Memorandum by Pendle Borough Council
The Council wishes to submit the following evidence
on issue 4allocation of duties between executives and Councils.
1. The Council has for nearly four years
now operated a committee system, which has five area committees
with extensive delegation. Broadly speaking the powers delegated
cover planning, highways and traffic, leisure, housing, land and
2. The powers delegated all relate to local
issues. In the main they are of concern within the town or village
in question but not beyond. Experience has shown that there is
little or no need for Councillor outside the particular area to
3. Local people have the right to speak
at and ask questions at their area committees. 1,860 people attended
these meetings during the last municipal year. It has proved a
very successful experiment in local democracy.
4. All Councillors are now fully involved
in the issues within their own areas. It has undoubtedly given
them a powerful role.
5. A further benefit is that the area system
has greatly streamlined the whole of the Council's decision making
process. The full Council and three central committees are left
free to concentrate on policy and strategic direction.
6. As can be seen the above appears to reflect
the Government's intentions for modern structures, and the Council's
experience is that it works very well.
7. The Council is very concerned about the
effect of clause 3 of the Bill, which provides for the division
of functions between the executive and the remainder of the Council.
There is recognition that development control and licensing would
not be executive functions but that, subject to regulations made
by the Secretary of State, everything else would be for the executive.
In my Council's view that would have the effect of emasculating
its area committees and also of overloading the executive with
routine, local issues.
8. My Council would therefore urge the joint
committee to include in its report comments reflecting the above
points and concerns.
28 June 1999