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Thursday 7 December 2017

Council to consider new streamlined constitution

Cheshire East Council is to be asked to approve a new constitution – to update and streamline the legal framework of the authority and make it more user-friendly.

More than 60 of the 82 elected members of the council have directly engaged in the process, which sees the constitution comprehensively reviewed for the first time since the authority came into being in 2009.

A local authority’s constitution sets out the rules and processes which the council must follow. 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.

The new constitution, if approved at a meeting of full council on December 14, will be posted on the council’s website. 

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 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 set out in language that we can all understand.

“I would like to thank all those members and officers who have worked together to modernise and revise this important legal framework for the council.”

The new constitution has been whittled down from 500 pages to less than 300. A report to the council says that while the new constitution will not necessarily meet all of the aspirations of every elected member, it represents a major success and demonstrates how the political groups and officers of the council have worked together to make long-awaited improvements to the way the council operates.

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