Let’s have more openness... and democracy

EDITOR – At a recent Market Rasen Town Council meeting, I was heartened to hear the mayor ask the councillors to tell the public that they were always welcome to come to meetings with any of their concerns.

However, you should be aware that you may come away from a meeting knowing less than you did in the first place.

To put this in context, there were 10 chairs set out for the press and members of the public. On every chair was a copy of the two-page agenda. However, next to eight agenda items were the words ‘PAPER A’, through to ‘PAPER H/I’.

It appeared that every councillor had received these documents some two weeks beforehand. We, as members of the public, did not have any of these papers.

The meeting then proceeded in what I would call committee-speak (gobbledegook). People were quoted line numbers referring to sections of these various papers that we, as members of the public, had not been given.

I am led to believe that the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in his Localism Act addressed the issue of making council more open.

Let’ hope this openness soon comes to Market Rasen, and we see true democracy in action.

Nigel Cook,

Market Rasen