Back in July 2010 Eric Pickles was interviewed about the system:
"Iain Dale: The cabinet system in local authorities is very unpopular with a lot of people. If local authorities wanted to change that and go back to the committee system, what would your reaction be?
Eric Pickles: Fine. We will be putting something into the local government bill to let them do that. I don’t care how things are organised. They can have it on the basis of a committee system, on a cabinet basis, on the mayoral system. If they want to introduce it on a choral system with various members of the council singing sea shanties I don’t mind, providing it’s accountable, transparent and open. That’s all I need to know."
However, nothing has happened yet and in the case of BDC the cabinet is made up of the following people (details too of their political party, ward and portfolio responsibility within the cabinet together with their home village/area - as shown on BDC's website ):
Stuart Clancy - Con (Taverham South) Economic Development - lives in Felthorpe
Kim Davis-Caydon – Con (Thorpe St Andrew SE) Partnerships and Change Management – lives in Mangreen
John Fisher – Con (Thorpe St Andrew SW) Environmental Policy Development - lives in Thorpe St Andrew
Roger Foulger – Con (Drayton South) Housing and Environmental Services - lives in Sprowston
Alan Mallett – Con (Coltishall) Finance – lives in Coltishall
Andrew Proctor – Con (Brundall) Deputy Leader and Planning Policy and Conservation - lives in Brundall
Simon Woodbridge – Con (Gt Witchingham) Leader and Policy – lives in Ringland
Their responsibilities are laid out in Broadland District Council's Constitution (para 16.1 onwards) together with a list of responsibilities delegated to officers and in some cases themselves too.
So much power in the hands of so few people. Having attended numerous council meetings as members of the public we have noticed that the views of other councillors are often over-ridden or ignored - the views of opposition parties likewise. All in all it doesn't seem a very democratic way of running a local council but it ensures that the aspirations of a few can make irreversible changes if they so choose.