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Opposition to meeting rule changes

Residents and community groups have expressed concern about Camden Council’s proposed changes topetitions and meeting conduct.
Nanjing Night Net

Under the changes to the Code of Meeting Practice, residents wouldbe required to provide their full name, address, and phone number along with their signature when signing a petition.

Council has also added guidelines for public addresses and general behaviour that visitors must abide by during council meetings.

Camden Community Alliance secretary Peter Standen said the changes would have an impact on the residents making objections to council.

“The 13 new pages in the proposed code also build a protective moat around the mayor as chairperson by introducing unnecessary draconian measures on councillors and the public alike,” he said.

“The public address changes are restrictive and unnecessary. What’s wrong with the current system?”

A council spokeswoman said the changes to the code would provide better guidancefor residents attendingmeetings.

“Thecodehasnotbeenupdatedsince2012.Itwasconsideredappropriatetoreviewit,sothatitismore comprehensiveandprovidesbetterguidance,” thecouncil spokeswoman said.“Thechangesarenotaimedatanygroup,butarisefromthereviewprocessandconsiderationofothercouncils’ codes.”

Camden Residents Action Group (CRAG) president Glenda Davis said the group was concerned the changes could limit opportunities for public views to be heard.

“CRAG suggests council could set up a public forum so we can discuss issues in a more relaxed atmosphere. The community feels out of it and they are not being heard,” she said.

Council has placed changes to the Code of Meeting Practice document on public exhibition until May 16.

Written submissions should be addressed to the general manager and received no later than close of business onTuesday, May 31 by mail, email or fax.

Details: Contact Charles Weber on 4654 7631 orvisithttp://bit.ly/1SouCr7for more information.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.