Behind closed doors
I challenged the Tories over a decision to discuss things as “Private & Confidential” at a Town Council meeting tonight.
As an elected Councillor, I had the privilege of being able to sit in the Council Chamber and hear a debate about whether a local football operation would be allowed to use our recreation areas and on what terms.
The press and the public have to leave the meeting.
There was a ten minute discussion, but nothing commercially sensitive and I could see no reason at all why the public were excluded and couldn’t listen to discussions.
At a meeting that followed, I challenged the decision to hold the meeting behind closed doors.
I think all meetings should be in the public domain unless there are really specific and justifiable reasons to do otherwise.
In fairness to the Tories, they readily accepted my point and it was acknowledged that the meeting could have been open to the public.
On this occasion, it was offered that the report of the discussions would be detailed in the written record of the meeting.
I think it reflects badly on the Council if meetings are held in secret without proper reasons.
How can any elected member demonstrate fairness in our decision making when asked afterwards why a decision was made?
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At the last meeting of New Forest District Council, I was the only member of the Council who challenged them over their terrible record on recycling.