Entry refusal for Hereford meeting was "assault on democracy"

Former councillors said they were excluded from a meeting of Herefordshire Council <i>(Image: Rob Davies)</i>
Former councillors said they were excluded from a meeting of Herefordshire Council (Image: Rob Davies)

AT the annual council meeting on May 19 the public were excluded (except for journalists) due to lack of space.

I understand that about 20 members of the public (including two former county councillors and a serving city councillor) would have attended the meeting.

They could only watch it being streamed on YouTube in a separate room.

Some people left as they thought they might as well view it elsewhere. Of course, not being in the same room means one can only see or hear what is on camera or microphone: literally not the full picture!


The meeting should have been in the atrium where full council meetings are normally held with plenty of space for the public etc.

I would be interested to know what excuse, if any, is claimed.

The chief executive’s announcement for the meeting included: “We’ve learned that we must be better at listening to families …”

However, in the meeting councillors agreed to recommendation D (appointments to council committees and outside bodies report, page 2 and paragraph 14).

The constitution (4.5.7) specified co-optees for the children and young people scrutiny committee: “One representative from the teaching sector, one representative from a family who are or have been supported by social workers”.

I consider the views and perspectives of families and teachers would greatly strengthen the scrutiny of and improve the “inadequate”

children’s services.

I hope that such co-optees are actually appointed.

Arguably, both of the above are assaults on democracy.



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