Cambridgeshire County Council leader Steve Count praises committee system and reflects on first year and looks to the future
- Credit: Archant
The leader of Cambridgeshire County Council has given a ringing endorsement of the committee system.
Councillor Steve Count says the introduction of the committee system at the expense of the cabinet system has “transformed” the council’s decision making process.
In his annual report as leader of the council and chairman of the general purposes committee, he says: “The committee system was implemented to encourage more open democracy and to allow more councillors to participate in the debate.
“This new way of working has transformed our decision making, enabling the diverse viewpoints and needs of our communities to be more involved in the detail and way our decisions are made.”
The general purposes ommittee was established in May 2014.
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The committee has been responsible for overseeing the 2015/6 business plan, which Cllr Count says has been developed “with closer and stronger cross party political engagement”.
Reflecting on his first year as leader, Cllr Count said the council - which has made savings of £100 million and faces another £119 million of savings over the next five years - has “much to be proud of”.
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He said: “The City Deal arrangement has meant that in partnership with Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire we have negotiated around £500 million of devolved funding from Government that we can invest in priority transport and housing schemes.
“We also secured fairer funding for our school children, rated as ‘good’ under the new Ofsted inspection criteria and have launched a new approach to social work practice in adult social care and older people’s services called ‘transforming lives’.
“Even though we still face huge financial challenges, building of key infrastructure for Cambridgeshire remains critical now and for future generations.
“Our capital programme spans the next ten years; we will invest a further £436 million in building new schools and expanding school provision.
“We will spend a further £143 million on roads, footpaths and cycle paths.
“We will also be continuing to invest in major transport schemes like Ely Crossing, the A14 upgrade and King’s Dyke crossing, as well as £100 million over the next five years via City deal schemes.”