Kingston Bridge

Kingston Council approve changes to committee structure

Kingston Council in London has approved changes to its constitution which will streamline the authority’s strategic committees from five to three.

The new committee structure has been introduced to improve the quality and effectiveness of decision-making and promote good corporate governance.

According to the council, it will further enable the authority to provide clear leadership to the community in partnership with citizens, businesses and other organisations.

The Corporate and Resources, Place and People committees will be established to replace the current strategic ones.

They will also replace the temporary Response and Recovery, and Culture, Housing, Environment and Planning committees that have been operating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new structure is designed to enhance the quality and effectiveness of decision-making and to better fit current and anticipated volumes of business dealt with at strategic committee level.

It will also increase the capacity of councillors through the release of time for casework and training and development activities, while enabling both members and officers to better focus on corporate priorities. 

The changes will come into effect from the start of the 2021-22 municipal year, which is later this month.

Commenting, Kingston Council’s Assistant Director of Governance and Law, Lauren McCann said: “These changes to our strategic committee structure will enable us to operate more effectively and enhance the quality and effectiveness of decisions.

“This is vital as we seek to lead the borough through this incredibly challenging time, as we emerge from the peak of the pandemic.

“The new structure will also create organisational efficiencies, reduce the burden on elected members and enhance the fit with the council’s revised senior management and departmental structure introduced in February 2020.

“The current schedule of formal committee meetings, which provides for very few completely free midweek evenings, risks potentially discouraging residents with other commitments, such as full-time jobs and young families from standing as councillors in future.

“Over time, this could lead to the council being less representative of the communities it serves, therefore these changes are really important and timely to try and ensure the role of councillor is open to all.”

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