Public speaking continues at Portishead Town Council

THE public will continue to have their say at council meetings in Portishead.

Residents arrived at the November town council meeting waving banners calling for the public participation session, which takes place at the beginning of the town council meetings, to remain in place.

A review of the policy on public participation was on the agenda after some councillors complained the sessions were used to make personal attacks on them.

Under the current policy, members of the public are able to talk about issues or concerns they wish to raise during the first 15 minutes of each monthly open meeting.

At the meeting Lorraine Rowsell of Heron Gardens said she was so incensed to think the community may lose its opportunity to be heard, she felt the need to attend a council meeting for the first time in 16 years.

Chairman Arthur Terry has already applied stricter rules for public participation session. At the meeting on October 12 he announced a ban on questions from members of the public relating to a meeting with a mystery developer over a site for a new skatepark. This was after a member of the public said she would continue to ask the same questions until she received an answer from all councillors.

However, after only a short debate, councillors voted unanimously to keep the public participation sessions.