Low councillor attendance prompts structural rethink

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REDUCTIONS to the minimum number of councillors required for Skegness Town Council meetings to proceed have been proposed after insufficient attendance forced several to be cancelled.

Half of the previous eight direction and strategy committee meetings have been unable to proceed due to fewer than six of the 12 councillors on that committee showing up.

Town clerk Steve Larner asked councillors at Wednesday’s full council meeting whether changes to the minimum number required could be implemented to prevent more cancellations.

Though many councillors recognised the necessity for meetings to be able to take place, some feared that reducing the quorum would impede on democracy.

Coun George Saxon said: “If we reduce the quorum it means there’s a lot of power in too few hands.”

He and others of a similar opinion also felt that councillors had a duty to their electorate to attend the committee meetings they are members of.

Though reluctant to decrease the numbers of councillors required at all committee meetings, one that many felt could be reduced was that of planning.

Due to matters often arising in planning meetings that councillors have personal or prejudicial interests in, many had to abstain from partaking in discussions or votes.

As such it was felt that it may be prudent to reduce the number of members sitting on that committee from 15 to 12.

Coun Phil Kemp and several supporters also stressed the importance that those who did sit on the committee were properly trained in planning regulations.

He said: “I would be happy to support the reduction in number so long as every member has undertaken some planning training so that they know hat they are doing. I’ve been very concerned about some of the discussions I’ve heard.”