Colum­nist

With No­rah Clarke, leader of the op­po­si­tion on Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views -

THE lo­cal elec­tions in May this year sig­nif­i­cantly changed the po­lit­i­cal land­scape of Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil by end­ing years of sin­gle party dom­i­nance and con­trol and it be­ing re­placed with a sys­tem where no one party or group­ing has over­all con­trol.

This means that whilst the ma­jor­ity party will through a cab­i­net sys­tem lead the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process by di­rect­ing strate­gic pol­icy and set­ting the an­nual bud­get they will need to be more open and in­clu­sive.

The Leader of the Op­po­si­tion acts as the prin­ci­pal spokesper­son for the main op­po­si­tion group and rep­re­sents the views of the group through var­i­ous av­enues.

All op­po­si­tion groups have an im­por­tant role in the scru­tiny process where cab­i­net pro­pos­als or de­ci­sions are scru­ti­nised and chal­lenged and clar­i­fi­ca­tion can be sought from of­fi­cers who will be im­ple­ment­ing the de­ci­sions made.

There is an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity for res­i­dents to have their say by be­com­ing in­volved in the scru­tiny process. Cit­i­zens can have a greater say in coun­cil mat­ters by ei­ther pro­vid­ing ev­i­dence to a par­tic­u­lar scru­tiny com­mit­tee or sug­gest­ing an item for scru­tiny or by speak­ing at com­mit­tee as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

You can con­tact the scru­tiny of­fice di­rect or speak with your lo­cal bor­ough mem­ber.

One of the am­bi­tions of our In­de­pen­dent group is to mod­ernise coun­cil by bring­ing de­ci­sion mak­ing and the ac­count­abil­ity of each in­di­vid­ual coun­cil­lor closer to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties with greater trans­parency and op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­put by res­i­dents and busi­ness peo­ple.

An es­sen­tial first-step to­wards greater trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity is en­abling res­i­dents to be able to see how their bor­ough coun­cil­lors have voted on a par­tic­u­lar is­sue. We do hope to have all-party sup­port to en­able this to hap­pen in the near fu­ture.

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