Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Liberal Democrats' Move To Attract New Councillors To Be Discussed Publicly

A move by Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats to attract councillors from a wide range of backgrounds is to be discussed publicly with a view to forming a county council policy.

The group has been invited by the Tory-led administration to produce a report increasing the diversity of elected members by holding a quarter of council meetings out of office hours and organising training in the evenings.

Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance, Steve Count agreed the idea was a positive one and promised that the report and its recommendations would be presented to a public forum.

Cllr Ian Manning, who proposed a motion setting out the idea, said “I'm pleased that the Conservatives have agreed our idea is a positive one and have invited us to form the policy.

“It is particularly important that the report and recommendations are presented to a public forum – meaning it will be transparent and open.”

Cllr Sue Gymer seconded the motion explaining her reasons for wanting training out of hours.

"After the allowances debate, I thought long and hard about what would make it easier to get working mums like myself to become councillors. I voted against because it was the wrong amount at the wrong time. In addition a small pay rise would make no difference to me personally but being able to get training outside of working hours would make it a lot easier to mix my council duties with my employment.

“I am pleased to see that a report would be coming back to a public meeting like Cabinet or council.