Local government in a nutshell - how it works

We would like to thank MVDC Councillor Clayton Wellman who has highlighted key points regarding local government. Hopefully, people will find this useful and get more involved locally.

  • MVDC operates under an Executive system where the party with the most seats forms an Administration and from its members nominates Executives to manage the key portfolio areas (in a Cabinet form). It is possible to run a Council on a Committee system and there are arguments for and against either system.
  • Highways and pavements are SCC responsibility, not MVDC.
  • Waste - Essentially MVDC manages householders' bins. SCC handles the public waste disposal sites such as CRCs (tips) and it also handles permissions for industrial waste processing sites, which leads into:
  • Planning - SCC handles applications for waste and minerals. Whereas MVDC handles applications for residential and commercial property. When debating and making decisions on planning applications there is a need for a policy basis. If one is to enforce a refusal or to enforce a condition on a development it must be rooted in policy. Therefore, a robust and contemporary set of policies held by MVDC is essential.
  • One way for policy to be established is the bringing forward of motions by Councillors. If approved by the Council, these can then form the basis for policy. For example, we are bringing forward a motion to promote and install EV charge points as well as make a requirement for new developments above a certain size to require an installation. If passed this would then work its way into Council policy.
  • In some places the two-tier local government system has been collapsed into one unitary system. This has many advantages in terms of savings and clarity of responsibilities & public contacts. However, it can also be said to marginalise the interests of those in low population density areas or with particular locales and needs. At present MVDC is embarking on plans for a number of Joint Working Groups with SCC and other neighbouring Districts. This is in effect a kind of compromise in which sharing helps create efficiency where possible & reduces overlap etc, whilst still keeping distinction.
  • There was mention of an app for people to get more involved in some local decisions. This is something I advocate and have raised with colleagues on numerous occasions. I think it is really important to try to get people involved and have a sense that they can have an impact on their communities and localities and that their views really matter. If developed, an appropriate app could really help with this, as well as being a good communication device to keep members of the public informed on all kinds of matters.
17 Oct 2017