Public to get a hearing in council chamber
Residents of north Norfolk are being invited into the district council chamber to get answers to their questions under new rules starting next week.The public was previously only allowed to speak at planning committee meetings, or to send in written questions well in advance of other meetings.
Residents of north Norfolk are being invited into the district council chamber to get answers to their questions under new rules starting next week.
The public was previously only allowed to speak at planning committee meetings, or to send in written questions well in advance of other meetings.
But changes voted in this week will allow residents and business people to ask a question or speak to most committees and the full council.
People will now just have to submit their name, contact details and nature of their question before the start of the meeting, with each public session is likely to last no more than 15 minutes.
Cabinet member Eric Seward said: 'This is a public body. We are elected by the public and we spend public money, so wherever possible we should be as open and transparent as possible by asking people to come and raise questions.
'They might not like the decision but it is open and nothing is hidden.'
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Deputy council leader Clive Stockton said public speaking had been allowed during working party meetings to shape new planning policy, because to ask them for opinions later and exclude them from the formulation, would have been 'perverse'.
He added: 'It has coloured decisions in a positive way through local knowledge that otherwise would have been missed.'
Julia Moss hoped that young people would be among those attending to put their views.