Something else has just struck me about the shiny new, streamlined committee system that is about to suffocate the City Chambers ... pre-meetings.
For the Scrutiny Panels, for all their flaws, there were pre-meetings that were open to ALL Political Parties on each respective Scrutiny Panel. That meant there was some Opposition input into the agenda formulation ... and Panels could have a further, direct impact on policy development through the use of 'initiated policy reviews' at a Scrutiny Panel level.
With the new (or it should really be called OLD) committee system, I have to presume that pre-meetings with officers will NOT be open to the Opposition? ... that's how it was before 1999.
I could be wrong, maybe I'm unfairly judging the intentions of the new Liberal/Nationalist hegemony and they will have all-Party pre-meetings with officers before agendas are set ... or is it simply a case of 'shiny new committees, shiny new secrecy'?