First Cabinet of the new year

Last night was the first Crawley Borough Council Cabinet Meeting of the new council year. A little later than usual, but General Elections cause no end of chaos to scheduling.

Cabinet is the council’s most important committee. It has significant delegated powers and is a hurdle all major policy has to clear on the way to the Full Council meeting.

Despite that power, meetings tend to be short for two reasons. The first is that it is that where majority control exists a cabinet will usually only have members of one party and, despite popular belief, members of parties broadly agree with each other. The second is that by the time a policy reaches the cabinet it has already been debated half to death by those in attendance at various rounds of meetings.

Any member of the public can turn up and ask a question, and any member of the council can speak on any item but by and large the meetings are left to cabinet members.

Yesterday’s meeting covered the next stage of one of the council’s many affordable housing projects, deciding the process for how K2 will be run in future and financial reports.

As Leader, I chair the meetings but having retained personal responsibility for the council’s finances I also presented those final reports. It was all good news, not only has the council continued to invest the public money wisely but in the face of Government cuts we exceeded our budget target by £1.6m. That’s money we can reinvest in local services and the fabric of our town. By stewarding the public finances we are delivering on the ambitions for the town of residents and the Labour movement.

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