Devolution and other new localised arrangements promise to transform the way that councils work together to tackle priorities such as economic growth, transport, skills, health and social care. Devolution should create improved ways of working that have at their heart the needs of the public. To do this the principles of involvement, transparency and accountability must be central to any new arrangements.
Nationally, CfPS has been campaigning for more openness and public involvement in devolution, and for a central role for non-executive (scrutiny) councillors. We think that one way to do this would be for each area to put together a governance framework which shows how they will involve non-executive councillors and the public in decision-making and performance management.
CfPS is currently working directly with five areas to support them as they devise new approaches to governance and scrutiny, and talking to many more to provide informal advice and guidance. This work includes getting executive and non-executive councillors, partners and the public to work together to ensure that governance systems are designed which are robust, flexible and fit for purpose – and that those arrangements focus on the outcomes that local people need to see from the devolution process.