One of my photos

Public protest at council meeting

January 13th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

I’m not sure if one person constitutes an angry mob. He was certainly angry enough, but at least being on his own he did get plenty of press attention.

The chap in the photo is Richard Symonds who is to the Crawley papers’ letters pages what Keith Flett is (or was?) to the nationals. I’ll often disagree with him but have to give him credit for not being afraid to run the risk of looking foolish and for being willing to stand up and be counted. Even if the counting rarely requires the use of more than one hand’s worth of fingers. Not so sure about the scarf though.

The public gallery for the meeting was hardly packed. There were ten of us, and that included three county councillors who were not taking part in the meeting and our MP’s husband. I don’t know who all the others were, so they might have been county councillors too.

I do hope this does not discourage the county council from their enlightened policy of holding such meetings here though. When I was involved in scrutiny for the borough council I tried very hard, and failed it has to be said, to achieve something similar. I argued that if a meeting only affected one locality (which was always possible on the Area Issues scrutiny committee) it should meet in that locality in order to be more accessible to those most affected.

I know that the results would have been the same in most cases – ie hardly anyone turning up – but I felt it was right in principle to make the meetings more accessible even in the face of local apathy.

Today’s meeting was every bit as dull as I expected it to be, but when the county have made the effort to reach out from their HQ miles away in Chichester it felt right to make some small reciprocal effort, especially as I was not required in Court at the time for my anti-climactic jury service.

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