Where is open government?

PUBLISHED: 11:53 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:30 10 June 2010

Having read in your newspaper about the displeasure that some members of the town council have expressed by not having been allowed to hear about the latest options for The Strand before they became available to members of both ECA and ERA,

Having read in your newspaper about the displeasure that some members of the town council have expressed by not having been allowed to hear about the latest options for The Strand before they became available to members of both ECA and ERA, I feel that it is important to raise the subject of confidentiality within the council

At a meeting of the Exmouth Regeneration Board, (held in the same week as the ECA/ ERA meeting) where the proposals were presented to the board, two councillors were evicted from the public gallery, as the meeting is always held in closed session.

This is a serious breach of protocol, as an elected representative is able to be present at all meetings held by the council of which he/she is a member. The Exmouth Regeneration Board, being a sub committee of East Devon District Council, the councillors should have been able to attend, even if they had no opportunity to take part in the discussions.

It worries many like-minded residents and me, when our representative members are banned from hearing what is being discussed at such a meeting at which it would have been an ideal place and time for the whole council to receive the proposed information in a manner that would have satisfied their aims and objectives, not to say the electors.

One thing that this has highlighted is the closed-door attitude of the district council that looks to be hell bent on forcing through its views, even if the residents do not support them. Where is the open government and consultation that we had been promised before that last election?

Not behind closed doors I am sure.

Ron Roberts,

(via email).

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