Worcester City Council to move to committee system

Worcester City Council has announced that it will move to a committee-based system, after members backed the motion at a full council meeting.

The council will therefore prepare to move from its current system of major decisions being made by the leader and the cabinet, with the new arrangements coming into place next May.

Moving forward, most decisions are made by committees with cross-party membership, reflecting the political make-up of the council. The council is currently made up of 17 Conservative members of the council, 16 Labour and two Greens.

The traditional approach to committee governance involves setting up a committee to make major decisions for each of a council’s main services – such as housing, economic development, cleaner and greener services. Bigger issues such as the annual budget would still be agreed at a meeting of the full council.

Worcester City Council had a committee system in place until 2001, but, following a 12-month experimental period, adopted the current leader and cabinet system in 2002, as required by national legislation at that time. The Localism Act 2011 allows councils the right to change their governance arrangements, but under the Act, the new system that Worcester City will bring in has to remain in place for at least five years.