At the full council meeting on Thursday 23 January, the council agreed to move forward with a new committee structure, and an improvement plan which will be submitted to the Accounts Commission
Three new committees will be created – one for Policy and Resources, covering HR, policy development, strategic projects and finance; a Community Services committee, overseeing culture, education, social work, housing and health and an Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee which will be responsible for amenity services, roads, piers and harbours.
This new committee framework will allow members to dedicate time to, and develop expertise in, specific service areas.
These will be in addition to the full council and the Audit; Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL); Performance Review and Scrutiny (PRS) and the four Area committees
The role of the Area Committees has been extended to give them more financial decision making power, as well as absorbing the responsibilities of the local CHORD Project Boards.
The Accounts Commission report of October 2013 highlighted that, while on a day-to-day basis the council continued to effectively deliver public services, there were concerns with its strategic political leadership.
The detailed action plan contains 33 distinct actions addressing four key areas – standards; governance structure and processes; training and development for elected member; and policy development support.
Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Dick Walsh, said:
‘’We have moved on with a new and inclusive committee structure and a strong, stable administration. We have established a robust political management structure and a comprehensive action plan which will support further improvements.
‘’Councillors, working together, have used the Accounts Commission’s findings as a catalyst for change.
‘’The actions we are taking will help us drive forward change and secure a prosperous future for Argyll and Bute.’’