A POLITICAL row has broken out over plans to change the governance system of Basildon Council.

In December, all opposition members of Basildon Council voted to change from a cabinet system to a committee system.

In a cabinet system, the council elects the leader, and the leader appoints the other members of the cabinet. A committee system differs as it means a council elects a leader to represent the authority, but they have no executive power.

Power is exercised by a number of committees, made up of councillors in proportion to their parties’ representation on the council. It will be put in place from May 2017 for a minimum of five years.

Opposition leaders believe that this will be a fairer system, but members of the current Tory-led cabinet system have warned that it will coming to any decisions a slower process and cost more money.

Mr Turner said it will be more difficult for the council to find the £6million in savings that it needs with no one party looking to save the money.

He said: “With the cabinet system, we have bought a lot of investment into Wickford and had a plan to make these savings, which will now be torn up.

“The new system will mean that all 42 members are involved, but it will cost between £2million to £3million over the five years.”

However, mayor and Wickford Independent councillor David Harrison, said he was disappointed the Conservative councillors were not keen on supporting the change and that it would be a fairer system.

He said: “More councillors will be involved in decision making rather than the seven members of the current - as leader Phil Turner has called it - Billericay Mafia.

“It will be in place for five years and I would hope that all councillors will work together to benefit the borough.”