Search

Barnet Council meetings could be postponed for a month after new committee system found to be ‘flawed’

16:34 17 June 2014

Barnet Council chief executive Andrew Travers.

Barnet Council chief executive Andrew Travers.

Archant

The chief executive of Barnet Council may be forced to suspend all council meetings for a month after the authority’s new committee system was found to be “flawed”.

Andrew Travers today announced that he wished to postpone all council meetings until at least July 15 - the date of the next full council meeting, where it is hoped the problems will be rectified.

But Mr Travers must have the proposal approved by both group leaders before any decision can be made.

It is understood he is currently awaiting a response from one of the party leaders.

The saga follows confusion over the membership and political balance of the council’s new environment committee which met for the first time last week.

Following the issues encountered last week, Mr Travers asked senior legal officer Hugh Peart to review the committee arrangements and was subsequently informed that the new system was “flawed”.

In January, the council agreed to scrap the cabinet sytem of decision-making and replace it with a cross-party committee system.

Today, Mr Travers wrote to councillors, explaining: “Mr Peart reported to me yesterday that the proportionality report agreed by council was flawed and could not form the basis of sound decision-making.

“I accordingly informed members of this at the scheduled meeting of assets, regeneration and growth committee last night.

“I subsequently asked Mr Peart to confirm his view by obtaining external legal advice. He has now obtained the advice of James Gaudie QC.

“Mr Gaudie has confirmed Mr Peart’s view that the proportionality report agreed at council was flawed. Mr Gaudie further advises that the council should put this right at the first opportunity.

“He does, however, go on to say that it is open to the council to continue with scheduled committees in the meantime, and that decisions taken would be valid.

“I will consult with the group leaders on whether scheduled meetings should continue on this basis. In the meantime, I have asked that this evening’s licensing committee is postponed.

“The current position is deeply regrettable and I apologise sincerely to all members. The move to committee system was always going to be challenging but the change has not been implemented as efficiently as members, or indeed residents, should expect from the council.

“It is important that there is a clear understanding of how this situation has arisen and what action, if any, should be taken.

“I will be appointing an external reviewer to conduct an urgent investigation into the processes leading to the reports presented to annual council on June 2. This will be published at the earliest opportunity.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Lara Casalotti

A year ago, Belsize Park student Lara Casalotti was in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

09:57
The crash in England's Lane                Picture: Francoise Lamouche

A car crashed and flipped over in Belsize Park last night.

Yesterday, 17:49
Nazanin with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella

West Hampstead mum Nazanin has finally seen a specialist for her back and neck, who said that without urgent treatment she could run the risk of permanent impairment

Yesterday, 13:14
Gakleen Shahata

Police are increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of a deaf woman with learning difficulties after she went missing from a church in Golders Green.

Yesterday, 12:50
The new community centre designed by architects RCKa

The director of a community centre in Highgate Newtown is celebrating his services being saved - thanks to private

Yesterday, 11:37
The Magic Paintbrush will be performed at Jacksons Lane

A Highgate multi-arts venue has announced its spring season and it is bursting at the seams with shows for all the family.

Friday, February 17, 2017
Professor Emma Morris in her laboratory at the Royal Free. Photo: Anna Behrmann

Anna Behrmann speaks to Professor Emma Morris, part of a team of researchers who are genetically modifying patients’ immune cells to find tumours and kill them

Friday, February 17, 2017
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Haringey's cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Photo: Nigel Sutton

An overseas developer has been confirmed for Haringey’s plans to privatise large swathes of council estates and land - as legal action is launched and hundreds waved colourful signs in protest

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now