Dominant Conservative group make concessions to ‘improve scrutiny’


ECDC - Credit: Archant

Changes to East Cambridgeshire District Council’s committee structure are to be approved in a bid to assuage the authority’s Conservative majority.

The Tories won 36 of the 39 available seats on the district council in a dramatic election earlier this month, leaving just two Liberal Democrats and an independent councillor in opposition.

In the wake of the election, Conservative group leader, Councillor James Palmer, promised to look at ways to improve scrutiny at the council, saying that he wanted to ‘ensure this lifeblood of democracy can be maintained’.

At the first meeting of the new look council, to be held on Thursday, a package of changes are set to be agreed that will make scrutiny of decisions easier.

Under the changes, it will now require just three councillors to ‘call-in’ a committee decision for further scrutiny and explanation, down from the five councillors the measure currently requires.

Councillor Palmer has also agreed to sacrifice a seat allocated to the Conservatives on the planning and corporate governance and finance committees in favour of independent Cllr Beckett.

Before the moves can be approved, however, a vote will have to be taken.