Letter: Opinions dismissed by leader

Council do not regard the public voice.
Council do not regard the public voice.

I attended last Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, as public toilets were on the agenda.

I wanted to put forward a public point of view.

The public are “allowed” a mere two minutes - reduced from three - under the heading “Making Your Views Heard,” where “they can ask a question about any of the reports to be considered at a Cabinet meeting if the question is submitted to the chief executive in writing or by email at least two working days before the meeting.”

The Cabinet’s reports are only made available to the public five working days before the meeting.

I duly followed protocol. But, having asked my question, was interrupted by the leader, Cllr Bastiman, and not allowed to give any background to my question - to “make my view heard.”

As can be seen on the webcast, I was denied my two minutes and summarily dismissed.

As was made clear, there was no need for public input; they had already made their decisions.

A non-Cabinet councillor in attendance had the decency to reproach Cllr Bastiman - something not done often enough - saying she thought the member of the public “was treated in a rather dismissive way.”

I also recently, in “Making Your Views Heard,” asked the Cabinet, concerning gulls, to consider posting signs saying Don’t Feed the Gulls as a first resort rather than £35,500 a year for at least three years using hawks.

Of course they’re going with the hawks, and the signage they have posted says your food is not their food - don’t litter. Nowhere does it say, don’t feed the gulls.

This Cabinet frequently claims to be listening and transparent. I think only they believe that self-indulgent claim.

They do not regard the public voice - the Futurist comes to mind.

I fully support the pending and various votes of No confidence in the Cabinet and the leader of the borough council.

We need a listening, transparent Cabinet, not the one we have, which is composed of six Conservatives and two carefully chosen, compliant Independents. They may disagree with my opinion, but I can’t tell the difference.

Daphne Barr

Prince of Wales Terrace