Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Tonight sees an important stage in the process which will eventually decide how Brigg Town Council spends its public money during the 2008-9 financial year, and how much Brigg households will be asked to pay by way of 'parish precept' to fund this work.
The town council's policy committee will 'examine and consider' the Draft Budget Proposals prepared by town clerk Jeanette Woollard (pictured), and will be asked 'to approve the final submission for full council'.
Prior to these as-yet confidential figures being revealed, however, there will be a motion to exclude the press and public.
The policy committee meets at 7pm, in the lounge at the Angel Suite, off Market Place, and the earlier items on the agenda will be conducted in public.
There will then be a meeting of the property and services committee at 8pm, including reports on how the allotments are being run and the finances of the Angel Suite, which is hired out for various events and functions.
The exclusion of the press and public at Brigg Town Council committee meetings provides some light amusement to me and the councillors, as I'm almost always the only person there who falls into this category.
To save time on proposing, seconding and voting on a motion to throw out 'Joe Public' I've got in the habit of getting to my feet, leaving the Press table and announcing to the chairman and town clerk, on my way out of the door: "In accordance with the Local Government Act 1972 (Section 100A) I'm hereby excluding myself."
In return, committee chairman, like Coun John Kitwood, often agree to re-organise the agenda for me so all the items to be taken in camera are lumped together at the end of the agenda, meaning I do not have to be sent out the room for a few minutes, brought back in, and then excluded again.
A clear case of The Good Old British Compromise.

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