Cheshire East Council has approved a new constitution – the legal framework of the authority which sets out the rules and procedures it must follow.
It is the first update to the constitution since the council was formed in 2009 and comes into effect on 1 January 2018. It seeks to make the operation of the council more cost effective and strips out a lot of processes that are considered cumbersome and which impede the efficient running of the authority.
Whittled down from 500 pages to less than 300, it is seen as uncomplicated and written in a language that is easy to understand.
Approved at full council on Thursday (14 December), it determines how decision-making committees are constituted, how decisions are made and how the work of the council is put under the microscope through scrutiny committees and the ‘call-in’ procedure.
Councillor Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: “We have listened to all the views of members and officers of the council through a series of workshops and meetings and we have received the expert advice of consultants Bevan Brittan solicitors.
“We believe that the proposed new constitution, which will be flexible and subject to further change where necessary, is fit for purpose, follows best practice and is far easier for everyone to follow and understand.
“I would like to thank all those members and officers who have worked together to modernise and revise this important legal framework and I am pleased that full council has endorsed this important document today.”
A council’s constitution ensures that it complies with all relevant statutory requirements placed upon a local authority.