 6 March 2023