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Tight timetable for changes at council

Neatly summed up by the Gazette. The timetable is tighter than any of us would like. It would be a false economy (of time) to skimp on the first steps – understanding what needs fixing and why.

Herne Bay Gazette, 11th Sep 2014

There is no time to waste on creating a new decision-making structure at city hall, says council leader John Gilbey.

The Conservative was speaking after the inaugural meeting of the 10-councillor panel overseeing the transition from the executive system to old style committees. Chaired by former city council chief executive Chris Gay. it met at the Guildhall on Monday night. Cllr Gilbey said:

“One thing we all agreed on was for this to be effective we need to get on and create a structure for the next council. We can’t go on talking and fiddling – a proposed structure needs to be prepared by the end of October.”

The proposed scheme will have to go through various stages before being put before a meeting of the full council in February so that it can be adopted by the authority after the local elections in May.

The Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District (CDCD) pushed for the change. It blames the executive system for giving the ruling Tory majority the power to railroad through unpopular decisions despite public opposition and believes old style committees will allow a greater variety of views to be heard.

CDCD member Prof Rick Norman was at Monday’s created a very inclusive tone to the whole evening. He went out of his way to involve members of the public:

“Our only concern is that the panel is in a hurry to create the new system without properly thinking through some of the issues and problems.”

There are likely to be four more meetings of the panel. The next is on Friday. September 26, with another scheduled for Tuesday, September 30.

Log on to www.canterbury.gov.uk to find out more.

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