Public meeting raises concerns over Town Council’s decision-making processes

Community engagement plays a vital role in driving social change. By actively involving community members in decision-making processes and empowering them to take action, we can create sustainable and meaningful transformations in society.

A public consultation was held on Tuesday the 16th January 2024 fro 6.00pm – 8.00pm in the Memorial Hall, Burry Port.

The Town Council invited people to the meeting to have the opportunity to speak with their local councillors, express any concerns or suggestions they may have and hopefully gain a better understanding of what it is the Town Council do in the community. The council values input from the community and urged people to go along and to learn more about their local council.

Several concerns and issues raised during the public consultation meeting. Issues and concerns raised included:

Lack of Attendance at meetings by Councillors:

There was a lack of representation of voices of councillors at the public meeting. Only one or two actually spoke with one councillor Mike Theodolou speaking for most of the time. This raises concerns about their commitment to the community and their ability and willingness to engage with the public.

Lack of Understanding of the Town Council’s Role:

Many attendees seemed to have a limited understanding of what the Town Council actually does. It is important to clarify and educate the community about the responsibilities and functions of the Town Council, which include managing local services, making decisions on behalf of the community, and representing their interests.

Personal Difficulties Sidetracking the Discussion:

The meeting was sidetracked by discussions about personal difficulties instead of focusing on matters related to the Town Council.

Here are some of the public’s suggestions to address these concerns and improve the council’s transparency and effectiveness:

1. Increase Councillor Attendance: It’s important for all councillors to attend public meetings to listen to the concerns and suggestions of the community. Encourage all councillors to prioritize attending these meetings and actively engage with the public.

2. Improve Communication: The council should make an effort to clearly communicate their roles and responsibilities to the community. This can be done through informative materials, community outreach programs, and regular updates on the council’s activities.

3. Address County Matters: Clarify the differences between the responsibilities of the town council and the county council. Ensure that the community understands which issues can be addressed by the town council and which ones fall under the county council’s jurisdiction.

4. Increase Transparency in Employment: Address concerns regarding staffing and employment practices by the council. Consider implementing a transparent recruitment process and ensuring that decisions are based on merit and qualifications rather than nepotism or favouritism.

5. Seek External Suppliers: When initiating projects or services, such as the floral displays, consider seeking tenders from external suppliers to ensure cost-effectiveness and fair competition.

6. Foster Collaboration with County Councillors: Encourage the town council and county councillors to establish regular communication channels and collaborative efforts. By working together, they can address community concerns more effectively and ensure that the interests of the residents are represented at both the town and county levels. This collaboration can also help in coordinating efforts to tackle issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the county council, such as flooding and public transportation. By fostering a strong working relationship between the town and county councillors, the council can enhance its ability to serve the community and drive positive change.

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