The first evening full council meeting will take place this Thursday (October 20) after councillors agreed to move the start time to 5:30pm.
In the past, meetings of the full council have started at 2:30pm. Now, it has been decided that meetings will begin three hours later to encourage better engagement of city’s residents in local democracy both in terms of attendance at meetings and getting more people from diverse backgrounds to stand for election.
Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Councillor Mohammed Pervez, said:
The decision by full council to move to evening meetings was made in order to get more people in the city involved with local politics. By widening access we hope to attract more young people to take an interest in local democracy and council decisions possibly even standing for election.
“Also by moving the time to evenings it would allow people who work during the day to either attend the meeting or watch the meeting “Ëœlive’ as agenda items are debated via our webcam services.
“I believe this is a positive step forward as we continue to make our decision making processes more open to the public and in transparent manner. If local decisions are accessible to people they can get more involved in the council services that matter to them.”
Nationally a number of councils already hold evening council meetings. The proposal was passed at the last meeting of the council on Thursday September 8, 2011. Councillors will meet, as usual, in the council chamber.
The meeting will be broadcast live via: http://www.stoke.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/66784