Joint Committee on the Draft Local Government (Organisation and Standards) Bill Report



The bill's preference for elected mayors

61. Government preference for elected mayors is by no means universally shared. Witnesses' concerns chiefly centred on the appropriateness of the mayoral office outside urban areas; the undesirability of over-emphasising personality in local politics; the possibility of tension between mayor and executive or council; concern for the future of the ceremonial role; and an allegation of bias of the bill towards adopting elected mayors.

62. Most local authority and some other witnesses saw the office of mayor as an overwhelmingly urban phenomenon, appropriate for areas where strong loyalties and homogeneity prevailed. Thus the County Councils Network wrote that "the impression is that the unitary metropolitan authorities are primarily being addressed yet almost half of England's population lives in two/three tier areas".[47] One district council wrote, "the executive model involving an elected mayor is not felt to be easily applicable outside of large conurbations or to districts such as Ashfield where community allegiance is most pronounced at a much more local level ... Members are entirely confident that any form of governance that placed personality above community service would therefore not find favour".[48]

63. Nor was enthusiasm in urban areas much more pronounced. For example, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, which has adopted a decentralised form of executive arrangements, wrote that "the option of an elected mayor for Rochdale Borough has not found favour with any political party and would be unlikely to be popular with the Borough's residents because a substantial proportion of them have a very limited affinity to "Rochdale" as an entity, preferring to regard themselves as citizens of their township".[49] Manchester City Council are of the opinion that a mayor model "has some merit when there is an existing democratic deficit, such has been the case in London. No such democratic deficit exists in the city of Manchester";[50] Birmingham appears to be the only metropolitan unitary authority which is open to the directly elected mayoral model.[51] Otherwise, enthusiasm for the concept appeared limited to certain London boroughs like Lewisham.[52]

64. Some witnesses felt that the provisions of the bill were biased towards executive arrangements with elected mayors and they saw no reason why this should be so. Thus the LGA felt that the consultation procedures in the Bill—petition and referendum on elected mayors—should be modified. "That choice should not be the mayor or nothing, for example it could be the mayor or the cabinet or some other model. The choice ought to be fully argued out and fully debated and then we will see which is deemed in a particular place to be the most appropriate".[53] Hammersmith and Fulham wrote that "Either the choice should be left to local authorities, within options that meet the four principles at paragraph 1.21 of the consultation paper, or requirements for statutory referenda should result in all four options being put before the public (ie directly elected mayor, cabinet, council manager, and traditional committee system)".[54]

65. Witnesses also commented on the irony of the situation in which, following receipt of a petition with the requisite number of signatures, an authority might have to promote executive arrangements with an elected mayor against its wishes—indeed, against what it might consider to be its better judgment.[55] This did not perturb departmental witnesses, who pointed out that there is "nothing to stop the council if it profoundly disagrees with the petitions from putting the counter-argument that it would prefer a different model, even though it is arranging a referendum that has been triggered on the elected mayor model".[56]

66. The Committee recognise that not everyone wants elected mayors. We hope that the referendum procedures set out in the bill and White Paper will enable local authorities to enter into a meaningful process of consultation about the decision-making arrangements they put in place to achieve greater efficiency, transparency and accountability.

67. Moreover, the concept of direct, town or city-wide election of mayor is a very considerable novelty in British local government, representing as it does a break with the traditional ward-based system of election (or, in the case of county councils, electoral divisions). There is a good case for singling out the two mayoral models for referendum procedure. The questions posed in any referendum must, of course, be drawn up even-handedly and we discuss this in the context of referendums (paragraphs 75-87 below).

Ceremonial and other aspects of the mayoral role

68. Some witnesses were sceptical of the introduction of personality into the office of mayor. Leicester City Council wrote that "members have mixed views on the merits of a directly-elected mayor and feel that unless candidates of calibre came forward, there is a danger of personalities without integrity undermining the seriousness of the role".[57] Others were worried about the possible loss of the ceremonial role and civic pride and problems of nomenclature. Thus we were told that "In Hammersmith and Fulham the elected mayor does two ceremonial duties a week. In Camden where we still have a traditional mayor, the mayor has about five or six engagements a day ".[58] Derby City Council wrote "we feel strongly that any council should be able to retain a ceremonial mayor ¼ This demanding apolitical ceremonial role is not compatible with that of a political figure. We believe Derby should have the right to choose to continue with its popular, traditional and longstanding mayoralty".[59] Indeed, Birmingham City Council Legal Services went so far as to suggest that "The Bill should allow local authorities discretion regarding the use of the title "mayor". They should be allowed to use an alternative title ... so that the chairman of the council can still be titled "mayor" or "lord mayor" and thereby the important first citizen role with which people are familiar can be maintained".[60]

69. We support those authorities who may wish to make arrangements to preserve the ceremonial work of the mayor; or to vary nomenclature in a manner that better reflects the traditions of the area. Accordingly, we recommend that guidance to be issued by the Secretary of State should allow any authority wishing to adopt an elected mayor option to make such provision regarding nomenclature of that elected post and the discharge of ceremonial duties as it considers appropriate, so far as existing statutory or charter provisions allow.

Vacancy

70. Some witnesses raised the question of what might happen if an elected mayor died, or was disqualified from office, or resigned.

71. The draft bill already provides that an elected mayor may appoint as deputy another member of the executive. There is, as drafted, no provision in the bill for by-elections for elected mayors, nor for "running-mates" in elections who might be called upon to deputise.

72. The Committee consider that the current arrangements for a deputy as set out in the bill are sufficient to provide for a short to medium-term vacancy or absence. Such a deputy will, however, lack an electoral mandate. This might be resolved either by instituting an elected running-mate or by a by-election. We recommend that the Government address in the bill the lack of electoral mandate of the deputy in the event that the elected mayor dies, is disqualified or resigns.

Recall

73. The Committee have also addressed the question of whether any specific provisions are required in the bill to dismiss an elected mayor for any reason.

74. The Committee noted that the procedures in the bill as it stands do not permit of any mechanisms for removal of an elected mayor, other than through the legal procedure of disqualification from office following a criminal conviction or a finding from the Adjudication Panel. In this respect, the present provisions appear to be unique by international comparisons. Most arrangements for elected mayors include some method for removal, either by vote of the legislature ("impeachment") or through voter petition. We accept the argument put forward by the Minister[61] that a desire contained within the council itself to remove the mayor might be seen as interfering with the sovereignty of the electorate, but we cannot accept that no method of removal, or at least of requiring a renewed mandate should be provided for in extreme circumstances.

75. We invite the Government to consider whether a recall provision should be included in the bill before it is introduced.

Referendums and Petitions

76. In our consideration of elected mayors, we referred to petitioning and referendum procedures which feature in the draft bill. These raise issues in themselves, to which we now turn. The bill provides in clause 11 that an authority wishing to adopt arrangements which include an elected mayor should hold a referendum on the proposal, the result of which is binding. If the referendum does not approve the proposal, no other referendum may be held for five years. Under clause 14, where a local authority has received a public petition signed by at least 5 per cent of the electors in support of executive arrangements with an elected mayor, it can be required by regulation to hold a referendum on one of the two elected mayor models. The bill also provides in clause 15 that the Secretary of State can require an authority to hold a referendum on whether they should adopt arrangements based on any of the three models set out in the bill.

77. Thus the electorate face the prospect of a referendum in one or other of three sets of circumstances:

  • at the behest of the local authority, in response to a petition, on the two executive models involving an elected mayor; and

  • at the behest of the local authority, in response to a requirement of the Secretary of State, on one of the three executive models set out in the bill.

81. No indication is given on the face of the bill about how the referendums will be conducted. The White Paper tells us that the statutory guidance will include details to be included in the proposals to be put at a referendum and on the timing. And the Secretary of State will be able to prescribe in regulations the rules for the conduct of a referendum and the question to be asked. Where a referendum is held in response to a petition, it is expected that regulations will prescribe the wording of any proposition, timing and how other matters should be ordered to ensure fair conduct.

82. Thus in order to conduct a referendum, the local authority will need to have regard to the eventual Act, the statutory guidance, and any regulations. (Confusingly, while the bill confers regulation-making powers the Secretary of State in respect of referendums held under clauses 14 and 15, no such power seems to have been sought in respect of referendums held under clause 11.)

83. Many authorities commented—or rather speculated—on the referendum and petitioning procedures. Concerns were well summed up in a submission from Brighton and Hove Council who felt that the regulations should include provision on "unbiased wording of questions, the time-tabling of referenda, particularly where there has been a public petition, regulation of campaign expenditure including any use of public money, and rules for the council itself in producing public information".[62] Others were concerned at the cost and whether a referendum could be deferred and held in tandem with local elections.[63] Some were fearful of the Secretary of State's powers, particularly in a "default" situation.[64] Indeed, the County Councils Network felt that the Secretary of State's powers in electoral matters should be given to an independent electoral commission to "preserve the objectivity of the process".[65] Others were concerned to introduce a turnout threshold for a referendum to be binding.[66]

84. Summarising the views of authorities, the LGA wrote that "if the result of a binding referendum is to be accepted without complaint then it will be essential to develop a broad consensus around the referenda (sic) process and the framing of the individual propositions to be put to local people".[67]

85. So far as petitioning procedures were concerned, the New Local Government Network (NLGN) pointed out that there was "no cultural, political or organisational familiarity at a local or national level with how they will work in practice".[68] NLGN on the whole thought the threshold of 5 per cent too high and that only political parties or the media would be capable of organising them: other authorities thought the threshold too low.[69] However, Professor John Stewart drew to our attention a concern that the threshold, if set too low, could be used to trigger a mayoral referendum "not because anyone necessarily wanted an elected mayor but as part of a campaign against the authority". In his view, "There is a danger if the trigger is not high enough that it can be used for all sorts of purposes not related to directly elected mayors".[70] In written evidence Professor Stewart stated that if support for an elected mayor were widespread, 10 per cent should be readily obtainable.[71]

86. The Minister of State told us that she expected legislation to be introduced soon to set up an electoral commission to regulate the conduct of referendums, following the recommendation of the Neill Committee. It was expected that the bill would be enacted ahead of any bill based on the draft Local Government (Organisation and Standards) Bill. The commission would be able to advise on the form in which questions might be put.[72]

87. In view of the novelty of the procedures and significance of the outcomes, the Committee attach considerable importance to the conduct of the referendum and any petitioning procedure. It is vital, therefore, that these procedures be fully developed while the bill is still before Parliament and that the arrangements for the conduct of these procedures be in place before commencement of the Act. We also think that these arrangements should be brought together and clearly set out in a single text.

88. The Committee also consider that a list of the key arrangements for referendums to be specified in regulations should be placed in the bill, either in clauses 11, 14 or 15, or in a schedule. These might include: the provision of information to facilitate debate; the role and rules of campaigning; turnout thresholds to be observed; polling method; timing; provision on cost; and expenditure by local authorities out of public funds in support of or defence of any campaign. The list should be capable of variation by regulations. The form of questions to be put in any referendum should not be prescribed in the bill or in regulations but be subject to the approval of the electoral commission in each case.

89. The Committee note that the evidence on what constitutes an appropriate percentage figure for triggering a referendum following a petition is conflicting. The current 5 per cent should therefore be kept under review and the Secretary of State should not hesitate to amend the figure if it appears to be inappropriate.

90. The Committee also consider that there is a case for holding a referendum on any proposal to move away from an elected mayor system to another executive structure not involving an elected mayor.

91. The Committee recommend:

  • the procedures for the referendum and petitioning should be fully developed while the bill is still before Parliament and the arrangements for the conduct of these procedures must be in place before the commencement of any Act on the lines of the draft bill;

  • the key arrangements to be specified in regulations should be listed in the bill, such regulations to be available in draft while the bill is still before Parliament;

  • the form of question to be put in any referendum should be approved by the proposed electoral commission;

  • the Secretary of State should not hesitate to keep under review the appropriateness of the 5 per cent figure necessary for a petition to trigger a referendum;

  • the bill should require a referendum to be held on any proposal to move away from an elected mayor system to another executive structure not involving an elected mayor.

A separation of powers?

97. The Government's intention, as set out in the White Paper, is to establish "a clearly-defined and separate executive to give leadership and clarity to decision-taking ¼ the Government believes that such forms of local governance, which provide for a separation of the executive, will be efficient, transparent and accountable". While the possibility of a separately-elected head of government makes the proposed separation of powers more marked than it is in the Westminster/Whitehall model, in other models the separation is less distinct.

98. Ms Armstrong made much of the sanctity of the principle of the separation of powers proposed under the Bill, but Professor Stoker and others drew our attention to the impossibility of true separation in any system where the members of the executive are drawn from the legislature. We agree with Professor Stewart that "what actually is on offer is a council that makes policy but ¼ the side-effect of that is a possible confusion between what is policy framework, what is implementation, what is executive action, and what is policy itself, ie the daily work of the council".[73] This is well illustrated by the somewhat uncertain and imprecise terms in which those parts which deal with the separation of powers are drafted. Given the hybrid nature of the proposals—an executive system grafted into a corporation—this is hardly surprising perhaps.

99. In the absence of complete separation, there must exist the possibility of leakage between scrutiny and executive functions. One of us put it to the DETR witnesses that "unless you have a ban on whipping the scrutiny committee, the scrutiny committee will not only make recommendations to the mayor and executive, who may of course simply say it is not a good idea, but there would be migration of policy formation from recommendations of the scrutiny committee to the council which would then be binding upon the mayor". The response was "it is very difficult to forecast how far whipping will happen ¼ it is part of the potential for this arrangement that councillors begin to operate less as merely people whose job is to vote for the leading option. It is genuinely about more open exploration of the adequacy and effectiveness of the policy. One cannot say that it will not happen, but there is an opportunity".[74] On a slightly different note, it was reported to us by Dr Clive Grace of SOLACE (Wales) that Bedfordshire County Council has established a "political executive" with separation between executive and scrutiny functions. But in the light of experience they were now considering whether to allow chairs of scrutiny committees a role in the executive.[75] (See also paras 156 to 159 on whipping.)

100. Indeed, we note from the paper we commissioned from Professor Robin Hambleton (Annex 1) that overseas the separation of powers is in reality far less marked than the theory might lead one to conclude.

101. There are grounds for supposing, then, that the distinction between what constitutes executive action and what constitutes policy framework is far from clear cut; there are grounds, too, for supposing that in practice there may be far more interaction between the two functions than the Government appear to think. Such interaction should not be a source of surprise. Ultimately, the boundaries of executive action may well have to be determined locally from experience. We recommend that following consultation with local government representatives the government should draw up joint practice notes to minimise confusion between executive action and policy framework, and that such guidelines should be available before the bill is brought before Parliament.

102. This lack of complete clarity between functions is a theme which affects a number of issues raised in the sections of this report which follow—the duties of the executive; the handling of planning; the scope for involvement of councillors in executive activity; the duties of council officers; and conflict resolution.

The executive: size, functions, and decisions

103. In two out of the three political models in the bill, there is provision for an appointed executive, drawn from the full council, and headed by an elected mayor or council leader. (In the other model, the council manager is the executive.)

104. The size of the executive must not exceed 10 councillors or 15 per cent of the council, whichever is the smaller, including a directly elected mayor. Executives and executive committees will not have to reflect the political balance of the authority: in other words, they can be one-party.

105. The division of functions between the executive and full council will be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State. The White Paper sheds a little light on what the Government envisages those responsibilities might be, namely to:

The White Paper goes on to say that the executive will be responsible for implementing council policy and delivering services in line with the council's approved budget policy framework. It is expected that the executive will have its own policy agenda and that it will have "a great influence over the priorities of the council and the policy framework and budget within which it will be required to operate".[76] Within the executive, it is expected that specific portfolios will be given to individual members. The executive, then, will call the shots.

106. The bill has rather more to say about the way in which the executive may discharge its functions. This would vary under the different models. Thus:

  • under the elected mayor/executive model, the mayor can decide whether to discharge any functions himself, or that the functions should be carried out by the full executive, single members acting alone, committees of the executive, or officers. (The executive or single members thereof can also make delegations.);

  • under the council leader/executive model, the leader may decide as above, or the council may decide in the agreed executive arrangements;

  • under the elected mayor/council manager model, functions may be discharged by the executive, the council manager or a nominated officer.

110. Under the mayor/council manager system a deputy manager may be appointed. The manager may attend and speak at council meetings. And advisory committees may be appointed to advise the mayor/council manager.

Size

111. Turning first to the question of size, many witnesses commented adversely on the over- prescriptive provisions in the bill. The LGA wrote that, while they agreed that smaller executives would work better than larger ones, "the rigid application of the constraints in clause 2 (7)" relating to size would "cause a number of unnecessary practical difficulties". In a small unitary authority like Rutland County Council with only 20 members, the executive would number no more than three under the formula set out in the bill. The effects would be: that members would be overburdened by the weight of their responsibilities; it would inhibit authorities from organising the allocation of functions in the manner they wished, for example by including some cross-cutting as well as service-based portfolios; and it might inhibit the development of multi-party executives, or the attainment of party balance, in those authorities who wished to go down the multi-party route.[77] The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham pointed out a further difficulty, that fixing the size of the executive as a percentage of the size of the council "might act as a perverse disincentive to authorities contemplating a reduction in overall council ... size ... as part of their overall modernisation process".[78] Others saw the constraints leading undesirably to wider delegations to officers.[79]

112. The optimum size of the executive was widely seen as being a "function of the extent of the services provided, and not ... a product of an historical decision about the number of elected members".[80]

113. The Committee shares the Government's and the LGA's view that smaller executives are to be preferred over larger ones. But we also have considerable sympathy with witnesses' arguments on the rigidity of the proposals in the bill. We think that the effect of expressing the size of the executive as a percentage of the membership of the council will clearly have some very perverse and undesirable—possibly unexpected—outcomes. For that reason, we recommend that the size of executive should be set on the face of the bill at not fewer than 6 and not more than 10, leaving the authority to decide on its preferred size having regard to functions and allocation of portfolios. Deputies or substitute members should be specifically disallowed.

Functions

114. Witnesses were also concerned about the functions which are unlikely to form part of executive arrangements and whether or not the split will always be practicable or desirable. As the draft bill stands, the Secretary of State will specify in regulations what local authority functions may not be performed by the executive and what may but need not be performed by the executive. But there is no hint at all in the bill itself as to what the criteria will be on which the Secretary of State will decide these things. The White Paper, by contrast, confidently asserts that "the legislation is also to require, in all the new forms of local governance, that regulatory responsibilities, such as licensing or the granting of planning permission, are not the functions of the executive but are to be carried out by the full council, or delegated as permitted under the council's new constitution, for example to a committee".[81] It is also to be presumed in this context that "the legislation" refers to the regulations, as yet unseen.

115. Local authority witnesses expressed considerable unease about this lack of precision as to what will and will not fall to the executive to perform. One authority which had already embraced new political management structures with an executive wrote that "In drafting any regulations to specify what are executive functions there may be certain grey areas".[82] Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, with its highly devolved arrangements, wrote that "it may not be appropriate for the executive to operate in a similar way, with exactly the same responsibilities in every council".[83] The LGA reported that some councils felt that the regulations could be used to introduce prescription through the secondary legislation route, without consultation.[84] They felt that "greater local flexibility and ownership" could be secured by allowing the council to determine the allocation of functions to the executive.[85]

116. The Committee find the current uncertainty over executive functions unsatisfactory. While we cannot agree that the allocation of functions should be left entirely to the discretion of the authorities, we consider that there is a strong case for placing the criteria to be observed by the Secretary of State in framing any regulations on the face of the bill. Our list of types of functions which ought not to be discharged by the executive would include development control, statutory regulatory duties (like licensing, housing and environmental health regulatory duties) and quasi-judicial functions. The Secretary of State should by regulation be enabled to amend the list.

117. Witnesses also acknowledged the difficulties in defining the cut-off point between policy formulation and implementation; in practice they are mutually supporting processes. One aspect of the proposed split between executive functions and council functions attracted particular attention, namely planning. While nothing is set out in the draft bill as currently drafted, in the White Paper the Government states that while it expects development plans will be prepared by the executive (possibly involving other councillors in the process), decisions on planning applications (development control) will continue to lie with the full council or a committee or sub-committee. A number of witnesses found difficulty with this separation. The Royal Town Planning Institute wrote that it was impractical to separate planning from decision-making and that the possible involvement of the councillors in the planning process would not work. "We believe", they wrote, "that a fundamental difficulty in the new structures is the separation of plan and policy making from development control, and their allocation to cabinet and committee respectively. We think this would be a huge mistake. Plan-making is a collaborative process that needs to be as open as possible, and as accessible as possible, to the community and all its elected representatives. Development control is not—or should not be—an after-the-fact regulatory process. It is instead the implementation of the plan, and as such continuously feeds back into it, identifying the changes in circumstances which require changes in criteria, revision of policies and supplementary planning guidance. It is vitally important that those who guide the preparation of plans should be, as far as possible, those who work to implement them".[86] The London Forum of Civic and Amenity Societies saw these proposals as a weakening of planning controls. They wrote, "the planning process stands to be weakened under the new arrangements by the separation of strategic planning from development control-related matters calling on the same professional disciplines, but already becoming separated by departmental restructuring".[87]

118. The Committee asked officials how under the new arrangements the executive might have an influence on the planning process, as an extension of its strategic role. (After all, the executive will continue to be members of the full council.) The answer we received was that "if the proposition was that the executive members should be able to play a part given that they might have planning functions in a strategic sense, I think that is a bit of analysis that we will need to carry through".[88]

119. The Government's intention to separate strategic planning from decisions on planning applications is thus viewed by practitioners as undesirable; and the potential conflict of interest whereby members of the executive may be party to a council's planning decision has not yet been thought through. The Committee observe that the potential tensions between the strategic planning and development control functions are not new and can occasion problems even within a traditional authority. It is possible that new executive arrangements will heighten these tensions. Government guidelines should therefore provide that local authorities operating under new structures provide in their constitutions working arrangements which ensure that effective exchange of information takes place.

120. We are conscious that this bill as drafted is not a vehicle for changes in planning law. When such a bill is brought forward, we would expect that issues raised in the Nolan Committee's report on The Standards of Conduct in Local Government—such as deemed planning consent—will be addressed.

Decision-making

121. Many witnesses were concerned that decisions—particularly those which were taken by an individual member of the executive—should be properly recorded. While the draft bill makes no mention of the recording of a decision, the White Paper says that "Where a meeting of some or all of the executive has taken a decision, the duty to create a record of the decision and the reasons would fall upon an officer of the authority. Where the decision has been taken by an individual member of the executive, it is that person who would be required to ensure that the necessary record is created and made available to the monitoring officer. The monitoring officer would then be under a duty to ensure that the record becomes available as described above. Failure to create such a record will be a criminal offence".[89] DETR saw no problem with this: "... all the existing pressures arising from the possibility of judicial review, the possibility of an ombudsman review for maladministration, will continue to support the proper recording of decisions, the reasons for decisions".[90]

122. But practitioners were more anxious on this score. ACSeS told us that it was desirable that "the chief executive, the head of the paid service, had prior access to decisions by the executive before they were finalised. It is not adequate in our view ¼ that the monitoring officer must ensure that decisions are properly recorded and published. It is necessary, in our view, to ensure that there is proper prior access to decisions, the decisions are made on proper grounds, that those grounds are recorded and the grounds are properly published".[91] The Legal Services Department of Birmingham City Council wrote that "The bill has little to say on how the executive will actually operate as a decision-making body ... this is one example where more detail should be on the face of the bill".[92] SOLACE felt that the White Paper did not sufficiently clearly distinguish between the roles of members and officers in decision-making—"the articulation of their distinctions is crucial if we are to progress to a system where more decision-making capability is delegated to a few individuals, outside of a formal committee system ". SOLACE went on to say that "Decision-making in different environments will require new approaches to recording decisions to ensure that appropriate audit trails are available to check on decisions and decision-making processes".[93] The LGA thought that if members of the cabinet or executive take decisions then they should be recorded by an officer.[94] An academic witness wrote that guidelines for authorities should develop an officer/member protocol which makes it clear what constitutes an executive decision-making meeting and who should be present to make such a meeting valid.[95]

123. The Commissioner for Local Administration in Wales and the Vice Chairman of the Commission for Local Government in England went a little further. They called for an "audit trail" which consisted not only of a record of the decision but a record of the advice given by professional officers on which the decision was based or why the advice was departed from.[96] (We consider the wider issues of "openness" below at paragraph 171 et seq.)

124. The Committee share witnesses' unease about the Government's current thinking on decision-making as set out in paragraph 3.64 of the White Paper. We agree with those witnesses who argued that clear procedures need to be established for the recording of decisions of the executive, especially decisions taken by individuals. We think that officers of the authority should be consulted beforehand in all cases and should record formally all decisions taken. We also think that provision should be made so that an audit trail exists of each decision, and factual and analytical material supporting it.

125. We recommend that a framework of principles governing the recording of decisions of the executive be inserted on the face of the bill, including: the prior consultation of officers; recording by officers; and the availability of factual and analytical material supporting each decision. Material recorded should, in the case of planning decisions, include records of any contact, whether formal or informal, between applicants or their agents and officers or councillors. In the interest of openness, which we consider further below, such decisions and material should be published.


47  App64 Back

48  App54; see also App70 Gloucestershire County Council Back

49  App79; (see also App 76, City of Nottingham) Back

50  App75 Back

51  App57 Back

52  App28 and Q224 Back

53  Q110; App30 Back

54  App 22 Back

55  App29 LGA Back

56  Q58 Back

57  App73; see also App 57 Birmingham City Council Back

58  Q224 Note: The "Mayor" of Hammersmith and Fulham heads the Executive as Council Leader. He is not directly elected by the public as Mayor Back

59  App65 Back

60  App 57; see also App 66 Dorset County Council Back

61  QQ741-3 Back

62  App 59; see also App 44 Society of County and Unitary Public Relations Officers Back

63  App61 Cambridgeshire County Council Back

64  App57 Birmingham City Council Back

65  App 64; see also Q 129 LGA Back

66  Q130 LGA Back

67  App29 Back

68  App38 Back

69  App32 London Borough of Sutton Back

70  Q672 Back

71  App48 Back

72  QQ713-4, 759 Back

73  Q666 Back

74  Q32 Back

75  App46 Back

76  Cm4298, paras. 3.29-3.32 Back

77  App29; see also App54 Ashfield District Council; App 14 Coventry City Council; App 47 East Sussex County Council; App84 WLGA; App57 Birmingham City Council; App78 London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames; and many others Back

78  App22 Back

79  App14 Coventry County Council Back

80  App58 Blackpool District Council; Q102  Back

81  Cm4298 paras. 3.10 and 3.23 Back

82  App55 Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Back

83  App79 Back

84  App29 Back

85  App 29; see also Q 102 LGA Back

86  App 43 Back

87  App 32 Back

88  Q26 Back

89  Cm 4298 paragraph.3.64 Back

90  Q42 Back

91  Q503 Back

92  App57 Back

93  App45 Back

94  Q123 Back

95  App60 Brooks Back

96  QQ453,465 Back


 
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