Councillor claims Ealing is afraid of public meetings

Gary Malcolm slams reduction Area Committee meetings

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Southfield and Acton Liberal Democrats have hit out at the council who have recently reduced the number of area committee meetings to only five each year.

In the past there have been more Acton Area meetings per year, where residents can quiz their councillors about local issues. These meeting cover issues not just for Acton but for the parts of Chiswick which come under Ealing borough.

Cllr Gary Malcolm says: “Lib Dems would like to see area committees meet more often and have more power so local people can really influence what happens in their area.”

He went onto criticise the Council for doing to little to publicise the meetings and failing to put agendas on-line prior to the meeting so that people can see in advance what is discussed. In neighbouring Hounslow borough agendas with reports to be presented at the meeting are published on the web before the meetings.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council said, "At the beginning of the year, a modernisation task group made up of representatives of all 3 parties and council officers, met to suggest changes to the council constitution. One change that was suggested and agreed, was to reduce the number of committee meetings in each of the seven areas of the borough from 6 to 5. This was seen as a practical measure - with 6 meetings a year, there wasn't enough time to make any real progress on the things discussed before the next meeting. The reduction was also seen as a more efficient use of council resources."

July 9, 2004