Councils set to become more transparent

Released: Friday, 07 October 2022

Residents in Adur and Worthing could have more involvement in decision-making if councillors agree to modernise the Councils' constitutions.

Adur & Worthing Councils want to be more transparent while carrying out their duties, as well as improving participation, efficiency and accountability to bring democracy closer to the heart of the community.

As part of the overhaul, the Councils want to cut the 600-page constitution to a document of about 400 pages, making it easier to access, as well as being clearer and more user-friendly.

New rules would make it easier for the public to raise any concerns or issues by cutting red tape, while the time for questions would be extended and a new public interest test would be introduced when deciding whether matters are exempt from publication.

Councillors would also be given more powers to challenge and refer matters to full council meetings for review, while the length of meetings would be reduced.

The proposed changes will be considered by the Joint Strategic Committee of the Councils on 11th October 2022.

Cllr Neil Parkin, the Leader of Adur District Council, said:

“It is absolutely vital that the Councils are transparent in everything that we do, and answerable to the public.

“We believe these changes will help by making it easier to see exactly how we make decisions, what we do and why, so that the community can have confidence their money is being spent appropriately.”

Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper, the Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:

“We have pledged to work with and to build closer ties with our communities - a process that has got off to a great start with our Big Listen campaign.

“Updating our constitution continues that pledge. It allows better dialogue with our local residents in our decision-making arenas, increasing transparency and ensuring that we are truly accountable for the decisions we make with and on behalf of our communities.”

Under the Local Government Act 2000, every local authority is under a duty to prepare and keep its constitution up to date. The constitution must contain the standing orders and procedure rules plus a members' code of conduct.

It must be available for inspection at all reasonable hours by members of the public and can be supplied to anyone who asks for a copy on payment of a reasonable fee.


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Page last updated: 29 November 2022

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