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Council needs to reform to be more accessible

September 12, 2012 5:47 PM

Wiltshire Council needs to reform how and when they hold their meetings to make them more accessible to 'real people with real jobs'. That's the claim of the Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire.

The council holds most of its meetings during the day making it hard for people with full time jobs to find the time to fulfil the role. This is why Wiltshrie Council is dependant on employers giving councillors time of for civic duties.

Last week the council passed new rules which would effect make it impossible for an employee of Wiltshire Council to have enough time off to do the job.

Speaking following the meeting, Cllr Jon Hubbard, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Wiltshire council said, "Wiltshire's democracy is only available to the rich or retired.

"I understand that our own employees are not eligible to stand for the council, but I think it is telling that as an organisation we are not prepared to set an example of what we expect of other organisations.

"Of course the argument is that in these difficult financial times it is not viable to allow staff so much time off during the day. Well what's different between Wiltshire Council and all of the other employers in the county.

"Wiltshire Council needs to reform to allow all members of our society to fully participate in the democratic process."

Local Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative council to hold more meetings in the evenings, allowing more accessibility of Wiltshire council to the general public.