I wanted to share a vision of future meetings that I have with residents. We’ve been told that we must find the new norm of how we live and embracing the vision of the future, I have asked questions of both the District Council and Rayleigh Town Council about how they will operate ‘remote’ meetings.

Sadly, the answers have been slow to come but today I have been told by the District Council, that a paper will be issued to members and I am hoping that they have addressed some of my concerns about how they will operate.

I’m all for change and I believe in the 21st century that we should be using technology to be more efficient in the way that we carry out Council meetings. Council meetings shouldn’t be ‘social events’ – they are simply part of a decision-making process and if that can be done without the bells and whistles then let’s get on with it.

I really would like to see this ‘blow open’ the democratic process to allow a wider public audience and to allow a greater level of transparency.

I have asked the council how the public will be able to view the Council meetings remotely and in some cases participate. This should give residents who are less able perhaps an opportunity to experience their elected representatives and our local government in action.

I’m looking forward to being able to share with residents how they can get in on the Council chamber action and will update my blog and social media channels as soon as I have further news.

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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