Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs)

The anticipated role and range of responsibilities of the SPCs was outlined by John Cullen of the Department of the Environment at a seminar in March of this year:

"SPCs are a new layer of committees at City/County level. They will to a large extent replace the existing committee system and will be anchored in the main functions of the local authorities. However, the guidelines ( published recently by the department of the environment) stress that they should be set in a wider context; rhere shouldn't just, for example, be an SPC based on planning, but one that reflects planning and economic development. And rather than have an SPC for housing, we should bear in mind that local authorities should have some input into social policy generally, so that a particular SPC could be addressing housing, social and cultural policy. This acknowledges that the people who vote for councillors expect them as their local elected representatives to have an influence over a range of public functions. Strategic policy committees are intended to be a more structures and inclusive approach to policy formulation, and will give councillors an enhanced role in the process."

Focus on Strategic Policy Committees "SPCs and Local Government Reform" J Cullen.

But what are SPCs and how do they work?
  • Under the new system each local authority will establish SPCs which mirror the functions of the local authority and which will replace existing committees.
  • The SPCs will operate a partnership model.
  • The number of SPCs will be tailored to the size of the particular council.
  • The Chairman of each SPC will be a councillor and will be paid an allowance.
  • They will meet at least quarterly
  • The chair of each SPC will form a central Corporate Policy Group.

Back to White PaperWho will be on the Committees?