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Cllr Nic Cormaic improving efficiency in council meetings

12 January, 2016 - by Sorcha Nic Cormaic

Sinn Féin cllr for Rathdown Sorcha Nic Cormaic has had her motion calling for greater efficiency at council meetings by reducing speaking time adopted.

Speaking this evening to the motion Cllr Nic Cormaic said:

“At the full council meeting this evening, it was agreed to adopt, with immediate effect, a motion relating to speaking time for councillors. 

Council meetings end consistently without finishing councillors’ business, rarely getting beyond the first few motions.  Time is taken up with Councillors commenting on managers’ reports and debating issues. 

While it is important to allow councillors speak on issues it is not unusual for many councillors to stand up and repeat ad nauseam what has already been said.  After some debate it was agreed to reduce the speaking time from 6 minutes to 3 minutes for proposers of motions, and from 3 minutes to 2 minutes for other speakers on motions and reports.

Nic Cormaic continued:

“If you can’t make your point in 3 minutes, you’re doing something wrong.  Something has to be done to improve efficiency in council meetings as we never get the business finished in the time allowed.  Many other ideas were bandied about at the OP&P (Operations, Procedures and Protocol) meeting, but none were agreed as they were deemed unfair.  This is a fair and workable solution.”     

To further improve efficiency it was agreed that an examination of the feasibility and efficiency of electronic voting should take place.  A huge amount of time is currently taken up with roll-call voting on every issue.  It takes about 4 minutes to go through the entire roll of councillors and this happens many times in every meeting.  A simple electronic system would be ideal and would save enormous amounts of time.  A record would have to show how councillors voted so there would be no concerns of misuse or abuse, as with electronic voting system abandoned by the Government some years ago.”

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