Councillors’ budget votes to be recorded

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

Individual councillors are to be held to account over council budget decisions with the introduction of mandatory recording of votes.

Previously councillors had been able to request a recorded vote after big decisions in the council chamber.

However, a new local authorities amendment introduced in February will allow residents to see how councillors voted in the minutes of budget council meetings.

This is particularly relevant for Calderdale following the recent tight vote on this year’s budget with the Con/Dem coalition forcing through its own budget proposals ahead of the ruling Labour cabinet.

Calderdale Council’s Head of Democratic and Partnership Services, Ian Hughes, said: “We want our members’ voting process to be as clear and transparent as possible.

“This amendment to the voting procedure would ensure that it’s easy to understand how councillors are voting at budget council meetings.”

The procedure will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Governance and Business Committee, at Halifax Town Hall, on Monday March 24, at 6pm, before it is sent for approval at the next Full Council meeting.

Also on the agenda is a change to the council’s complaints procedure.

Currently complaints are dealt with in three ways: by the corporate complaints policy, by the adulth health and social care complaints policy or through statutory procedures for complaints regarding children and young people’s services.

Each is subject to a three-stage process which is set to be simplified and streamlined .

The new procedure will see a single stage process with complaints categorised “based on their seriousness and likelihood of recurrence”.

A council report suggests these changes will result in 20 per cent less investigations taking place.