Public consultation on the configuration of Canterbury City Council’s new leader and cabinet system for decision making has begun.

Last month (July), a majority of city councillors agreed to move away from the committee system and implement the new model, which will come into force in May 2022.

They took the view that changing to the leader and cabinet system will make decision making more effective and make them more accountable to the public, so people will find it easier to know who to blame when things go wrong and who to praise when things go well.

Now, the council is asking for the views of local residents as to how the system should operate, based around four criteria:

  • Engagement: the decision-making process should be connected to local people and be open and transparent to the public, councillors and council officers
  • Economy: the overall decision-making structure, including the number of meetings and workload for councillors, should aim to be no greater than under the committee system and be capable of further refinement
  • Efficiency: the structure should help good decision making, balancing proper scrutiny of proposals while being quick and effective
  • Effectiveness: responsibilities and accountability about who does what should be clear, both within the council and to those outside, especially residents

There is much more information on the council’s website where views can also be given. Comments must be submitted by Friday 22 October.

The council will also be holding two workshops to discuss the options in more detail. Arrangements for these will be announced soon but people can register their interest by emailing or calling 01227 862059.

Council Leader Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding said: “Having agreed that this is the best model for decision making, we now want to make sure we set it up in the right way, so that it is as efficient and effective as possible.

“Public views are a really important part of this and we’re keen to hear a broad range of thoughts and suggestions. Please get involved in this important consultation.”

By Ed

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