Home > News > Controversial plans to introduce presiding officer on Council may be dropped

Controversial plans to introduce presiding officer on Council may be dropped

Coun Derrick Morgan, Lord Mayor of Cardiff (Photo: Cardiff Council)

Coun Derrick Morgan, Lord Mayor of Cardiff (Photo: Cardiff Council)

It is understood controversial plans to introduce a presiding officer on Cardiff Council will be dropped by Labour.

The proposals were passed by the constitution committee on Wednesday night by five votes to four and would normally be expected to go before full council at the next opportunity.

But Councillor Siobhan Corria suggested they would be dropped.

She said: “I would be very surprised if these plans went to full council. What is the point of them?

“While I support review of the constitution we are elected to represent people in Cardiff and no one has ever spoken to me about needing a presiding officer. On that basis I will not support a change if I do have to vote on it.”

Labour briefly introduced a presiding officer after regaining control of the Council in 2011 before scrapping the move, and the decision to try for a second time has also been criticised by opposition groups on the council.

Councillor Judith Woodman, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “I do not see the point of appointing a presiding officer, a deputy presiding officer, a Lord Mayor and a deputy Lord Mayor.

“The Lord Mayor can chair a council meeting, if they need training they can get training. It is a waste of money and I do not think it is necessary.”

Councillor Jayne Cowan, leader of the Independent Group also said there was no need for a presiding officer.

She said: “I am vehemently opposed to splitting the role of Lord Mayor and Chairman of the Council. Both are intrinsically linked and the Lord Mayor is the custodian of the constitution and sets a lead for everyone in his or her role as first citizen of the city.

“Any move to denigrate the role of the Lord Mayor is a backwards step.”

But Councillor Ralph Cook, deputy leader of the council, said a presiding officer was the right choice and played down a Labour split.

He said: “The Lord Mayor changes every year, by the time they are used to chairing the meetings the year is up and someone new comes in. We need someone suitable.

“Yes, the group is divided over this but every group in the country is divided. That’s what happens when you have a group full of imaginative and talented people.”



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