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Devon councillors to discuss relaxing public speaking rules

Sunday, 06 July 2014 0 Comments by Claire

Devon county council’s procedures committee will discuss my proposals to relax public speaking at council meetings, tomorrow afternoon (Monday).

A report from the county solicitor recommends that the committee (which I am a member of) considers various options, including one from me relating to “an open forum” style facility for the public to speak at all meetings of the council, cabinet and scrutiny committees - on any matter on the agenda for each meeting without notice, for up to three minutes each, within a maximum time of 15 minutes.

To view the full paper and other options see the agenda here - http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/councildemocracy/decision_making/cma/cma_document.htm?cmadoc=agenda_prc_20140707.html

Currently, members of the public are permitted to ask questions, if they register in advance - at cabinet and full council meetings.  The development management committee, highways and traffic orders, and public rights of way committees also allow some public representation, subject to prior notice.

At other committee meetings, public speaking is at the chairman’s discretion, which has proved to be a controversial issue lately, as some members of the public have been refused permission to speak, when major decisions have been made about budget cuts.

The meeting starts at 2pm and is held at county hall.

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