Shorter time to talk

SHORTER time limits are being enforced for public speaking at council meetings.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 3rd December 2011, 3:00 pm

The change comes after Central Bedfordshire Council discussed changes to its constitution at a meeting on the evening of Thursday, November 24.

The alterations were proposed by the Constitution Advisory Group, which comprises Central Beds councillors and council officers.

Prior to the meeting members of the public were able to speak for five or three minutes, depending on the meeting but this has now been rounded down to three minutes for all meetings to be more consistent.

The advisory group had also proposed that members of the public wishing to ask a question would have to submit the question in writing two clear working days before the meeting.

The reason given was to allow councillors the time to prepare answers so that they can all be given in public at the meeting.

But the councillors decided to add a sentence stating that if no advance notice is given a written answer may be provided after the meeting.

This means that there is little change in this respect from previously. Questions can still be asked on the day but councillors will only answer on the spot if they are able to do so.