Restrictions imposed on members of the public asking questions at council meetings are set to be removed by borough bosses.
Bedford Borough Council’s general purposes committee has passed a proposal to remove the remaining restrictions on public questions.
This includes giving members of the public the same rights at full council meetings as the councillors; they are no longer constrained to six questions, or a 30 minute time slot.
The proposal must now be approved by the full council, but Liberal Democrat councillors believe that it will provide more openness.
Committee chair Henry Vann, said: “We quite simply want to make it as easy as possible for local residents to hold their elected councillors to account and to have their say.
“The Lib Dems have already achieved a string of successes in opening up the council to further public scrutiny and engagement, and now we’ve taken a big step towards removing the remaining unfair obstacles to residents who take the time and trouble to come to council meetings.
“We should be encouraging more and more people to take part and to engage with their council if they wish, not retaining indefensible barriers to public involvement.”
Following a proposal from Mr Vann, the committee is also set to consider options for the broadcasting of public meetings.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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