New Executive Arrangements
The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 required Kettering Borough Council to make changes to its current governance and decision making arrangements. The new arrangements came into operation immediately after the elections in May 2011. The Council is required under the Act to publish its new arrangements.
Consultation on the options was undertaken between the 12 July 2010 and 13 September 2010.
With effect from the third day after the May 2011 elections, Kettering Borough Council adopted the Leader and Cabinet Executive (England) model, as set out in the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000 (as amended). The key elements are:1. Election of the Leader
The Leader is elected by full Council at its post-election annual meeting (or, if the Council fails to elect a leader at that meeting, at a subsequent meeting of the Council). The term of office of the Leader starts on the day of his/her election as Leader and ends on the day of the next post election annual meeting (a term of four years under whole-Council elections) or the day when the Council holds its first annual meeting after the Leader's normal day of retirement as a Councillor unless he/she:
Is removed from Office or resigns;
Ceases to be a Councillor; or
Is disqualified from being a Councillor before that day.
2. Appointment of the Cabinet (Executive) and Scheme of Delegation
The Leader determines the size of and appoints between 2 and 9 members of the Council to the Cabinet (Executive) in addition to himself/herself, allocates any areas of responsibility (portfolios) to them, and may remove them from the Cabinet (Executive) at any time. The Council's Constitution will provide for the Council to express its preference on the size of the Executive to be appointed by the Leader. The Leader determines the scheme of delegation for the discharge of the executive functions of the Council.
The Leader will report to the Council on all appointments and changes to the Cabinet (Executive).
3. Appointment of Deputy Leader
The Leader appoints one of the Members of the Cabinet (Executive) to be his/her deputy, to hold office until the end of the term of office as Leader (unless the person resigns as Deputy Leader, ceases to be a Councillor or is disqualified or removed from office by the Leader). The Leader may, if he/she thinks fit, remove the Deputy Leader from office, but must then appoint another person in his/her place. The Council's Constitution will provide for the Council to express a preference for the choice of Deputy Leader.
4. Absent Leader
If for any reason the Leader is unable to act or the office of Leader is vacant, the Deputy Leader must act in his/her place. If the Deputy Leader is unable to act or the office is vacant, the Cabinet (Executive) must act in the Leader's place or arrange for a member of the Cabinet (Executive) to do so.
5. Removal of Leader
Section 44c of the Local Government Act 2000 (amended) states that the executive arrangements which provide for a Leader and Cabinet Executive may include provision for the Council to remove the Leader by resolution.
Kettering Borough Council will have the power to remove the Leader by way of resolution by a simple majority, with provision for the removal of the Leader included in the Constitution of the Authority. The Act specifies that, if the Council passes a resolution to remove the Leader, a new Leader is to be elected -
(a) at the meeting at which the leader is removed from office, or
(b) at a subsequent meeting.
Under the Act, the Council had the option whether or not to make its proposals subject to a referendum. A referendum would require registered electors to endorse the Council's proposals. The cost of a referendum would have been significant and given the lack of public interest shown in the consultation process it was considered that there was insufficient justification to undertake a referendum. Accordingly, there will be no referendum on the Executive form of Kettering Borough Council.
7. Transitional Arrangements
The existing Leader will remain in place (providing he/she is still a Councillor) until the Annual Meeting after the 2011 elections, at which the new Leader will be elected. Whoever acts in place of the new Leader will have to act in accordance with the existing constitution and within the parameters of the relevant regulations and statutory provisions.
8. Continuous Improvement
Under the current Leader and Executive arrangements, Kettering Borough Council has demonstrated that it is performing well as evidenced by the following examples:
Service delivery in priority areas continues to improve and is above average
the Council Tax is below the national average (around £3 per week)
The Council has a strong financial platform (no reliance upon reserves)
There is no 'structural operational deficit in the budget
2010/11 is a balanced budget (provided trajectory of past efficiency savings continues)
It is considered that the Council will continue to demonstrate improvement and that the Leader and Cabinet (Executive) model offers the best value for the residents of Kettering.
9. The Constitution
Detailed changes to the Council's existing Constitution to include the above proposals were agreed by the Council. The allocations of functions will continue as for the current Council until revised by the Leader or Council under the new governance arrangements.
Notice of the proposals was advertised on 1st November 2010.
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