Tonight was the first meeting of the Executive Committee of Harlow Council, part of our new way of working in Harlow. I think overall it was a success.

The meeting was well attended, only one Lib Dem apology, but a number of other Labour and Conservative Councillors who were not members of the committee also turned up to speak and ask questions. There were even some members in the public gallery, which is always nice to see.

Two main items of business, establishing the working groups and naming their Chairmen and members. I now have my full team in place and we can effectively get to work. I want to see the decision making process streamlined so will be watching very closely over the next couple of months to see how it works.

The other key item of business was to kick start the discussion on moving to a formal different model of control, and we agreed to ask full council to go to a period of consultation on this. I really do think the opposition thought that it was a sown up and done deal, but I hope I persuaded them that I really am interested in what the public have to say about this. I am not sure if the people of Harlow will care a great deal about the differences between committee structure and cabinet may be but I want to hear what they have to say about both of them and the mayoral system as well. I want to consult the community, the business community the faith based communities. In fact I want everyone in Harlow to have a chance to have their say.

After that it will be up to the politicians, of all colours, to listen to the will of the people. I hope the opposition will agree to listen as much as I will expect my group to.

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