Council to consider new approach to local decision-making

The first major update to Aberdeenshire Councils decision-making structure is due this week.
The first major update to Aberdeenshire Councils decision-making structure is due this week.
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The first major update to Aberdeenshire Council’s decision-making structure since the authority was formed in 1996 is due this week.

The full council will be asked to support a new ‘Scheme of Governance’ which would see changes to the current committee structure, and updates to the authority’s key constitutional documents.

The scheme is made up of four elements: Standing Orders (rules regulating council business and proceedings), Delegations (powers delegated to committees and officers); Financial Regulations (rules on spending); and Guidance (covering scrutiny and procurement).

A report to be considered at Thursday’s meeting (November 24) will ask councillors to approve the new scheme, and agree that it should take effect from January 27 next year.

Under the new approach, policy committees will be able to make financial decisions relating to service budgets, which will help the council make decisions more quickly. And increased flexibility within services regarding procurement is expected to lead to fewer reports coming before committees for approval.

In addition, the council’s scrutiny role will be shared among policy and area committees, with an ongoing stand-alone focus on audit matters, including work relating to the Integrated Joint Board for health and social care.

In a related paper, councillors will be asked to make a number of decisions relating to the operation and membership of a number of other council committees.

If supported, a further report will come before the full council in January for the appointment of chairs, vice-chairs, and committee members under the new structure.

A ‘Transitional Committee’ would also take effect from January 27 to allow the council to deal with certain business and financial matters until May.

The full reports being considered this week can be found at http://committees.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/