The Labour administration made a commitment to hold an independent review of the council’s governance structure. A cross-party panel was established to undertake the review and to report its findings to the council.
The panel was led by an independent chair, Dame Moira Gibb and the panel’s membership also included: councillors Hamida Ali, Richard Chatterjee, Sean Fitzsimons, Clive Fraser, Simon Hall, Jason Perry, Joy Prince, Helen Redfern, Scott Roche; and Anne Smith (independent member from the Ethics Committee).
Scope of the review
The scope of the review was to assess and review the council’s governance arrangements, to bring together best practice and to develop a model tailored to the needs and aspirations of Croydon’s residents and stakeholders.
The main goals of the review were to:
- improve councillor involvement
- improve local democracy and community participation
- consider if a change in arrangements could improve the quality of decision making and members’ involvement and participation
The panel’s key tasks were to:
- hear the views of councillors and other stakeholders including residents, community and voluntary groups, business, MPs and other participants in local democracy
- hear the views and seek advice from experts on participation in local democracy
- identify those aspects of the council’s governance that work well and identify opportunities to improve councillor and other stakeholder participation in the local democratic process
- benchmark good practice from areas with higher levels of participation and consider how this can be delivered in Croydon
- identify the cost and value for money implications of any recommendations that it makes
The panel’s final report and recommendations
The panel submitted the final report detailing their findings and recommendations for consideration at the council meeting on 2 March 2020.
The 11 recommendations made by the panel are designed to:
- give residents more opportunities to influence council decisions, earlier in the process
- put local communities at the heart of how council services are delivered
- give all councillors more opportunity to influence and shape decisions before they are taken
- make decision making more open and transparent
- give more support to all councillors and greater recognition of their role as community leaders, and
- improve the culture of decision making across the council.
The panel’s final report: Croydon Council Governance Review: Enhancing Democracy, Increasing Participation, March 2020 can be viewed below. Key evidence and information gathered by the panel was compiled into a separate Supplementary Evidence Report and published alongside the main report.
- Croydon Council Governance Review: Enhancing Democracy, Increasing Participation, March 2020
- Croydon Council Governance Review: Supplementary Evidence Report
Governance Review: progress update from October 2020 to present
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 and the council's need to focus on tackling the pandemic, the Governance Review recommendations needed to focus on priority activities.
Members agreed 4 recommendations at October 2020 Council meeting to improve the decision-making process, which proposed to:
- introduce Cabinet Member Advisory Committees (CMACs)
- amend the definition of Key Decisions
- introduce a new Forward Plan protocol
- amend the procedure rules for the running of Council meetings
Newly updated timescales of delivery were further agreed at a meeting of the Council in January 2021. This included three of the recommendations agreed at October 2020 Council to be delayed until the 2021/22 municipal year. The recommendations of the Governance Review will now also be incorporated in the council's overarching Croydon Renewal Improvement Plan.
If you have any questions regarding the work of the Panel, please email Democratic.Services@croydon.gov.uk, quoting Governance Review in the subject of your email.
The council’s privacy notice, which details your data privacy rights, can be found at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy.