Local Government in the 21st Century

Meeting chaired by the convenor Rodney Tye

Jad Adams

Biographer & contributor to The Times newspaper

Joint meeting of Charter 88 (Bath Branch) & BRLSI

30 January 2006

The Local Government Act of 2000 changed the procedures for local Councils like Bath & North East Somerset Council. Previously, decisions were reached through a committee structure where all elected councillors took part. Now there was a Cabinet of senior councillors (9) who had individual responsibilities. They received significant remuneration.

Jad Adams opened the discussion following the lines of a lengthy article he had written for The Times. He argued for more accountability and blamed the new system for significant rises in taxation.

Councillor Colin Darracott opened the responses. He was one of the Cabinet of Councillors with responsibility for economic development. He defended the new system, but conceded that improvements could be made.

A second Cabinet Councillor Nicole O’Flaherty also defended the new system as did Councillor Matt Davis, the Labour Party leader of the Opposition.

There were nearly forty present with members from both Institutions speaking.

At the end, Jad Adams signed copies of his biography of Rudyard Kipling, a copy of which is now in the Institution Members’ Library.

Rodney Tye