On 14 October 2019 Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council decided to make a change in its governance arrangements pursuant to Sections 9K, 9KC and 9L of the Local Government Act 2000 as inserted by the Localism Act 2011. The Council resolved that:
(1) having considered:
(a) the materials presented to the Governance Review Working Group; and
(b) the discussions held at the Working Group’s meetings and subsequent Member sessions.
Council is of the view that Wirral’s residents will now be better served by the introduction of a more accountable and transparent way of conducting the Council’s business, policy formulation and decision-making. Council should now move to a Committee based structure to be designed, finalised and in place for the next Municipal Year.
Council notes that a range of costs have been put forward that apply to the revised arrangements. It is recognised however, that revisions to the existing Constitution have been under discussion for some time and that costs would have been incurred in that process. Council considers that the operational costs of the new system of governance should be the subject of regular reports and that in practice these costs should be minimised.
(2) there be a move from Leader and Cabinet Executive arrangements to a Committee System form of governance arrangements to take effect from the Annual Council Meeting in 2020; and
(3) the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee accordingly prepare a draft revised Constitution to propose to the Council meeting of 16 March 2020.
As a result of these resolutions it will be necessary for significant changes to the Council’s Constitution to be made. The main characters of the change is to remove the ‘Leader and Cabinet’ form of governance that the Council has operated since 2001 and replace it with a ‘Committee System’ form of governance. This new form of governance will result in most decisions on Council functions being dealt with by politically balanced Committees subject to the general oversight of the Council. No individual Member of the Council has decision making powers.
In the coming months, proposals for the new ‘Committee System’ form of governance will be made available at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED and published on the Council's website.