Blog entry

Governance models

Ian Jenkinson's picture

In recent years, Local Government has adopted, discarded and readopted a number of different governance models. None have been without criticism and all have been found wanting in different ways.  Arguably, the model that ICE has just adopted is very similar to the Leader and Cabinet model (one of three that Local Authorities were required to adopt under the Local Government Act 2000).  Under this model a Leader is elected by the whole Council who then selects a small group of councillors to form a Cabinet to take all of the decisions in accordance with a budget agreed by the whole Council. In theory this sounds to be a sound way of running things, except that many councils found it less than satisfactory. The checks and balances that was expected from the Scrutiny Committees (all of the other councillors) never really took place.  In reality it created a small 'in-group' of councillors and a much larger group of councillors who have very little involvement in decision making and feel both disenfranchised and redundant. As a result many don't bother to stand for election again and local democracy suffers.  More recent Acts have widened the Governance models.  Its a dreadful shame that none of this has been discussed, or even acknowledged, in the ICE proposals.

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Ian Jenkinson's picture

I was recently reminded of a book review, published in Civil Engineering, about worrying trends in corporate management that had led to the 2008 banking crisis.  The book "The cult of the leader" won the 2012 Management Book of the Year Prize.  Despite being a little dated, the trends are still evident throughout commerce and industry and, allow me to suggest, we have seen aspects of it within ICE.  Its worth reading