Ottery St Mary representative calls for public speaking at county scrutiny talks

Claire Wright

Claire Wright - Credit: Archant

Councillor Claire Wright is putting forward proposal to be considered in the New Year

Frustrated by what she calls ‘a regressive policy’, a councillor is calling for public speaking to be allowed at meetings of a county watchdog.

Councillor Claire Wright addressed the issue with Devon County Council (DCC), regarding its four scrutiny committees, this week and said it was a ‘very positive’ meeting.

She added that a paper will be going to the authority’s procedures committee in January.

The representative for Ottery St Mary and Sidbury explained the issue came to a head at a meeting of the health and wellbeing scrutiny committee earlier this year, when the fate of East Devon’s community hospital beds was discussed.

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Despite strong attendance by members of the public at the meeting, they were not allowed to speak and voice their concerns.

Addressing Ottery Town Council on Monday, Cllr Wright said: “I will be speaking to the scrutiny chair at Devon County Council (DCC) because I think it’s quite regressive there is no public speaking at DCC scrutiny meetings.

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“At the health and wellbeing scrutiny meetings, members of the public come along and they do not get their say.”

Speaking after the meeting, she added: “For some time, I have been quite frustrated at health and wellbeing scrutiny committees that we only hear one side of the story. I had a chat with John Hart (leader of DCC) and he said he would speak to the scrutiny chairs.”

“If public speaking at the four scrutiny committees is introduced, it may take place from after the full council meeting in February.”

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