Bolton Liberal Democrats have welcomed Bolton Council`s recent announcement that there will be a live stream for council meetings but have put in a motion to the next council meeting asking for the council to go further still, as the party pushes for a more open, honest and accountable council.
The motion calls on Bolton council to “agree in principle that live streaming should be available for all future Council Meetings as well as meetings of the Cabinet and the Planning Committee” and asks “that the press and public should be allowed access to all meetings where non confidential formal decisions of this Council are taken, including future meetings of the Constitutional Panel and of Executive Cabinet Members”
Bolton Lib Dem leader and proposer of the motion, Cllr Roger Hayes, explained to us “So many decisions recently being taken by the Bolton Labour Council seem designed to keep the public and pressing the dark over matters of serious concern to residents of all areas of Bolton. They refuse to answer questions as to how much the last Chief Executive was paid when he left after just five months in the role. They refuse to reveal the identity of the Labour councillor who failed to pay their council tax. They refuse to consult with the people of Bolton on proposals such as the recent Newport Street refurbishment or the controversial Cheadle Square venture. And most recently they have proposed to reduce the number of Area Forums each year from two per year to just one – meaning residents have even fewer opportunities to hold their councillors accountable.”
“We feel this motion paves the way for a more open, honest and accountable council. A live stream of all meetings will allow members of the public to see and hear first hand how their elected representatives are fulfilling their roles, and the opening up of more meetings to the public will allow for greater scrutiny.”
Garry Veevers, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Crompton in the upcoming by-election, echoes Cllr Hayes and adds “For many residents it feels like too many decisions are being taken from behind closed doors and it’s time the people of Bolton had more of an opportunity to know first hand what is going on. If elected I will of course be voting in favour of this motion, but I would hope that councillors throughout the town would back these proposals. I urge residents to write to their local councillors asking them to vote in favour of this at the next council meeting and show their public support by signing our petition.”
Residents can read the proposed motion in full and show their support by signing the petition by visiting (https://www.change.org/p/campaign-for-an-open-honest-and-accountable-council).