Come and see local democracy in action

RYE residents are being encouraged to come along and see local democracy in action.

Rye Town Council has published a new guide to encourage members of the public to attend council meetings.

The colour guide, which has been distributed in the town, explains council protocol and when the public can speak at meetings.

Town Clerk Richard Farhall said: “The Council hopes that this short guide will encourage members of the public to attend its meetings and will be particularly helpful to those unfamiliar with meetings procedure.”

The guide says people should attend meetings in order ot raise a concern or issue and to be better informed about topical isues and matters which have an imnpact on the well-being of the parish and its inhabitants.

It also points out that in the case of robed meetings, it is a way of seeing living history and to be part of a centuries old civic tradition.

Meetings usually start with a public question time where people can ask questions and raise concerns.

The chairman of the meeting may also invite members of the public to speak during the actual meeting if it is considered they may have important or useful information which would help in decision making.

As well as full council meetings there are three other regular committee meetings, planning, policy resources and general purposes and public services.

The council can also call special meetings at time to discuss certain topics, such as the supermarket planning applications.

Mr Farhall said: “The council appreciates that some people may find the prospect of atending a meeting for the first time, especially a robed council meeting, a little intimidating.

“If you have any concerns at all about attending a meeting please contact the Town Hall on 01797 223902 for help and guidance.

“If we know you are coming to a meeting we can make sure there is someone there to greet and advise you.”