New committee structure takes effect as Scheme of Governance comes into being

A new decision-making structure for Aberdeenshire Council is now in place, following the appointment of councillors to lead the authority’s main policy committees.

The full council was today (Thu, Jan 26) asked to appoint the chairs and vice-chairs of the four new policy committees and a new Audit Committee. The new structure will support the council’s new Scheme of Governance, the document which guides the operation of Aberdeenshire Council.

The scheme is made up of for elements: Standing Orders (rules regulating council business and proceedings); Delegations (powers delegated to committees and officers); Financial Regulations (rules on spending); and Guidance (covering scrutiny and procurement). The Scheme formally comes into operation tomorrow (Fri, Jan 27).

The appointments to the new policy committees, along with the key responsibilities of the groups, were made as follows:

Business Services

Chair: Cllr Richard Thomson

Vice-chair: Cllr Stephen Smith

The Business Services Committee is responsible for finance, ICT, legal services (including licensing and registration of births, deaths and marriages), property and facilities management, human resources, and valuation and electoral registration. The committee also covers communication, improvement and emergency planning functions.

Communities

Chair: Cllr Anne Allan

Vice-chair: Cllr Raymond Christie

The Communities Committee is responsible for adult social work, community planning, housing, and leisure and sport. It will also consider matters relating to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Police Authority, and will be responsible for monitoring the Integration Joint Board for Health and Social Care.

Education and Children’s Services

Chair: Cllr Alison Evison

Vice-chair: Cllr Charles Buchan

The Education and Children’s Services Committee is responsible for education, children’s social work services, and libraries, culture and museums. The committee’s remit also includes human resources support for teaching staff.

Infrastructure Services

Chair: Cllr David Aitchison

Vice-chair: Cllr Graeme Clark

The Infrastructure Services Committee is responsible for economic development and protective services, planning and building standards, transportation, and roads, landscape services and waste management. The committee will also consider matters relating to the Aberdeen City Region Deal, and visitor attractions.

Audit Committee

Chair: Cllr Gillian Owen

Vice-chair: Cllr Ross Cassie

The Audit Committee is responsible for internal and external audit matters, financial management, and scrutiny of the Integration Joint Board for Health and Social Care.

Other matters

As well as the duties outlined above, the new committees will have increased financial decision-making powers and, along with area committees, will have direct responsibility for scrutiny, a role previously held by what is now the Audit Committee.

A Transitional Committee has been set up to allow the council to deal with certain business and financial matters until May.

Full details of the Scheme of Governance can be found on the Aberdeenshire Council website at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/about-us/scheme-of-governance/