I note from the Council’s internet site that their will be an Extra Ordinary meeting that will take place directly before the Full Council meeting on Thursday 24th January. The meeting will debate the following motions:
WE CALL UPON SOUTH TYNESIDE COUNCIL TO REVIEW AND AMEND THE SECURITY OF THE LOCAL ELECTION PROCESS
“IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 16.1 (THE MINOR AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION) WE CALL UPON THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING MINOR AMENDMENT TO RULE 8.14 (RULES OF PROCEDURE) IN THE COUNCIL CONSTITUTION:
A) INCREASE THE TOTAL TIME ALLOWED FOR QUESTIONS UNDER RULES 8.1 AND 8.2 TO 90 MINUTES
B) INCREASE THE TIME ALLOWED FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO ASK QUESTIONS TO 45 MINUTES
C) INCREASE THE TIME ALLOWED FOR COUNCILLORS QUESTIONS UNDER RULES 8.11 AND 8.12 TO 45 MINUTES
D) INCREASE THE TIME OF QUESTIONS ‘NOT FULLY ANSWERED AT THE END’ TO 90 MINUTES AFTER WHICH THEY WILL BE ANSWERED IN WRITING”
“THIS COUNCIL RECOGNISES THAT NOT ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC CAN MAKE IT TO THE COUNCIL CHAMBER TO WATCH THEIR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. THIS COUNCIL ALSO RECOGNISES THAT THERE IS ONLY A SMALL NUMBER OF SEATS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND EXTREMELY LIMITED PROVISION FOR THE DISABLED TO WATCH THE PROCEEDINGS. THEREFORE THIS COUNCIL BELIEVES THAT FULL COUNCIL MEETINGS SHOULD BE VIDEOED AND PUT ON THE COUNCIL WEB SITE SO EVERY RESIDENT OF SOUTH TYNESIDE CAN LOOK AT WHAT HAS HAPPENED AT THE MEETING AND EXPERIENCE FOR THEMSELVES DEMOCRACY IN ACTION AT A TIME AND PLACE THAT SUITS THEIR RESPECTIVE NEEDS”.
SIGNED: A BRANLEY
I am particularly interested in the outcome of Motion 3, which is an excellent idea. The technology is readily available to accommodate this. Should the idea of being videoed upset some councillor’s, then an audio version could be streamed from the Councils site with equal ease.
EGM’s at this level of regional governance are rare, and when they are called, they can only indicate that discord and discontent permeate the governing body.
What is also worrying is that the council failed to initially publicize this meeting, using the rather uninspiring excuse that the software they use to place posts on their site could not handle two agenda’s on the same day for the same meeting (surely they could have thought of something different like err… we forgot!).
We can only assume that that once again the Council’s executive did not want the public to either know about or attend the meeting.
And they have the audacity to object to the word “gag”!