Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Transparency and Openness (part 94)

Cornwall Council's Cabinet meetings are arguably the most important in the authority. Because the Council uses the 'strong leader' model, it is the Cabinet that takes all the key financial decisions. Whilst the full council approves the budget on an annual basis, the decisions on individual projects are always taken at a Cabinet level.

So the agendas for these meetings tend to be very long and there are lots of complicated reports to read. Typically, the whole agenda bundle will be almost 1000 pages long with appendices.

As a result councillors need to have everything on time to be able to properly read up on subjects and to have a few days to ask questions of officers where a point is unclear.

The agenda for next week's Cabinet meeting has been published and there are no fewer than six major items where the papers are marked 'to follow'. The Democratic Services staff do a great job in getting papers out quickly, but they can only do so when the cabinet members have approved the reports.

1 comment:

DNP said...

I'd be interested to hear how the 'strong leader model' fits in with the 'Big Society' espoused by the government.