RE: Moving to Committee System
Josh, I'm delighted you enjoyed it, of course I fully expect that people would have been queuing up to take a look, given the subject matter. You may think that our repeatedly delaying publishing it wasn't intentional - in fact, it was a deliberate ploy to generate a feverish level of anticipation. And clearly in your instance it worked.
Conservative authorities are everywhere now, not just the south east, so not sure this has much to do with it - besides, there are several Labour councils thinking seriously about this. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to be limited to single parties; there are plenty on all sides of the political spectrum who like leader-cabinet, and plenty who prefer committees. Only two parties with a majority on English councils - Lib Dem and Green - have a confirmed national "pro committee system" policy for local government.
Cost is indeed always the first question that's asked, but the experience of those doing it this year does bear out the conclusion that this is, to all intents and purposes, cost-neutral. Of course, this does rather depend on what you include within the calculation, as ever.
Sadly there is no facility to award stars, if only because that might risk some of our publications not getting many and us potentially looking a bit red-faced - always dangerous being a hostage to fortune.
Research and Information Manager, CfPS