Big idea to give you a greater voice

PLANS are afoot to give people in Huntingdonshire a say in the district council s policy-making process. If HDC s cabinet endorses the plan and the full council agrees, four meetings, each with a different trial format, will be held in the autumn – at the

PLANS are afoot to give people in Huntingdonshire a say in the district council's policy-making process.

If HDC's cabinet endorses the plan and the full council agrees, four meetings, each with a different trial format, will be held in the autumn - at the St Ivo Leisure Centre in St Ives, the Priory Centre in St Neots, Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdon and Yaxley British Legion.

The objective will be to get people more involved with council business, understanding how local government works and telling councillors what is expected of them.

The move follows repeated complaints from the Liberal Democrat opposition that the annual "state of the district address" at the September council meeting provided no opportunity for members of the public to speak.


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The original plan was for a single half-day conference every two years, but councillors feared people would not be prepared to travel any great distance to it. They are now recommending the four-venue idea, which was due to be considered by the council's service-delivery scrutiny panel last night (Tuesday) as The Hunts Post went to press.

Each event will start with statements by the leaders of the council and opposition, followed by short statements by cabinet members on their areas of responsibility.

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One session will be followed by questions and answers involving everyone at the meeting, another with the audience divided up to consider each cabinet portfolio, a third discussing topics agreed in advance, and the fourth at which members of the public will identify issues they want to talk about.

Each meeting will conclude with a plenary session to sum up the points raised.

HDC officers have estimated the total cost at around £5,000. The Centre for Public Scrutiny is expected to be asked to assess the effectiveness of the four events.

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