Open for business: Newham Council unveils a new vision for transparent government

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, will share her vision for a new era of open government at the first new-look Annual Council Meeting (ACM).

Mayor Fiaz will tell councillors and residents that openness, resident engagement, transparency and accountability will be the hallmark of her new administration.

The meeting will begin with Mayor Fiaz’s ground breaking new ‘People at the Heart of Everything We Do’ Citizen Assembly.

At the ACM, she will outline the constitutional changes she wants to introduce to further her new vision of democracy in Newham.

Among the proposed changes are:
  • An increase in the number of full council meetings
  • Reinstatement of a public question time as a permanent fixture on all council meeting agendas
  • Introducing Citizens Assemblies to  Community Neighbourhoods​
  • Cutting £180,000 from Special Responsibility Allowances paid to councillors
  • A regular update by the Chair of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on its work programme on holding the executive to account.
In addition there are a raft of technical changes aimed at rebalancing power between the Mayor, cabinet and councillors. These will include ending the Mayor’s right to “final say” on motions, and an amendment giving councillors the right to see answers to questions they’ve raised, in advance of full council meetings.

Mayor Fiaz said; “The constitutional changes I am asking this council to make are designed to ensure an open democracy which is responsive and accountable, to the people.

“We have to reduce the democratic deficit that has emerged locally and we will do this by introducing new participatory ways of including our residents in decision making.

“I promised in my election campaign that I would put the people at the heart of everything we do in Newham, so I’m very proud  my first Annual Council Meeting will begin with its first Citizen Assembly.

“I am also delighted to announce we will introduce Citizen Assemblies across our Community Neighbourhoods which will encourage our residents to work with the council and play a meaningful role in the democratic life of this borough.”​

Published: 24 May 2018