Richmondshire District Council looks to appoint member champions from all political groups

Richmondshire councillors are being urged to take a lead role in the authority’s work by applying to be a member champion — regardless of which political group they are in.

Seventeen champion areas have been identified so far, and if more are needed the ruling group say more will be created.

In the past there have been spokespeople aligned to the council’s priorities with them working alongside the leader and deputy leader.

These have come from the political group with control of the authority.

“We want to do things differently giving our members shared responsibility for decision making,” said leader, Councillor Angie Dale.

“These champions should be inclusive, non political roles.

“There is a lot of talent within our 24 councillors, but with a corporate board of just nine members there is not a lot of opportunity to get involved.

“These champion roles change that – they will speak about how policies affect residents and the workforce.”

She said there will be champions for finance and asset management; green issues; housing; business and tourism; managing car use; public toilets; litter and dogs; community support and engagement; planning; fitness and health; dementia; the vulnerable and older people; rurality and sparsity; children and poverty; tradition and heritage; homelessness; and the military.

Members of the corporate board gave the go ahead for the creation of the champions at their meeting last night.

Their appointments will be confirmed at full council next month.