The new chair of a committee at Lichfield District Council says he wants to see members putting themselves in the shoes of residents when they debate key issues.
Cllr Mike Wilcox has replaced Cllr David Leytham at the head of the local authority’s overview and scrutiny committee.
At his first meeting in the chair, the former leader of the council said members of the group had a key role to play in the decision making process.
“I wanted to say how delighted I was to be asked to chair what is one of two really important committees – the other being audit and member standards. Within those two committees we cover everything the council does.
“It is really important we play our part to make sure we are making sure we have an inquiring mind, become a critical friend to the cabinet, and look at what we can do to offer solutions and recommendations.
“We must put ourselves in the shoes of our electorate and consider how they think we should be doing things.
“It’s really important we study and we get to understand the topics coming forward to us.”Cllr Mike Wilcox, Lichfield District Council
The overview and scrutiny process at the council has been overhauled in recent times, with committees focusing on specific areas removed in favour of a single session. Task groups have also been set up as part of the changes.
But while discussing the findings of a group set up to examine the councillor community fund, Cllr Wilcox said he was keen to see the committee take a lead rather than farming things out to the smaller groups.
“Going forward we need to ensure we do as much as we can rather than always looking at setting up task groups.
“This [the councillor community fund] is a case in question – this can be dealt with by this committee.
“We can take it forward rather than having a task group go away and look at it – we have the capacity in this committee to do that.”Cllr Mike Wilcox, Lichfield District Council