York council needs to change to work more effectively, says the York Green Party.
The party has been the junior member of the ruling coalition over the last four years, alongside partners the Lib Dems. That experience has left them with the belief that the current system doesn’t do the best job for York.
They have pledged to ditch the council executive and bring in the ‘modern committee system’.
They say this would mean that all 47 councillors elected by York residents on Thursday (4 May) would take part in making major decisions in public council meetings – as opposed to just nine councillors making those decisions in the executive at present.
This is helpful in ‘hung’ councils such as York where the balance of power shifts frequently, they say, which can make longer term planning difficult.
Other councils to have switched include Brighton and Hove which changed in 2012 and closer to home Sheffield City Council brought in the new system last May.
Green candidate for Guildhall ward Henry Stevens said: “We believe that all 47 elected councillors should be involved in making important policy decisions, not just a small number appointed by the council leader.
“A committee system has certain key features such as no executive, a more limited role for the council leader and scrutiny and challenge at its centre.
“Each council develops the details of how their own system works and we would like this to be done in York in conjunction with residents, looking at how to include both residents and local experts in making new policy.”
Fishergate ward candidate Liam Clegg said York faces many challenges, from building new homes to creating a less congested, more sustainable transport network.
“To do all this in the face of limited budgets we need all the councillors residents elect to be able to participate in debates and focus on finding solutions,” he said.