Common sense prevails over crunch meeting being open to press and public

Following pressure from the Liberal Democrat Group, Stockport Council’s meeting to determine which Group forms the administration for the year ahead will now be webcast so that the press and public can attend virtually.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall, said: “The Informal Council Meeting is held purely to avoid any party political conflict spoiling the installation of a new Mayor at the start of the civic year. This outdated mechanism has not been used for some 15 years and, despite claims made in the press by the current Leader of the Council, the constitution is silent about whether this meeting should be held in public.

“The council’s chief legal officer has now confirmed that the meeting is not a formal decision making meeting but that it is for councillors themselves to decide whether it is held in public. I simply don’t understand why the Leader of the Council was so certain that the meeting had to be held privately and I am glad she has now agreed with me that it should be webcast.

“Clearly this whole process needs to be reviewed before next May, but I am delighted that the press and the public will be able to see local councillors discussing who should lead Stockport for the year ahead before coming to an informal decision that will be formally ratified at the Annual Council Meeting next week.”

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