May 22, 2022

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Fredrikstad needs political committees that allow political innovation, not just management - Dajsavisen

Fredrikstad needs political committees that allow political innovation, not just management – Dajsavisen

It is therefore time to ask whether the municipality of Fredrikstad has a suitable political governance structure for today’s large and complex challenges. Should we make changes to the structure of the political committee, changes that provide an opportunity to pursue policy and think about community development in general, and not as management operations boards?

More and more I have seen such “silo practice” as an obstacle to political innovation and development in Fredrikstad.

Trond Svandal (female)

Fredrikstad faces many major challenges. The financial situation that ended up in the municipality is serious and requires a strong restructuring. The Fredrikstad community faces significant social challenges with varying degrees of exclusion and poverty. Schools and other municipal buildings have massive maintenance work backlogged. In addition, we will undergo a radical transformation in all parts of the municipality to a green, climate-friendly future.

If politics in Fredrikstad is to begin to address the really big and fundamental challenges, it will require significant political will to lead. It also requires a new ability to look across the professional and administrative divisions of the municipal organization.

What do I mean by this statement? Politicians should not run the administration. We have professionally skilled management for it. Politicians must establish basic guidelines for development and make strategic and economic decisions of a comprehensive nature. This should be done in the political committees that are also formed so that they have the opportunity to see the main challenges in context. Only then can the problems be understood and solutions approached. Rather, the committees should be formed on the basis of the development we want, or the problems we want to solve, regardless of the departments, traditions and administrative practices of the municipality.

Today, we have a structure of political committees where the four permanent political committees, as well as the Planning Committee (Nurture, Technical, Cultural and Environmental, Health and Welfare) function practically as “operational boards” for each department. Management presents issues within its own department and receives policy decisions on them. More and more I have seen such “silo practice” as an obstacle to political innovation and development in Fredrikstad.

The major challenges we face, whether social, economic or environmental, require political innovation and answers to be found through traditional ‘silos’. Therefore, we must also put in place a political committee structure that enables this coverage.

We are approaching new elections in Fredrikstad. The political makeup of the city council can then change, but the challenges our local community faces remain the same. If politicians are to implement political leadership and development, we must also take action and change the commission’s structure. We control it ourselves, if we want to.

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