Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Neighbourhood Governance Scruitny Review /Commission meeting

Tonight we agreed at the Overview and Scrutiny Commission to set up a review into Neighbourhood Governance. On the review will be John Bowcott from the Tories and Peter Southgate from the Residents. This will be the first review since 2001 when the Area Forums were established and will also consider issues like community engagement with the public alongside consideration of what should be the role of area forums and looking at community governance as a whole, powers etc. While we are still to consider the full terms of reference, it will be an opportunity to find out the views of with the community on the matter and how we can improve engagement. With a forthcoming White Paper on Local Government this is a major part of the Government's agenda at the moment.

On another note, the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission apart from Rod Scott's outburst was very constructive. Scrutiny is an opportunity to examine issues and certainly in the Labour party to make up you own mind on individual issues without being whipped (I have often disagreed with my Colleague Sheila Knight on issues). Many of the contributions were constructive (even from the Tories), especially Chris Edge and E Government (which I think is the future instead of reams of paper we get as councillor). With the issues that exist it also allows us to probe in depth and question decisions. Peter Southgate has taken over as Chair and did a very good job in what was the first Commission meeting of the new Council.


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