To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what guidance he gives to local authorities on the proportionality of minority party representation on committees; and what information he collates on the action taken by local authorities to observe his guidance.
Section 21(11) of the Local Government Act 2000 requires that where party groups have been declared, overview and scrutiny committees, and their sub-committees, must reflect the political balance of the local authority. My Department has issued local authorities with guidance on these requirements.
The only exception to this is where the local authority approves a different arrangement for the allocation of committee seats without any member present voting against, under section 17(1)(B) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
All local authorities have been required to submit their constitutional proposals, including the rules for membership of overview and scrutiny committees, to the Secretary of State for consideration.