Wandsworth currently runs a ‘Leader and Executive’ system. Every four years there’s an election – and residents choose 60 councillors. Those councillors then elect a leader (there’s an annual election for leader) who then appoints his cabinet. It effectively works the same way as national government.
My guess is that people are far more concerned about the council being run efficiently and effectively than the precise way it it run. The Government, however, think it’s very very important we ask again – largely, I suspect, because they are unhappy not that many people took up their ideas for directly elected mayors. Since the concept was introduced at the beginning of the century only twelve boroughs have opted for the directly elected mayor model. So the Local Government Act 2007 forces councils, once again, to consult on the model they operate.
The council is running its consultation in the current issue of Brightside and online at wandsworth.gov.uk/yourcouncil. Personally, I think the current system serves Wandsworth well, and hope you agree.
Under the current system Wandsworth has provided excellent services and the lowest council tax in the country – the simple fact is that the system of government isn’t the really important thing, it’s the ethos behind it.