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Helston councillors hold meeting - to see if they have too many meetings

By WBGraeme  |  Posted: March 24, 2014

Helston Town Council wants to know if has too many meetings

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TOWN councillors in Helston have agreed to hold a special meeting - to discuss if they are holding too many meetings.

Acknowledging that it sounded “a little silly”, the councillors thought it was too important a subject to rush.

The idea could make sweeping changes to the way the council is run.

Councillor Martine Knight called for all the council’s committees to be swept away and all business dealt with by the full council.

She said everyone would then know all the business and there could be no claims of decisions being made by a minority of the elected councillors.

The last meeting of the town council heard there are 74 meetings scheduled over 61 days in the next civic year.

Towns with twice as many people, such as Falmouth and Penzance, had just over half as many meetings as Helston.

But her proposal was rejected. Councillor John Boase pointed out that planning was too specialist and complicated to be dealt with in full council.

Concern was also raised that full council meetings could drag on for many hours, even if they were held every week instead of monthly.

Town clerk Chris Dawson said he believed the opposite was needed, and he would prefer more delegated powers where officers could make decisions.

Town mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby said keeping the current committee system was more important than ever with the council taking on many assets from Cornwall Council.

A special meeting to decide how to run the council will be held on April 15.

Approximate number of town council meetings in other towns for the year 2014/15, not including civic engagements and events.

Helston: 74

St Ives: 60

Penzance: 45

Falmouth: 40

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