Leader will bring in outside body to look at way councils can run after Pop drops motion to Fenland to introduce committees

12:46 25 July 2014

Happy times? ALove Your Market campaign. Left Cllr Alan Melton (no longer FDC leader), Cllr Pop Jolley (no longer on cabinet) and Cllr John Clark (happy to be new FDC leader)

Happy times? ALove Your Market campaign. Left Cllr Alan Melton (no longer FDC leader), Cllr Pop Jolley (no longer on cabinet) and Cllr John Clark (happy to be new FDC leader)

Archant

A motion that might have led to a cabinet style of government at Fenland District Council being replaced with committees was withdrawn at the last moment.

Councillor Pop Jolley, ousted earlier this year as a cabinet member, had tabled the motion to counter claims that “elected members of all parties have been insufficiently involved in decision making”.

However an hour before the council was due to debate his proposals yesterday, he agreed to withdraw it after receiving assurances that a proper debate about the way Fenland Council is governed will happen.

That assurance was repeated today by council leader John Clark who said he hoped to bring in representatives of the Local Government Association – a cross party political umbrella group- to explain to members the options.

Cllr Clark said he had “no problems” with the committee system recently introduced by the county council – where he is also a member- but said even that system meant some councillors felt excluded from areas of decision making.

His plan was to look at all options for Fenland and the LGA meeting would be arranged “as soon as I am able to.

“I would hope all Fenland members can attend an LGA seminar on the options”

But he said whatever the outcome of he didn’t particularly want to saddle the incoming council after next May’s local elections with changes that they would not have approved.

“Personally I don’t think we should tie up the council in that way,” he said.

However Cllr Clark said whatever system is agreed he planned to ensure the council achieves value for money and was run on a business like basis.

Cllr Jolley insisted after yesterday’s meeting that the issue would still be debated by councillors and had agreed for his motion to be withdrawn for now.

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