Parties agree to scrap unpopular proposal

PUBLISHED: 12:41 24 May 2011 | UPDATED: 12:41 24 May 2011

A RARE accord was struck at the district council this week as the authority's two leading groups agreed to scrap an unpopular ruling that would have seen council meetings take place during office hours only.

At a previous council meeting held in February, a motion was approved to move committee meetings to be held between 9am-5pm only, an unpopular move that was to come into effect for the new council this month.

In response to increasingly public anger at the proposal however, council members agreed at a full council meeting held on Tuesday to return meetings to their original times so they are more accessible to the public.

The motion has been put forward by conservative council leader Peter Moakes and was seconded by Lib Dem councillor Ian Allen.

Cllr Moakes, said: “When I was out and about during the recent election campaign, many people asked me why we were changing the times of committee meetings at the council. Many of these people told me how keen they were to attend meetings and hear the discussions and debates which took place at the council but due to work or family commitments would simply be unable to attend meetings during the day.

“It is very important that we as councillors can demonstrate that we are working for our council tax payers and serving their needs. If we are to be open and transparent we must ensure that people have the chance to see democracy in action – this is why we are proposing to return our meetings to times of the day and evening that many can attend. This is an issue which all political parties can agree on and I welcome Cllr Allen’s support in seconding this motion.”

Councillor Ian Allen, said: “Giving the public the chance to come along to committee meetings at times which are more convenient for them is really important if they are to see and understand the decisions their councillors make. This is why I welcome the decision to revert back to the previous meeting times.”

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