The following statement about the working arrangement for Plymouth City Council while there is no overall control has been issued by Chief Executive Tracey Lee.
Working arrangement for Plymouth city council
Following the local elections held on 7 May 2015, no party or group achieved an overall majority on Plymouth City Council. The largest party and the largest opposition party have agreed to a working arrangement which will enable Members to carry forward the business of the Council on behalf of its residents and employees, as well as provide confidence to the business community and inward investors.
- The largest group (Labour) will run the Council’s executive functions. Shadow Cabinet Members will be briefed where practical ahead of Cabinet meetings.
- The Chair of the Co-operative Scrutiny Board and the Chairs of the Scrutiny Panels will be held by the largest opposition group (Conservative) and Vice-Chairs held by the largest group (Labour). The Co-operative Scrutiny Board will undertake a review with the aim of strengthening the role of the scrutiny function and submit recommendations to the Constitutional Review Group before final agreement by the Council. The above arrangement of the main opposition party chairing the Board and Panels will remain.
- There will be a joint chair for the Planning Committee which will be from the largest group (Labour) and the largest opposition group (Conservative). The Chair of the other regulatory committees will be held by the largest group (Labour) and the vice-chair will be held by the largest opposition group (Conservative).
- The Leader of the Council (Labour) will have fortnightly meetings with the largest opposition group Leader (Conservative) concerning the business of the Council.
- Delegations to meet ministers on behalf of the Council will include the largest opposition group where possible.
- Working groups, chaired by the appropriate Cabinet Member and comprising the largest group (Labour) and the largest opposition group (Conservative), will be established to consider the following:
- The development of the Plymouth Plan
- The future housing needs of the city and land disposals, and the setting up of a local housing development corporation.
- This working arrangement will apply whilst the Council remains in no overall control.
COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLOR TUDOR EVANS AND COUNCILLOR IAN BOWYER
Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “We have a very big shared agenda for Plymouth that includes creating jobs, attracting inward investment, lobbying for better rail services and for fairer funding for public health, as well as maximising the opportunities from the Mayflower anniversary in 2020. This working arrangement will enable us to work together to continue to deliver for Plymouth and to give Council staff, residents and partners confidence that this work will continue at pace.”
Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of the opposition, said: “We have an ambitious agenda for Plymouth that is shared with many partners across the city. Any uncertainty over the Council’s commitment or ability to deliver that agenda could potentially be very damaging to the city. The arrangement will ensure we can give confidence to all our partners regionally, locally and nationally that we remain committed to that agenda. It also ensures the largest opposition group on the Council can continue to play a strong role in scrutinising the work of the Council.”