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Who leads? Councillor‐officer relations in local government overview and scrutiny committees in England and Wales

Who leads? Councillor‐officer relations in local government overview and scrutiny committees in... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of recent local government reform for political leadership in local authorities. In particular, it investigates the role played by local government officers in shaping and directing the work of politicians serving on overview and scrutiny committees. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on data from five case studies of local councils in England and Wales, the paper suggests that recent reform has done little to clarify decision making and leadership in local government. Findings – The paper suggests that local councillors need to define their roles under the new system in order to reflect the changing requirements of their work. Originality/value – The paper investigates the impact of the introduction of overview and scrutiny on the relations between councillors and local government officers. Research on leadership in local government is well established, but this literature needs updating in the light of recent reforms. The paper suggests a complex pattern of leadership in local democratic processes, and suggests that more work needs to be done to ensure that local councillors adapt to their new roles. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services Emerald Publishing

Who leads? Councillor‐officer relations in local government overview and scrutiny committees in England and Wales

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1747-9886
DOI
10.1108/17479881111187042
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of recent local government reform for political leadership in local authorities. In particular, it investigates the role played by local government officers in shaping and directing the work of politicians serving on overview and scrutiny committees. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on data from five case studies of local councils in England and Wales, the paper suggests that recent reform has done little to clarify decision making and leadership in local government. Findings – The paper suggests that local councillors need to define their roles under the new system in order to reflect the changing requirements of their work. Originality/value – The paper investigates the impact of the introduction of overview and scrutiny on the relations between councillors and local government officers. Research on leadership in local government is well established, but this literature needs updating in the light of recent reforms. The paper suggests a complex pattern of leadership in local democratic processes, and suggests that more work needs to be done to ensure that local councillors adapt to their new roles.

Journal

The International Journal of Leadership in Public ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 17, 2011

Keywords: England; Wales; Local government reform; Leadership; Political leadership; Committees; Overview; Scrutiny

References