1:57pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013
By Graeme Hetherington
PLANS for the future make-up of a council have been delayed again as members struggle to come up with a resolution that satisfies the majority.
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is working on the problem of involving more elected members in the decision making process, after concerns were raised about the cabinet system, which sees only ten councillors making the vast majority of decisions.
In August cabinet members deferred their decision to look at a third option and today they again deferred the decision in an attempt to find a better consensus.
Councillor Norman Pickthall, cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “We have not been able to make a decision which would please everyone which is why it is before us again but we are going to defer this report until the next cycle of meetings.”
Under the current system, the ruling Labour party fills all of the key executive roles on the council, despite losing its overall majority following the defection of two members.
Concerns have been raised by opposition members who said that scrutiny committees, which are designed to monitor decisions made by cabinet members, have become nothing more than talking shops.
Independent councilor Steve Kay accused the cabinet members of delaying the decision as they attempt to hang onto the current system.
He said: “There is one thing that I do agree with and that is that we go back full circle to the committee system, which you as a cabinet have refused because of you are jealously protection your exalted position.”
However, council leader George Dunning hit back at the claims. He said: “Nothing could be further from the truth, as a cabinet we have bent over backwards many times for members of other parties.”
The decision has been deferred until a date to be fixed.
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