Thursday, May 24, 2007

Full Council meeting today

Full Council meeting today ... agenda here ... and proceedings totally dominated by the seemingly endless appointments to outside bodies that have to be passed on an annual basis.

One significant item of 'division' did occur twice though - under items 3.1 and 5.3 - which centred around the 'status' to be given to the Conveners of the new Neighbourhood Partnerships. For me, it was really a couple of debates about whether we're serious (as a Local Authority) in devolving significant powers and giving significant status to these new bodies.

Thought it very interesting (and a sign of changed times for sure!) that the Liberals opposed giving these Conveners any recognition in terms of allocating the posts as "Senior Councillors" ... it was perfectly feasible to do so, but maybe just a step too far at this early stage of the Lib/Nat/Tory hegemony ;-)


Andrew said...

... been notified of a slight mistake in my point in this entry ...

"seemingly endless appointments to outside bodies that have to be passed on an annual basis".

A reader has pointed out that these actually only have to made every four years and they are entirely correct!

Anonymous said...

Senior Councillors - don't you remember Andrew that the council is limited in the number of 'Senior Councillors' it can have and if all 12 Neighbourhood Partnership Convenors were 'Senior Councillors' that would easily exceed the number allowed by the last Labour Minister of Local Government

Andrew said...


Blogging remotely at the moment ... so can't provide the details (will try and do so Sunday) ... but the number can be accomodated within the total of 24 allowed in Edinburgh.


P.S. Okay, the actual Minister was Labour, but let's not forget it was a 'Coalition Executive' ;-)

Andrew said...


As promised, here's the text of the motion I seconded at the Council meeting last Thursday ... sorry about the length of it, but it does show that assuming two posts are 'doubled-up' (which is almost certain) then the 12 Neighbourhood Partnership Conveners can be treated as Senior Councillors ...


Item 5.3 – Designation of Senior Councillors

1. To note recommendation 5.1 but agree the following, interim structure for Senior Councillors (Post / No. / %)

 Depute Leader – 1 – 75
 Depute Lord Provost – 1 – 50
 Opposition Group Leaders – 3 – 50
 Executive Members – 8 – 65
 Planning Convener – 1 – 65
 Regulatory Convener – 1 – 65
 Licensing Board Convener – 1 – 65

Conveners of the 7 ‘temporary’ Scrutiny Panels would not be designated as Senior Councillors, as neither would Vice Conveners of any Committees/Boards. This then amounts to 16 Senior Councillor posts, within the 24 allowed, and well within the total financial allowance of £602,640.

On the potential implementation of any new committee system, these 16 Senior Councillor posts will be reduced to 8 (with the removal of the 8 Executive Member posts), and replaced by 6 new Committee Conveners, resulting in a total of 14 Senior Councillor posts.

Given the strategic importance of devolving powers to Neighbourhood Partnerships, it is only right that the conveners of those Partnerships have a Senior Councillor designation and Council calls for a report on how this could be achieved.

2. To further agree, that in the spirit of ‘parity of esteem’ for Neighbourhood Partnership members, that all members will have a vote at the first meeting of each Neighbourhood Partnership in electing their respective Chairpersons. And to agree that Community Council representatives can sit on more than one Neighbourhood Partnership, if their Council boundary straddles more than one Partnership boundary.

3. To note recommendation 5.2 as it stands.