Earlier Council Meetings Leave No Time For Staff Dinner

The Council is to review the timings of its meetings to make it easier for off-island members to attend.

A report brought before the Full Council meeting on Tuesday recalled how during an important committee meeting earlier this year, several off-island councillors had to leave to catch boats home, meaning they couldn’t take part in the debate.

Meetings held in the summer months, May to August, normally start at 7.00pm, while those in the ‘shoulder’ period, April and September begin at 6.30pm.

It’s proposed to bring all summer meetings forward to 6.30pm, but in her report, Council administration Officer Sue Pritchard, felt this could cause problems for her department who have to attend every meeting.

Staff currently have time for a meal between the close of business at 5pm and returning 30 min before the 7pm start. But returning at 6pm wouldn’t give enough time for a meal, especially when you factor in an average of 10-15 minutes travel to home and back, she said.

Staff are also given time off in lieu for work outside their contracted 37.5 hours.

Councillors voted to have the Democratic Processes Review Panel look at this and come up with a solution.

Unfortunately, it emerged that this panel hasn’t met for two years and councillors didn’t actually know who sat on it.


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