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St Albans City & District Council - Change in Governance Arrangements

St Albans City & District Council resolved at a Full Council Meeting held on 2 December 2020 to make a change in its governance arrangements, with effect from the Annual Council Meeting scheduled to be held on 19 May 2021.

As a result of the resolution it will be necessary for significant changes to the Council's Constitution to be made. The main feature of the change is to remove the 'Leader & 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 Council. No individual Councillor will have decision-making powers.

See Public Noticehere– Change of Governance Arrangements from May 2021.

Key provisions of new governance arrangements

Prior to the decision of Full Council on 2 December 2020 to change to a Committee System of governance, a cross party Governance Restructure Working Group was established. The first of a series of meetings took place on 15 July 2020. The Terms of Reference of the Working Group was to consider both the current and alternative options for governance and to make recommendations to Full Council as to the most appropriate option for St Albans City and District Council.

The Working Group robustly analysed various governance models to determine an appropriate model which would reflect the objectives of providing greater collaborative working between the political Groups, involvement in policy development, and, enhanced oversight of Council decisions at an early stage.

The driver for change was a desire to ensure that strategic and operational policy decisions were made as a consequence of a collective will and that all Councillors had an effective route to shape the direction of the Council. Further, that performance management was enhanced with regard to local forums, panels and residents. The Working Group was clear in its objectives that any impetus for change must enhance the ability of all Councillors to determine decisions which affect not only their Wards, but, the Council as a whole. 

Agenda and Minutes of the Governance Restructure Working Group - here. 

Review of Committee Governance Report to Full Council – 2 December 2020 - here

Resolution of Full Council – 2 December 2020 - here

Webcasts of the Governance Restructure Working Group Meetings – here. 

(Please note that the first meeting of the Working Group was not webcast)

People are invited to give their views about the proposals from Monday 1 February for a period of six weeks. They can do so by emailing:

Governance.Restructure@Stalbans.gov.uk