HUNTINGDON Town Council has to make significant decisions regarding the repair and maintenance of our town hall.
The town council was given £600,000 by HM Courts Service to do so. This money belongs to the residents of Huntingdon. So many of your readers will have been startled by the article in The Hunts Post of June 22 regarding the press and public being thrown out of a discussion on how that money is spent.
The reasons given were to "be confident that [councillors] were making right decisions" and the possibility of "showboating". As a second meeting on this subject opened, I was instructed to leave as the one member of the public present. The Hunts Post reporter was also required to leave.
I say first that the decision shows a complete lack of confidence in councillors. Secondly, it suggests zero confidence in the chairman to keep councillors to order. Thirdly, they have made themselves look ridiculous and undemocratic. And fourthly, it sets a ridiculous precedent.
If this decision were allowed to go unchallenged, it could lead to any or all meetings being held behind closed doors. Democracy relies on transparency. Town councillors must learn to act in a way that shows they have nothing to hide.
There will be an opportunity to discover whether they have learned the lesson at the next meeting of the town council's project board tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm in the town hall.
Councillor MIKE SHELLENS
Huntingdon Liberal Democrats