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Area Committee changes reduce residents chance to have their say

June 25, 2014 12:30 PM

Rod CantrillCambridge Liberal Democrats fear sweeping changes to the City Council's area committees could seriously reduce residents' say in decision making.

The changes mean that all planning matters will be discussed by the full planning committee at the city's Guildhall rather than in area committees across the city.

And Labour plans to reduce the frequency of area committees which Lib Dems fear will severely impact on residents' opportunities to hold their councillors to account.

Councillor Rod Cantrill (pictured) said: "This is a backward step for the City Council. It will mean the loss of local decision making and more decisions will be taken behind closed doors in the Guildhall.

"The frequency of area committees, which provide a regular opportunity for people to speak, will be reduced. Area committees provide an environment for residents to speak without feeling intimidated which the sometimes feel when attending meetings at the Guildhall.

Cllr Mike Pitt said: "Labour has wasted no time in making this move which will lessen residents' involvement with the City Council. They have taken this decision without consulting residents who will be directly affected by these proposals."