Chief Executive's Report - 27 November
Friday, November 22, 2013 at 9:36AM
Bill Barclay

Readers may have been puzzled by my reference in the previous post to the deliberate 'blurring' of governance and executive roles within our Council. 

Almost as confirmation of this state of affairs comes an entry in the CE Report for next weeks Council Meeting as follows:

"2015-2025 Long Term Plan (Strategic Planning Team)
With new responsibilities of the Mayor, a new group has been formed called Mayor Plus, that will help to set direction and identify key work streams for the next Long Term Plan. The Mayor now has responsibility to lead the development of Council's plans, policies and budgets. (my bold) In doing so, the Mayor will be supported by the Deputy Mayor, the Chief Executive, and Project Management staff. The Chief Executive is the internal project sponsor. Additionally, other Council Committees (this includes a new
Policy Committee) within Council will have delegation to consider key issues and directions with presentations on the direction given by the Mayor Plus committee."
This is a staggering demonstration as to just how 'hands on' our Mayor has become in determining the future course of this District - he clearly no longer trusts the bureaucrats to produce the plans for Council to determine. But it is contrary to local government 'best practice', and constitutes a huge risk as the entire TYP process is controlled through the Mayor and his Deputy. Clearly, the Chief Executive, and his top staff are powerless and mere pawns in this process.
Of course there are people who will say that this is a great way to go, and an expression of the democratic process at work. But unfortunately, long experience has taught us that this signals the beginning of a dictatorship, and removal of the checks and balances that have been built into the planning process over generations of local government. It is demoralising and demeaning as inexperienced elected officers involve themselves in the executive planning, and initiating of policy. Go to any textbook on the division of powers in order to confirm what I am saying - it is entirely inappropriate, and an indication as to the lengths to which our Mayor is prepared to go in order to accumulate all the levers of power in his his burly grasp.
I hope that the Council as a whole rejects this move, but hold out no hope that this will be the case - they will do as they are told, as usual. 



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