Why bid for Hartlepool council 'leader's questions' session was defeated
Councillors have knocked back suggestions for a monthly "leader's questions" session after arguing that opportunities are already in place for such queries.
A proposal was put to Hartlepool Borough Council’s constitution committee for a monthly slot to be arranged for the council leader to answer questions from councillors and residents on “any aspect” of authority businesses.
Submitted by Labour councillor Jonathan Brash, it argued the council’s elected mayor held similar under previous governance arrangements.
However, Cllr Shane Moore, Hartlepool Borough Council leader, noted the current council committee system means the council leader does not have the same “power or oversight” as a directly elected leader or mayor.
He said: “We don’t operate that system now, we have a committee system, and not all of the policy is driven by me, it’s a collective policy area.”
He added he holds a weekly “leader’s surgery” from 4pm until 5pm every Tuesday, which has proved successful, and urged residents and councillors to attend that.
He said: “In the past it has been used quite vociferously and then other times very quiet.
“If anybody, councillors or members of the public, have anything they want to raise or question with me, please do come to a leader’s surgery.”
Labour’s group leader, Cllr Brenda Harrison, was one of those in favour of the new monthly session.
But the calls were defeated by five votes to two and council officers added there are already numerous opportunities to question the leader at full council and committee meetings.
The surgeries are held every Tuesday from 4pm at the Civic Centre, or online if preferred, and bookings must be made in advance on (01429) 284142.