Major shake-up of committees at County Hall
Northumberland Conservatives have revealed plans for a dramatic shake-up of the county council's committee system.
The changes are designed to bring decision-making back to local communities and listen to what residents have to say.
The number of committees would be reduced by eight by scrapping many of what the Conservative group, which became the biggest party at County Hall in the recent local elections, has termed ‘centralised talking shops’.
They claim this will not only bring in more efficient and effective council processes but it will save £250,000 in payments to councillors over the next four years.
Instead the Conservative plan is to introduce five local area councils which are to engage with the public, work on local regeneration projects and make a range of delegated decisions from roads funding to local planning issues.
The five local area councils will be North Northumberland; Castle Morpeth; Tynedale; Cramlington and Bedlington; Blyth and Ashington.
The pledge to bring decision-making back to local communities was one of its main election promises.
Coun Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland Conservatives said: “Our Conservative Group has been honoured to receive enthusiastic support from all corners of our county.
“Now that we are by far the largest group on the county council, it is our responsibility to deliver on our manifesto promises. Some we can move on quickly but others will take a while to work through.
“People told us that they wanted a council which works with them rather than impose unpopular plans in the autocratic way of the last four years under Labour.
“Not only will we work closer with communities but we will save taxpayers a considerable amount, £250,000 over the next four years, which the council can put back into essential daily services. This is the start of a county that works for all.”