Council champions role to be reviewed
A council will carry out an in-depth review of the purpose of its 'champions' and how they are appointed.
Councillors on Powys County Council's democratic services committee looked at a report on the authority's champions and found that there were huge grey areas that need to be looked at.
Committee chairman, Councillor Elwyn Vaughan, said: “This is an intriguing one, although I’m supposed to be a member champion, I have not received any description any expectations or anything at all.”
Democratic services manager, Wyn Richards, said: “This was raised by a councillor some time ago, asking democratic services to look at the role.
“Democratic services has set a precedent by asking councillors who sit on larger outside bodies to provide an annual report – should the same principle apply to champions?
“The question is whether we need to do some more work to review this and put some structure around it as it feels a little ad-hoc.”
Councillor Jackie Charlton said: "I never understood how they were appointed and that has not been answered.
“I understand it’s in the leaders gift to appoint these champions, but it does not give me much confidence in knowing, understanding and seeing what member champions do as they have an extremely important role to play.
“I think there’s more work to do.”
Councillor Dan Rowlands added: “It would be useful to find out what they have done over a year maybe?”
According to the report: “Member champions exist to provide a voice for traditionally under-represented groups, or issues which need to be kept at the forefront of council business although they may not be the responsibility of any individual or committee.”
Champions are councillor who as well as their other responsibilities make sure that the issue or group that they are championing are taken into account when policy is being developed and decisions are made.
The committee decided that a further in-depth report will come back to the committee before the end of the 2020 calendar year so that they can make recommendations to full council.
PCC has 10 Champions and they are: Older People – Cllr Kath Roberts-Jones; Dementia – Cllr Elwyn Vaughan; Children’s – Cllr Rachel Powell; Welsh Language – Cllr Myfanwy Alexander; Diversity – Cllr Matthew Dorrance; Armed Forces – Cllr Rosemarie Harris; Anti Poverty – Cllr Joy Jones; Disability – Cllr Ange Williams; Anti-Slavery – Cllr Aled Davies.
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