Public can question county chiefs

MEMBERS of the public will be able to ask questions of county chiefs at formal meetings after a motion to alter the rules was accepted.At a full meeting of Suffolk County Council on Thursday, the majority of councillors supported the suggestion to allow public questions.

MEMBERS of the public will be able to ask questions of county chiefs at formal meetings after a motion to alter the rules was accepted.

At a full meeting of Suffolk County Council on Thursday, the majority of councillors supported the suggestion to allow public questions.

The motion was put forward by the county council's Liberal Democrat group and will eventually mean members of the public can put their questions directly to council portfolio holders at meetings of the full council.

The proposals will now go forward to a committee to work through the details and a report will be presented in September explaining how it will work.

Leader of the county's Liberal Democrat group, Kathy Pollard, said: “There is a drive in local government to become more open and more accountable to the public.

“Our proposal to allow questions from the public at full councils is a simple, but effective method of opening up the council and hopefully making members of the public feel a part of the democratic process.

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“Over the last year there have been several big decisions made by the county council which have gained much public attention.

“Affording greater access to the tax-payers of Suffolk - in effect our employers - is only right and proper and well overdue."

Issues involving Suffolk County Council in recent months that have created widespread public interest include the schools organisation review, a bid to build a £600million incinerator in Great Blakenham and a decision to pay new chief executive Andrea Hill £220,000.

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