Councillors defend number of meetings
A SUGGESTION to scale back the number of meetings held by Bray Town Council was met with stiff opposition last Tuesday night despite the fact the agenda largely focused on notions of motions rather than any real business.
The agenda had six items listed, confirmation of minutes, disposal of fee simple interest in 76 James Everett Park, Bray, Reports and Recommendations, Notices of Motion, Correspondence and Any Other Business.
The confirmation of minutes and the disposal of fee simple interest were dealt with in seconds while there were no reports and recommendations or correspondence. This left notices of motion and any other business.
Asking that any notices of motion of an economic vari- ety be adjourned until a planned special meeting of the council C l l r. John Ry a n , chairman of t h e council, said he didn’t want to see meetings be clogged up with notices of motion.
Cllr. Pat Vance said, ‘There is obviously not much on the agenda. Has the protocol looked at holding one meeting a month even if we had to start earlier, just for a while even?
‘This is the first time in a long time that there is nothing much on the agenda of any great importance. We all have a lot of meetings on and maybe we should look at just holding one meeting a month. Just because there has traditionally been two doesn’t mean we have to stick to it.’
However, he was shot down from all sides.
Cllr. John Brady firmly disagreed saying, ‘ What goes on the agenda needs to be looked at. Our first meeting is on housing and planning and obviously there is a decrease in planning applications. I think we need to change the agenda to suit the current climate. We certainly need two council meetings a month to deal with the situation on the ground. I am totally opposed to scaling back the number of meetings.’
He was supported by Cllr. Ronan McManus who said that ‘considering the current economic situation we should be looking at alternative things such as facilitating development and liaising with universities. ‘There are so many things the council could be discussing beside the fairly mundane notices of motion. If we can’t find anything to talk about in this climate it is a bad situation.’ Cllr. Vance said he had no problem attending the two monthly meetings and pointed out he had been one of the most regular attendees over the years but said ‘if we are going to have two meetings they should be productive. There is no point coming to a meeting to discuss notices of motion’.
Cllr. Ryan said from his own point of view it would be worth looking at ‘a more strategic approach to doing business’. He suggested that they contact the protocol committee with a view to getting a proposal to see the best way of conducting business.