Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Urgent or Important?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Urgent or Important?

Article excerpt

IN response to Cllr Beall's letter, regarding the recent cancellation of a meeting of Stockton Borough Council.

There is a distinction to be made between what is urgent and what is important.

While it could be argued that there were no urgent matters to discuss, there were other issues which could have been discussed, such as Cllr Cherrett's question on single-use plastics, an important environmental matter.

The cancellation of July's meeting raises broader questions about what the purpose of council meetings should be.

The value of council meetings should be that they provide a forum for debate, ensure that different points of view are heard and should provide the opportunity to hold the council to account for its decisions.

Many of the decision-making powers have already been transferred from full council to cabinet and to committees. When viewed against this backdrop, the cancellation of July's meeting can be seen as part of a wider issue in which the local political agenda is being determined by one group and once decisions have been made based on that agenda, there is insufficient opportunity to scrutinise them and hold the decision makers to account. When alternative views are stifled, politics and democracy as a whole becomes worse off.

NICK WEBB, Secretary of the Stockton Liberal Democrats, Stockton Africa cash should be used at home JUST two thoughts. Where is Prime Minister Theresa May's donation to Africa coming from? Our health service, police, record, children in poverty - all in disarray so is this another ploy to buy votes? That money could help the disabled, zero-hour workers, the ones sanctioned through no fault of their own. The OAPs having to choose between eating and heating.

All my life I thought charity began at home - how wrong one can be when under Tory rule.

Just a couple of humanitarian thoughts for the British. …

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