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Changing how Folkestone and Hythe District Council Is Run

Tim PraterPleased to say that further to my motion to Folkestone and Hythe District Council last week on changing the governance system (which was passed, amended by the Conservatives but leaving, I think, the intention intact) there has been feedback from the Council Head of Paid Service Susan Priest outlining how she plans to move forward.

Susan has been working with officers to "scope out a forward plan and resource the matter", and is looking to get outside support from the LGA (Local Government Association) and a facilitator.

It's hoped that the first meeting of the Governance Working Group (essentially all Party Group Leaders) will take place later this month with an overall target of bringing a decision on the governance arrangements to a January full council meeting, with any necessary detailed work on the constitution completed thereafter in time for an April decision.

This outline timescale would allow any potential changes supported by council to be enacted at the AGM in May.

Cautious optimism, but sounds positive...

The motion I moved at Council on 25th September read:

"This Council believes that a Committee system is appropriate for its Governance in the future and asks the Audit and Governance Committee to consider the issue at the earliest opportunity.

"If the Audit and Governance Committee endorses this view when it reports to Council it should suggest an outline committee structure."


The motion as amended and passed:

"That this Council believes that all Councillors should have the ability to participate fully in decision-making and that a range of governance options are available. This council believes that a cross party working group of all group leaders should be set up to consider the issues of moving to a committee system, or an alternative system, at the earliest opportunity reporting back to council."

(Voting figures: 29 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).