Elected members make decisions

MAY I welcome your correspondent, M Swinburn (News Post Leader, letters, May 19) to the politics of Cramlington.

I was also angry and disappointed at the proceedings and conduct that I witnessed at the Cramlington Town Council AGM.

I was angry that a member of the public stepped from his position in the audience and approached one of the councillors whilst the contentious debate continued in the ‘council chamber’.

Never have I seen such an action at Northumberland County Council nor at the previous Blyth Valley Borough Council.

The correspondent expresses anxiety that “matters were tabled without prior consultation with all members”.

The AGM is of great importance, it sets the mechanisms of the council for the next year. Political parties should meet before this and other meetings in order to decide their response.

Whatever he thinks, I will say the ‘opposition’ displayed a dereliction of duty by not sufficiently preparing themselves for the meeting.

It was said they wanted more time. They wanted to delay the essential issues of the AGM – the very point of having the AGM – for another month.

Does anyone really think that the situation would have changed?

Cramlington Town Council has been in existence for two years and not a lot has been done because of continual referral to full council and the inopportunity to make decisions.

However, the most serious point the correspondent makes is “those responsible for representing the people do not want to let us have our say when needed and how we want”.

The public who attend the meetings have extended public question time to over one hour; they have interrupted proceedings continually and they have raised issues which are completely county council matters.

Please realise that councils have a duty to get things done without interference.

The restructuring of Cramlington Town Council procedures was to enable it to be more effective.

Yes, there will be an executive, just like Blyth Council and the county.

Yes the public can attend. And if they want to ask a question then they can write one any hour of the day any day of the week. But what they can not do is tell the council what to do and how to do it.

That is for the elected members to decide.

They did this on the night in the democratic way. They voted.