Raunds Town Council have issued details of how to have your say at town council meetings.
“Members of the public are welcome to attend any meeting of Raunds Town Council. The Town Council are always pleased to hear the views of local residents.
The document below explains the process and how you can register to speak. You will need to speak about an item that is on the agenda.
If you require any further information or are unsure about which meeting to attend to raise a particular issue then please contact the Town Clerk who will be happy to assist you.”
The only gap that we see with the current process is that the only opportunity to talk is either before the meeting or at the start of the meeting, however, quite often the agendas that are issued can be very high level, or reference documents that have not been released to the public. We have put it to the town council that the process could be improved if additional information regarding council meetings was issued along with the agenda.
Many agenda items are fairly brief for example: “Budget 2018-2019: To consider the budget for the Policy and Resources Committee for 2018-2019.(information herewith)”
Many agenda items follow similar terminology but each of these references are not published and therefore, the issue put to the council is that if the only opportunity to raise an issue (or reserve a place to speak) is ahead of the meeting, but the information relating to that topic is only revealed during the meeting when a decision is made, how do people really have their say?
On the topic specifically of the Digital Noticeboards and the complaints that ‘no-one asked for these’ we’ve found the information issued by the Council:
ENVIRONMENT LEISURE AND RECREATION COMMITTEE AGENDA : 28 Sept 2017
303.17 Digital noticeboards: To consider the purchase of 2 digital noticeboards to be located on the Square and Town Hall. (information to follow)
The information about the digital noticeboards is not something that was made available to the public in order to review and to provide comment on ahead of the meeting.
303.17 Digital noticeboards: To consider the purchase of 2 digital noticeboards.
– Members reviewed the quotation.
– The clerk advised that quotations had been sought from alternative suppliers however none had been able to create a system to a suitable specification.
– The committee had previously agreed that 2 digital noticeboards should be purchased one for the Square, with the other being located in the vicinity of the Town Hall.
– It was noted that the purchase of the noticeboards was covered by existing reserves.
– Following discussion it was RESOLVED to purchase 2 digital noticeboards at a cost of £6,230 each (+ carriage and installation costs).
What are your views? – would you like to have more of a say? – do you feel that you have the right level of information to provide your input? – have you been to a council meeting but put off by something?
Please let us know in the comments below