Changes to en­sure coun­cil meet­ings not dis­rupted by non-agenda mat­ters

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

AMEND­MENTS have been made so Wick­low County Coun­cil meet­ings aren’t dom­i­nated by re­quests for a sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders in order that mat­ters not on the agenda can be dis­cussed.

The changes were con­sid­ered and ac­cepted by the pro­to­col com­mit­tee be­fore com­ing be­fore the full coun­cil cham­ber at last Mon­day’s meet­ing.

Coun­cil Cathaoir­leach, Cllr Pat Vance, said the amend­ments were needed so meet­ings run more smoothly.

‘It’s not un­rea­son­able. Any sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders re­quest should be in writ­ing be­fore 2 p.m. on the day of the meet­ing. It can even hap­pen dur­ing a meet­ing where pos­si­ble. It is just to stream­line things. Cur­rently with sus­pen­sions of stand­ing or­ders, we spend 10 min­utes dis­cussing them, then an­other 40 min­utes dis­cussing whether we should have it or not. All the while we are miss­ing out on items on the agenda,’ said Cllr Vance.

How­ever, Cllr Joe Be­han didn’t sup­port the changes.

‘Why give up a power we have to pro­pose sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders if we need to do so? I know the Cathaoir­leach has said he will be ac­com­mo­dat­ing but he won’t al­ways be in the Cathaoir­leach chair’.

Coun­cil­lors Tommy Cullen and Vin­cent Blake un­der­stood the need for the amend­ments.

‘We used to get re­quests for sus­pen­sions of stand­ing or­ders two to three times a year. Now it is more like three to four times a meet­ing. It is dis­rupt­ing meet­ings and I think some peo­ple are us­ing it to jump the queue a bit,’ said Cllr Cullen.

‘It used to be only a few times a year but in the last few years there has been a raft of sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders. The first half hour of ev­ery meet­ing is left to dis­cussing sus­pen­sions of stand­ing or­ders. The sit­u­a­tion had to be ad­dressed and if there are any prob­lems we can al­ways come back and read­dress things’.

Cllr Vin­cent Blake.

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