How public is a public meeting? Asks Heywood Councillor.

October 2, 2006 12:00 AM
Councillor Peter Rush - criticising Councillor Lambert... again!

Councillor Peter Rush - criticing Councillor Lambert... again!

Councillor Peter Rush has criticised the handling of a 'public' meeting to discuss the flooding problems in Heywood. The meeting held last Friday, caused controversy in Heywood as many residents were effectively barred from the meeting.

Peter said, "Residents were contacted by the Chair of Heywood Township - but it wasn't made clear to a number of residents that they would not be able to attend. This meeting should have been open to all residents affected by, or worried about the floods. Instead, we had an expensive sham that has done nothing whatsoever to explain nearly 15 years of inactivity from United Utilities. The 'selected spokespeople' had a pre-prepared agenda that took great preparation; they were only allowed a short time to express their points and this in my mind is unacceptable. This was a public meeting with a difference - a lot of the public could not attend. I'm afraid this attempt to placate Heywood residents has backfired and led many residents to ask - What have United Utilities and Council got to hide? I am afraid the organisation of the meeting was absolutely atrocious, the few that got in were treated to an aristocratic and undiplomatic ally organised meeting."

"The Council have made promises to the affected areas that they will be prioritised under the gully cleaning system. I will be liaising with Cllr. Wera Hobhouse - the Council's Environment Boss to make sure this happens. I will be reporting to residents in the North Ward on the progress and I will not accept any failure by the Council. Now is the time to stop talking and we now need action not words."