AS a resident, I decided to attend the annual general meeting of Cramlington Town Council last week for the first time.
Like the majority of other residents at the meeting – that we were not allowed to partake in – I was both angry and disappointed at the proceedings and conduct I witnessed.
I cannot believe that some of these people are actually there to supposedly ‘represent’ the residents of Cramlington when the actions that they took appeared to be clearly aimed at restricting the opportunity for the people to voice issues and concerns in front of them at meetings.
The matters that were tabled had been previously decided by few, without prior consultation with all members, and when this was raised for discussion it was ruled that these matters could not be discussed at this meeting, merely voted upon.
Any changes have to now be discussed for next year’s annual meeting.
These proposed changes included the reduction of council meetings per year to only six, and restrictions on the way residents can raise questions, and the amount of time they are allowed to speak.
Therefore my assumption is that those responsible for representing the people do not want to let us have our say when needed, and how we want.
It even came close on a number of occasions as to question who was in charge of the meeting.
The voting was divided equally, though the casting vote lay with the chairman, whose group was responsible for the proposed amendments initially anyway.
In relation to these proposals, a request was made to provide relevant documentation relating to equality legislation to ensure that these issues had been approached correctly, though this was not available, and therefore the decision made could be classed as breaching these equality regulations.
Seemingly some members of our ‘council’ do not feel that these matters relate to them.
On three occasions there was a call in front of residents and Press to exercise common sense in these proceedings.
MR M SWINBURN