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