Weighing up your structural options

Posted on 05/04/2016 by Ed Hammond. Tags:

We can help you to think about the various structures and models open to you, as you seek to agree on a permanent approach to devolution governance.  

Our approach is focused on the development by combined authorities of a “governance framework” to decide how they will develop policy and monitor performance. We explain the “governance framework” here.

At a minimum, a governance framework will help you to clarify the following:

  • How you propose to develop policy under devolution;
  • How you propose to monitor and review performance under devolution.
  • In particular, how the public will be involved in both of the above.

The framework is all about identifying who is responsible for what, and when – how decisions are made and held to account, and where that accountability takes place. It provides a solid foundation on which to identify what structural models are then appropriate for the area.

In the light of agreement on the governance framework we can help to establish what the structural governance arrangements will be. These will include – but are not limited to:

  • The relationship between the Mayor and the combined authority (what systems will exist? Who will vote on what – and who, if anyone, will hold a veto on decision-making?)
  • The relationship between the Mayor, CA and the LEP;
  • The relationship between these three key partners and a wider range of other stakeholders;
  • The systems, structures and processes needed to allow for meaningful scrutiny – by elected councillors and the public.

One model that we have raised before is the formation of local Public Accounts Committees to provide robust area-wide scrutiny and assurance – but this is one option of many.

Our help and support can help you to understand, weigh up and consult on your options, and to select an appropriate model based on consensus.

This work is designed to complement our other offers around devolution.




About the Author: Ed Hammond

Ed leads CfGS's work on devolution, transformation and on support to councils and other public bodies on governance and accountability.