Forum must stay as a democracy

The Town Forum is meant to be the voice of the people but what is happening to it?

A subtle but vital change is taking place.

On the surface it appears normal – presentations, networking, tea and cakes etc.

However, without any proper consultation with forum members and certainly against the firm wishes of most of the members who attended the recent AGM.

Democracy has been swept away and replaced with an autocracy.

Any power for the members, all opportunities for members to present their own concerns and all of the rules in the Guide to the Forum have been done away with.

In the Terms of Reference originally devised for the fledgling forum and approved by forum members, it was stated the forum should monitor the workings of the council.

Things have changed so much now that we really feel someone at the council is having a hand in planning the meetings and the true reason for the forum’s existence is being lost.

The forum will not be the voice of the people any longer but just a convivial meeting where we will be fed council approved information and allowed to ask polite questions.

Any dissention will not be tolerated as was demonstrated at the AGM.

By the way, what has happened to the AGM minutes?

Why have they not been released?

Surely other members should be made aware of the strong feelings exhibited at that meeting which caused the proposed new constitution to be withdrawn.

Are their views to be swept away with the members’ power and the long-standing rules?

The forum members must be consulted on this.

The forum meetings needed to be invigorated.

Though it was getting good attendance and some excellent presentations it was getting a little tired in parts.

But it did not need fundamental change.

It must be people-led, not become a lackey of the council who would love to disband it.

All decisions must be made by the members.

The chairman must call for a vote if he wants a change but first the members need to be fully informed, otherwise we will have a democracy voting out democracy.

JS Mason

Sackville Road


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