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Local Government
Essex County Council
Our intention is to provide an Introduction to the County Council. While we are aware that many people struggle to understand the workings of local councils and shy away, nevertheless for those who do wish to understand we provide this basic information.  For an ‘applied overview’ you may wish to check out our May / June Review 2013: The Workings of our Local Authorities


Decisions at Essex County Council are taken by elected councillors, often following discussion within committees. The councillors work within a legislative framework which ensures that all members of the community are considered when making decisions, that decisions are made openly and accountably, and that councillors maintain the highest ethical standards, ensuring their expenses and interests are a matter of public record.
(Source: From ECC website www.essex.gov.uk )

To understand more fully the Council workings, use this Constitution link:

The Council is composed of 75 Councillors (also known as Members) elected every four years. Members are democratically accountable to the residents of their electoral divisions. The overriding duty of Members is to the whole community, but they have a special duty to their constituents, including those who did not vote for them.
(Source: From the Constitution)

 

Essex County Council,

County Hall,

Market Rd,

Chelmsford

CM1 1QH

 

0845 743 0430

 

www.essex.gov.uk

 

As at Autumn 2013, our representatives on the County Council are:

- Terry Cutmore (Con)

- Colin Seagers (Con)

- Malcolm Maddocks (Con)

- Michael Hoy (Green).

 

On the following pages you can find interviews with:

 

Terry Cutmore (Nov 2013)

To catch a glimpse of the range of the work of the County Council, the following comes form the Constitution:

 

OFFICERS:

Chief Executive (Designated Head of Paid Service under Section 4 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989), who shall have the following functions and areas of responsibility:

(i) overall corporate management;

(ii) overall operational responsibility (including overall management responsibility for all officers);

(iii) strategic development and performance of the organisation;

(iv) provision of professional advice to all parties in the decision-making process;

(v) together with the Monitoring Officer, responsibility for a system of record keeping for all the Council’s decisions;

(vi) representing the Council on partnership and external bodies (as required by statute or the Council); and

(vii) Corporate Policy.

 

Executive Director for Schools, Children and Families (Designated Director of Children’s Services for the purposes of Section 18 of the Children Act 2004), who shall be responsible for exercising the functions under Section 18 of the Children Act 2004.

 

Director for Adult Social Care (Designated Director of Adult Social Services for the purposes of Section 6(A1) of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 (as inserted by Schedule 2 to the Children Act 2004)), who shall be responsible for exercising the functions under Section 1 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and for the effective delivery of Adult Social Care Services in line with local needs and national legislation.

 

Executive Director for Corporate Services, who shall have the overall responsibility for

(i) Financial Resources (Revenue and Capital), Precepts and Levies;

(ii) Audit, Risk and Business Continuity;

(iii) Performance Management;

(iv) External Funding Programmes;

(v) Property Facilities and Business Support;

(vi) Essex Pension Fund

(vii) Corporate Law and Assurance.

 

Executive Director for Environment, Sustainability and Highways (Non-Statutory Chief Officer for the purposes of Section 2(7) of the Local Government Act 1989), who shall have responsibility for:

(i) the Council’s statutory responsibilities as the Waste Disposal Authority;

(ii) the Council’s statutory responsibilities as the Highways Authority;

(iii) Development Control;

(iv) Emergency Planning;

(v) economic development and regeneration;

(vi) the design and delivery of new models of working and shared services in Essex;

(vii) Property and Facilities management;

(viii) Customer Services (including Registration Services);

(ix) Heritage, Culture and the Arts; and

(x) Libraries.

 

Assistant Chief Executive Strategic Services (Non Statutory Chief Officer for the purposes of Section 2(7) of the Local Government Act 1989), who shall have responsibility for:

(i) leading and developing the Council’s policy, public engagement, communications and partnership;

(ii) Community Safety; and

(iii) tourism.

 

Executive Director for Transformation (Non Statutory Chief Officer for the purposes of Section 2(7) of the Local Government Act 1989), who shall have responsibility for:

(i) leading a programme of change to achieve the Council’s transformation agenda;

(ii) oversight of the internal Human Resources functions;

(iii) internal communications; and

(iv) information services and technology.

 

If you wonder about Councillors, here are the requirements of them in the Constitution:

 

The Nolan Principles: The seven principles of public life

 

These principles apply to all aspects of public life; the Council has adopted these principles which will be applied by all Members.

(i) Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

(ii) Integrity - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

(iii) Objectivity - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

(iv) Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

(v) Openness - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

(vi) Honesty - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

(vii) Leadership - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

 

 

For further understanding of the nature and working of the Council, it is our aim from time to time to invite our representatives to tell us of their experiences at this level of local authority, and you will find links to their interview on the top right hand side of this page

 

 

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