Council has an ear on the streets

SHOPPERS will have a chance to say what they think about local life on Saturday when local councillors set out their stall. In an attempt to bring politics to the people, Hitchin councillors will be hitting the streets and holding their monthly surgery in

SHOPPERS will have a chance to say what they think about local life on Saturday when local councillors set out their stall.

In an attempt to bring politics to the people, Hitchin councillors will be hitting the streets and holding their monthly surgery in the town's Market Place.

This follows a similar event on August 5 when members of North Hertfordshire District Council's Hitchin area committee held their surgeries outdoors rather than in Church House.

This saw a significant rise in the number of visitors - usually there are only a handful of people at the surgeries but on this occasion there were 16.

Cllr Judi Billing, committee chairman, said: "The outdoor surgery was hugely successful and attracted a lot of interest.

"We spoke to a large number of people who wouldn't have come specially to see us in Church House but raised points of interest which help us keep in touch with the community and the issues that residents care about.

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"Please come along and see us on September 2 in Hitchin Market Place."

The surgery will run from 10.30am until noon.

The Comet recently conducted a survey of 100 people, of whom only 21 per cent knew the name of their councillor. More than twice that number could name their MP.

On finding out the results of this survey, Cllr Billing said the outdoor surgery could be one way to get people to interact more with their councillors.

The council will also be holding a stall in the town's market on September 9 where residents can learn about the council's recycling services.

It will promote the market and other attractions in the area including Hitchin lavender from Cadwell Farm, the British Schools Museum and Hitchin Museum.