This briefing looks at the experience of four councils that have changed to a committee system under the new provisions in the Localism Act 2011. The paper provides a background to the relevant legislation and a commentary on some of the key issues. It briefly considers perceived strengths and weaknesses of the new alternative system and how those councils believe that any weaknesses can be overcome and strengths realised. It looks at how a committee system now is influenced by the changes to local governance over the last two decades.

The briefing will be of specific interest to councillors and officers in councils considering changing to a committee system and to those that have already done so. It also raises general issues that could be of interest to all councils and their partners around governance arrangements, partnerships and engagement.

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