Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has taken a significant step forward in opening up its committees to public participation. Under a new constitution the public now have the right to ask questions at committees on topics on the agenda! The previous constitution prohibited this.
Last night at a meeting of the Full Council a new constitution was adopted. After a year of weekly Friday night meetings and a Byzantine network of committees and sub-committees beavering away, the fruits of a cross-party effort were approved. Cllr Liz Frost (RA Woodcote Ward) was widely credited for her leadership of the initiative.
The end result is admittedly a somewhat labyrinthine set of documents: annexes within appendices within operating frameworks within a constitution. But, hey ho – the public now have clearer rights and Epsom and Ewell Times has extracted what you really need to know:
CLICK HERE for the key rules about public questions and public statements allowed at most committees of the Council. Note that these rules do not apply to meetings of the Full Council.
Will we now see more public participation at Council meetings, as illustrated in our accompanying image from Conneticut USA? (Happens to bear a slight resemblance to our own Town Hall Chamber). In contrast there were no members of the public attending last night’s Council meeting.