Coun­cil­lors to climb down from ‘ivory tower’ for meet­ings

Coun­cil com­mit­tees to meet reg­u­larly in com­mu­ni­ties out­with Perth, so public can meet and ques­tion coun­cil­lors

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Richard bur­dge rbur­dge@the­

The new leader of Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil has pledged to make the au­thor­ity’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses more ac­ces­si­ble to lo­cal peo­ple.

Coun­cil­lor Ian Camp­bell has an­nounced that he has ar­ranged for im­por­tant coun­cil com­mit­tees to be held out­side of Perth, tak­ing them into com­mu­ni­ties across the re­gion.

The move should dis­pel the feel­ing that coun­cil­lors op­er­ate from the “ivory tower” of their Perth High Street head­quar­ters, he said.

“I have ar­ranged with coun­cil of­fi­cers that we will hold one full coun­cil meet­ing ev­ery year in one of our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” Mr Camp­bell told The Courier.

“I have also asked each of our con­ven­ers on sub­stan­tive com­mit­tees to or­gan­ise one meet­ing per year in an area out­with Perth.

“My hope is that we will get more peo­ple en­thused about com­ing along and see­ing coun­cil de­ci­sion mak­ing in ac­tion.

“At the mo­ment, there ap­pears to be the view that coun­cil­lors ex­ist in some ivory tower in Perth.

“This will let our con­stituents see coun­cil­lors ex­am­in­ing pro­pos­als and un­der­stand how some de­ci­sions are made.

“By hold­ing these meet­ings in lo­cal­i­ties, it also gives those who can’t get to Perth, for what­ever rea­son, the chance to get closer to our de­ci­sion mak­ers.

“Af­ter these ses­sions there will also be the op­por­tu­nity to meet those coun­cil­lors in­volved.

“Our full coun­cil meet­ing in Oc­to­ber will be held in Kin­ross.”

Ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the coun­cil cham­bers in Perth at 2 High Street has al­ready been much im­proved.

Dur­ing a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment pro­gramme of the build­ing, the cham­bers were moved from the fourth floor to the ground floor, near to the en­trance to the build­ing.

This not only pro­vided more space for the public to at­tend coun­cil meet­ings but vastly im­proved ac­cess for any­one with a dis­abil­ity and im­proved se­cu­rity.

Un­der the pre­vi­ous ar­range­ment, the public had to find their way to the fourth floor – only to find lim­ited seat­ing within the cham­ber, which meant that many peo­ple were dis­placed to an ad­ja­cent room to lis­ten to pro­ceed­ings by speaker.

My hope is that we will get more peo­ple en­thused about com­ing along and see­ing coun­cil de­ci­sion mak­ing in ac­tion. COUN­CIL LEADER IAN CAMP­BELL

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