At a recent Town Council meeting, there was an agenda item for the Town Council to consider forming a working party to research and report back to the Full Council later in the year matters in relation to Lewes District Council’s proposal for a Seaford Health Hub at The Downs Leisure Centre.
Unfortunately, this item was misinterpreted as being a public debate about the Health Hub decision itself. This led to a large number of members of the public unexpectedly wishing to attend the meeting, and as such, the Town Council was not able to accommodate them all, the maximum number, due to fire safety regulations, of 24 members of the public were allowed in.
Discussion was had to possibly defer the item to a later date, but to have done so would have been counterproductive as the Town Council needed to act quickly in setting up the Working Party if it is to respond to Lewes District Council in line with its processes.
The Town Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.
For Seaford Town Council, when a large turnout is expected for a specific agenda item, it is normal practice to arrange the meeting to be held in a larger venue, as was the case the previous week for a meeting to discuss the Newlands planning application. Otherwise meetings are ordinarily held in the Council Chamber at 37 Church Street, which can accommodate 24 seats in the public gallery.
In light of this confusion, the Town Council would like to remind members of the public that although meetings are open to the public (on matters which are not personally or commercially sensitive), questions or statements made at meetings must be related to an item on the agenda and not general matters.
To assist members of the public with future meetings, the Town Council will ensure that meeting agendas will not only (as they are now) be published on the Town Council’s website, noticeboard, TIC and the Library; but also posted on Facebook to help members of the public to understand the items to be discussed prior to the meeting.
On the day of the meeting, the Town Council will display a notice advising on the maximum number of seats in the public gallery and when full a further notice will be displayed.
All meetings are minuted in accordance with Schedule 12 paragraph 41(1) of the Local Government 1972 and published on the Town Council’s website, noticeboard, TIC and the Library. In addition, a post will be added to the Town Council’s Facebook page advising when the minutes have been added to the Town Council’s website.