Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
that isn't Wikipedia, please.
if you were asked to produce a 6 slide (approx) powerpoint presentation on a beginners guide to local authorities, with a set of accompanying notes, for your boss to present to clients, what would you put in it?
Slide 2: Contents slide
Slide 3: Welcome slide
Slide 4: Picture of country split into all local authorities
Slide 5: Thanks slide
Slide 6: Any questions?
don't forget to go over a few general house-keeping issues at the start (e.g. 'as far as I'm aware, there isn't a fire drill scheduled for today, so if you hear an alarm, exit via the doors behind you').
That's an essential part of Slide 3, along with introducing yourself and giving everyone a brief history of your entire life.
where Smee points to a local authority on a map and the audience have to shout UNITARY, TWO-TIER, METROPOLITAN DISTRICT accordingly.
spot whether this two-tier district has been granted borough status or not
and when they stick a didge on Bristol thump your fist on the table and shout "WROOONNG!!" aggressively in their face.
``How did that get in there?!``
Ho ho ho.
Here we go
Lynn Faulds Wood
Whatever Wikipedia cites, then.
I'm going to ask something more specific:
- how are committee members at local authorities appointed? Is this uniform?
- what powers do committees have?
- what does the full council do?
- Is committee structure uniform?
(1) back-room dealing
(2) ordering tee
(3) NOT COLLECTING MR T'S BINS
(4) no uniforms, but smart dress is expected
Golf is important!
Go buy that. To try and answer your questions here:
1. Depends on the local authority and how it is led - with a leader and cabinet, mayor (not very common), or another one I can't remember. Anyway, whoever is in charge chooses.
2. The powers they have depend on what they do - licensing will decide what hours pubs will open and so on. Generally all their decisions will need to be ratified by a full meeting of the council though.
3. Full council does everything. Though that depends on the council - county/metropolitan councils deal with education, libraries, and loads of other stuff. District councils generally do planning, street cleaning, watse disposal, looking after parks and shizz. Unitary authorites have both in one.
4. Dunno, I imagine there's not that much variation, councils are very boring and unimaginative.
This is probably all wrong and unhelpful, so god knows why I typed it out expect I'm bored writing a story about potholes (county council - highways).
Yours was better on the details though.
1. Usually on political balance. So if an authority has one-third Lab and two-thirds Con, then committees will have that balance. I don't know how indpendents get placed, maybe they just have to lump whatever committees they're given.
Planning committees are an exception, because planning is not supposed to be a political issue.
2. Most committees only have the power to make recommendations, which are then given the nod by the executive committee or by full council.
Some committees may have delegated powers to make decisions (delegated powers can be temporary or permanent, obviously a planning committee has a permanent delegated power to decide planning applications), but these decisions can be 'called in' and re-examined if enough councillors (usually five) think they have made a wrong decision.
3. It varies in different authorities. Some of full council's work is purely traditional, like appointing mayors/chairmen, but some is also legal, like agreeing tenders for contracts. At the authority I usually cover, any decisions deemed controversial or big are often made by full council.
4. No. The number and type of scrutiny committees often varies, and temporary working parties with specific remits (and, sometimes, designated powers) can be established. Having said that, I bet all authorities have a planning committee and some kind of executive body (although the name of it may differ).
I actually find some of this stuff interesting, sadly.
the people who we are making this presentation are most interested in planning. how is the planning committee appointed?
as i understand it officers in the planning department make decisions on most planning applications, but bigger ones can be deferred to the committee - is this correct?
It's probably on a voluntary basis, or first-come first-served. I speak to quite a few councillors in my job and I get the impression that a lot like being on the planning committee.
On your second point, applications deferred to the planning committee aren't necessarily 'bigger', I think there are other factors that affect whether plans will go to committee.
Different councils may have different standing orders, but usually if an application receives a certain number of objections (usually about 20) then that automatically means it goes to committee - so you could have something like a conservatory extension going to committee if it pisses off enough neighbours.
Another way an application goes to committee is if a ward councillor asks for it to do so. They may have got word that an application could cause problems, but isn't necessarily going to get many objections, and can ask for it to be considered by the planning committee.
Thirdly, the planning manager will often know his area well enough to deicde if something is worth going to committee. An application for one house in a street in a big city probably wouldn't raise too many eyebrows for example, but one house in a small village might have a big impact.