[council] Observers at NC meetings
you raise an excellent issue and indeed one faced by all constituencies from time to time. Although as elected representatives we have a duty to be more than directed automatons, there may be circumstances where more consultation is needed.
There are ways to minimise the problem:
- the chair in writing the agenda should be clear and explicit on the issues.
- issues, papers etc should be posted well in advance to facilitate constituency debate (we have guidelines on this).
Your proposed interim solutions have merit but also cost. One of the reasons we suspended observer posts on calls was their cost. Once we knew we could post - usually in 30 minutes - an audio of the meeting - it satisfied the requirement for transparency at minimal cost. Sadly, today, of the seven constituencies, only three have paid their 2002 fees and others still owe for past years.
As you mention, the reform process has forced upon us an obligation to meet more regularly than our usual monthly timetable. Under these circumstances deferring an issue may be an option where the external deadline allows us to do so.