Andover could get a new forum for debate

First published in News

ANDOVER Town Council could set up a forum to give members of the public more time to debate local issues.

The idea was mooted after a member of the public walked out of a full council meeting on Thursday, 24 April in frustration because of the limited public participation.

Chairman Councillor Geoff McBride told the Advertiser: “I believe part of the issue was due to the limited public participation in our meetings. “We are bound by rules, where the public participation is 15 minutes, with each person given a three minute slot to say their piece. “Formal council meetings, whether they be town, parish, borough or county, all have to abide by such rules to hold their meetings no matter which party is in charge, from Conservatives to UKIP. This leaves no room for ad hoc questions, debate or heckling.”

He added: “The town council is considering running a forum along similar lines to the Romsey Forum. “I personally will only be convinced if I see interest from the Andover people (not parties). “Our current public attendance rate at our meetings is low as it was with the Test Valley Borough Council Councillors’ Forum. “If people (not parties) want us to hold a forum I’d like to hear from them and on what subject (something new please).”

Anyone interested should contact the town clerk on townclerk@andover-tc.gov.uk or call 01264 335592.

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