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Welcome to the Council Chamber!

July 23, 2012 3:03 PM

Epsom Town Hall

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has agreed major changes to the way in which its policy committees engage with members of the public.

Half an hour will be set aside at seven different policy committee meetings (about 30 a year in total) to deal with both written and verbal questions from members of the public. Written questions must be submitted in advance and are likely to get a more thorough reply. The Planning Committee already has a procedure for allowing members of the public to speak on planning applications.

Cllr Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor

The Local Committee - which comprises both county and borough councillors - already has a similar public question time at its open meetings, which regularly attract members of the public. Roads, footpaths and parking tend to generate the most public interest.

Liberal Democrat councillors from as far back as 1991 have brought numerous Motions to council asking for greater participation from members of the public. There is still no public involvement at meetings of the whole council.

The borough council's Constitution has recently undergone a major overhaul and other changes to procedure were agreed at a meeting on 17th July. Cllr Colin Taylor, Lib Dem councillor for Stamford ward, was a member of the Constitution Working Party and said "These changes are most welcome. Change has been gradual over the last 12 years, but councillors from all parties now recognise the value of allowing residents to be more involved."