Public set to question county

MEMBERS of the public will be able to ask questions of county chiefs at formal meetings from December after a change to the rules was pushed through.

MEMBERS of the public will be able to ask questions of county chiefs at formal meetings from December after a change to the rules was pushed through.

Public questions will be introduced at December's full meeting of Suffolk County Council after details of the shake-up were finalised.

Kathy Pollard, leader of Suffolk's Lib Dem group, which proposed the change, said: "We have been pushing for public questions to Suffolk County council for many years.

“I am extremely pleased that the public will now be able to ask questions directly to the council about issues that concern them."


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Liberal Democrats originally put the matter to the council at a meeting on the May 22 this year.

The idea was given the initial nod and went to a committee for details of how it would work to be thrashed out.

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The public will now be allowed a period of 20 minutes to quiz the administration on issues relating to council business, with the option to ask a supplementary question.

Questions must be submitted in advance of the meeting.

The public will also be able to speak on Rights of Way issues for the first time.

Mrs Pollard added: "This is another step in increasing the openness and accountability of this council, as well as involving the public in the democratic process.

“This would not have happened without our intervention".

Questions must be submitted by noon on the fourth working day before council meetings each month.

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.

Can the council do more to be open with the public? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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