Trudy Mann writes to The Editor
At the Parich Council (PC) meeting this July, I was appalled when they decided, (a 2 to 3 vote For, I believe), that the minutes of their meetings would not be available to the public in draft form. This means that something could be changed/added or taken away in our village and the first we might know of it would be when it had been done (ie) too late! The approved minutes will now not be available until after the next meeting, meaning they could be published up to 3 months after any decisions.
The reasoning stated by the chairman was that he was worried that "his neck was on the line" - one would be forgiven for wondering if he was talking about top secret information, not parish council business. The minutes have always been published as DRAFT (meaning not approved) - this for most people would be a way to avoid any nooses hanging around!
I would remind the PC that the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) advises the following:
"A major requirement of Quality Status is that the council can demonstrate that it communicates, consults and actively involves its electorate, local organisations and members of the public".
"Good communications and community involvement is critical to earning and maintaining the good will of the community you serve".
These are all quotes from 'A Guide To Becoming a Quality Council ' - co-written by the chairman of NALC, of which I believe our chairman is an executive member.
I do not mean to just criticise the PC - I know from experience that the councillors give their time and effort unpaid but please, please do not change this format. If the public do not know what is currently happening, it will surely follow that they will become less involved and expect a fait accompli situation to be the norm. Dark days for Stoke Ferry.