Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public



Members of the public raised questions as follows:-




Ruth Hubbard




(a)      Why, on the basis that there were a lot of people interested in the emerging issues regarding the governance review, were Members not putting these issues forward?




(b)      As part of this exercise, there needed to be reference to a clear definition of precisely what governance means, as well as its purpose?




(c)      Did the Committee acknowledge the potential conflict of interest in terms of undertaking the review, and the issue of Members’ Allowances, specifically with regard to the additional allowances for chairing scrutiny committees?




The Chair stated that as regards the review currently being undertaken, as part of the four special meetings of this Committee which had been arranged, Members would listen to all sides of the debate, including the views of the public and experts, as well as the information gathered as part of The Big Conversation event.  With regard to the issue of potential conflict of interest, he stated that the Committee would not decide on exactly what system the Council would to adopt, but was simply looking at a set of principles. 




Alan Kewley




It is my opinion that some scrutiny meetings are not very ‘user-friendly’ to the average member of the public who wished to participate, so what is the Council doing to encourage more members of the public to attend meetings and submit relevant questions, which would enhance the effectiveness of scrutiny?  Are the agendas intelligible to the average member of the public, is the room layout suitable so that all members of the public can see and hear anything being discussed and could attendees have an opportunity to submit their comments on their experience via a simple questionnaire?




The Chair stated that he did not consider that much could be done in terms of simplifying agendas, but did feel that some reports submitted to scrutiny committees could be more ‘user-friendly’.  He stated that consideration would be given to reviewing the layout of the rooms in which meetings were held, and requested that the practice of leaving feedback forms for members of the public attending meetings, which had been used in the past, be re-introduced.  The Chair stated that he did not consider that the Authority could do much more to increase attendance at meetings by members of the public.