Questions from the public are now being requested 72 hours in advance
I note from the notices regarding the upcoming OPC meeting that questions from the public are now being requested 72 hours in advance, via email, rather than members of the public being allowed to speak on the evening at 20:30. I am hoping to be able to attend but in the meantime, here are some questions that I would like to ask on Monday .I would also like to register the fact that I believe you are discriminating against any member of the public that does not have access to email by taking this approach rather than the previously accepted mechanism of opening the floor to the public at 20:30.
During the last meeting of Orletone Parish Council which was held on Monday 19th September it was agreed that there would no longer be a break during meetings to allow for questions from members of the public.
The reason for this decision being made was
1) To allow meetings to be run in a smooth orderly way in the time set aside for them.
2) Questions could be presented and answered correctly and calmly and where possible information requested could be provided between meetings.
3) What was being discussed in the meeting could be heard and understood and recorded coherently. Those present could follow the meeting easily.
Members of the Parish Council note that some Parish Councils:
• Have no agenda item for public participation
• Notice is requested if a member of the public wishes to address the Parish Council
• Only a certain number of people can ask a question
• Public participation is scheduled for a set period of time.
Members did not believe that it would be productive to only allow a certain number of people to raise questions or schedule a set period of time for public participation. They believe that this would cause offense. It is preferable that all that wish to address the Parish Council can do so; to enable this to occur in an easily manageable manner it is asked that 72 hours’ prior a meeting any questions be raised via a letter or email to the Parish Clerk or Chairman. This enables all questions to be answered. Sometimes research needs to be undertaken to answer a question or find the necessary information requested, with notice this can be done. You will note that residents can write a letter it does not have to be done via email.