A constitution fit for the modern age

Kingston Liberal Democrats have proposed a review of the council's constitution that will see the Royal Borough into the twenty-first century, allowing new ways for local residents to engage with democracy.

For the first time, the reviewed constitution gives residents the opportunity to hold Councillors to account at Full Council via a public Question Time.

As well as this, it also gives new opportunities for petitions to be presented and receive a 30-minutes debate not only to Full Council (with 1% of the electorate), but also to Strategic Committees and Neighbourhood Committees (with 0.5% of the electorate).

The Royal Borough of Kingston's unique Community Call-In scheme is also staying, where (with 2% of the electorate or 9 Councillors), a council decision will be reviewed by the council's Scrutiny Panel.

Cllr Andreas Kirsch, Kingston Council's Portfolio Holder for Constitutional Issues, said: "Kingston Council is clear about its ambition to improve community engagement, and we're proposing to strengthen this by introducing a 'Question Time' at Full Council meetings.

"We are focusing on improving our relationship with our residents and want to reach out to more people across the borough to involve them earlier on in the decision making process.

"By providing more opportunities for conversations and feedback, the council will gain better insight into what matters to residents and develop services accordingly."

The Constitutional Review proposals will go to the Community & Engagement Committee on Tuesday, 24 September, before being voted on at the Full Council Meeting on Tuesday, 15 October with changes coming into effect immediately.

If you would like to give your views on Kingston Council's new Community Engagement Framework, please visit: https://kingstonletstalk.co.uk/community-engagement-framework.

For answers to common questions, please click here.

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