An examination of how non-executive councillors can influence decisions in local councils.
Following the introduction of new council constitutions under the Local Government Act 2000, a body of evidence about councillors involvement in decision-making is emerging. According to many frontline councillors (who are not on the executive), their experience to date has been mixed.
This report draws on case studies from a wide range of authorities which illustrate how non-executive councillors can and do contribute effectively to decision-making processes. The study:
- looks at how some authorities support their frontline councillors to contribute to the role of the full council, the executive, overview and scrutiny functions, and (where relevant) area structures;
- considers how an authority’s approach to decision-making can affect the ability of a wide range of members to be involved;
- explores the crucial role that political groups play in ensuring that their members have meaningful roles.
The author sets out a series of benchmarks to assist authorities to ‘health check’ their own procedures for involving frontline councillors and to help identify what happens when their frontline councillors are fully engaged and participating positively in decision-making.