Make sure your voices are heard at council meetings

The leader of Cornwall Council is encouraging residents to make sure they have their voices heard by submitting questions in advance to council meetings.

Time is set aside for public questions at all meetings of the full council, as well as at the cabinet committee and all scrutiny committees to give residents the opportunity to raise any issue that concerns them.

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Julian German, the leader of Cornwall Council, listened to and spoke with residents who had come to protest.  

Cllr German said:  “Listening to people is one of the most important parts of our role as councillors.

“The council belongs to everyone in Cornwall, and it is vital we work in their interests, which we cannot do if we are not willing to listen to them.

“However, to make sure our meetings run smoothly and legally, we have to follow the protocol set out in our constitution, which meant we were unable to take questions on the day as they must be submitted ahead of the meeting to give us time to make sure we can provide a full answer.

“I spoke to those members of the public who had taken the time to come along to our meeting to express their views, and assured them they will have the chance to submit questions for future meetings.

“Since being elected leader, I have stressed the need for more communication with our residents.”

On the agenda at the meeting at Lys Kernow was the capital programme outturn report for 2018/19, which looks at the investments made across Cornwall during the past year

It includes £92 million of highways improvements and transport links, £65 million on new and improved housing, and £31 million on projects to support economic growth, and was supported by the council.

The next phase of the Superfast Cornwall project was also discussed.  Superfast 3 aims to bring high-speed internet access to some of the remotest areas of Cornwall, promoting new ways of working, helping bring fresh employment opportunities and improve social inclusion in those communities. 

The meeting also heard how the continued roll out of the superfast programme has environmental benefits, through allowing people to work from home, and reduce the need for commuting and further travel.  It was also approved by councillors.

A report from the Independent Remuneration Panel, which recommended a number of changes to the remittance paid for committee chairmen and vice-chairmen was discussed and approved by the council.

Two motions were also debated by the chamber, with the first calling for the council to work to increase menopause awareness among its staff and across the wider community.

The second motion called on the council to tackle the practice of ‘brandjacking’ by writing to the Government to demand a review into the issue, where large international booking companies are taking commission from small hotels and guest houses across Cornwall.

The council supported both motions unanimously.

For more information you can find out how to submit a question to Cornwall Council.

You can submit a question to the next full council meeting by emailing fullcouncil@cornwall.gov.uk