Helston Town Council meeting... to discuss whether they have too many meetings (From This is The West Country)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Helston Town Council meeting... to discuss whether they have too many meetings
Updated 3:30pm Wednesday 26th March 2014 in Cornwall
You couldn't make it up. Helston Town Council is to hold a special meeting - to talk about holding less meetings.
This rather humorous decision (which even prompted a few chuckles from members when they realised the irony) is the result of member Martine Knight asking for a discussion on whether the current way of holding committee meetings was “fit for purpose.”
She described the present system as “a monster that has outgrown its efficiency”, pointing that the calendar for the forthcoming civic year had 74 meetings scheduled over 61 dates.
Mrs Knight suggested doing away with the committees and going back to holding just full council meetings, which she believed would remove delays and “public criticism of 'cliqueiness'”, plus staff would have to work less evenings.
She had the support of councillor Ronnie Williams, who said: “That's the finest thing that has been said in this council chamber for quite a few years.”
Clerk Chris Dawson agreed that there were too many meetings, but believed it would be “too simplistic” to return to just full council meetings - giving planning as an example that had “evolved greatly.”
He suggested an option would be delegate some of the decisions to council officers, which would be audited by members.
But Mrs Knight said: “I don't think I would be minded to support officer delegation. We are elected to this to town to take decisions and, no disrespect to our staff, they are not.”
Mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby said that the town was set to take on even more responsibility from Cornwall Council and as such would need a committee structure, although he also agreed “far too many meetings” were held.
However, deputy mayor Mike Thomas disagreed and said: “I feel we get it just right.”
Mrs Knight's proposal to revert back to all decisions being dealt with at full council found only the support of Mr Williams, with the remainder voting against.
Instead a separate meeting will be held on April 15 to talk in more detail.
Comments are closed on this article.