More area committee meetings announced for Hitchin


- Credit: Archant

A new committee chairman has announced that he will be looking to increase the number of meetings in a town.

Cllr David Leal-Bennett, the newly appointed chairman of Hitchin area committee, said last night (Tueday) he is seeking to increase the number of meetings held from four to at least five.

In February the Comet reported that members at a full council meeting held at North Herts District Council (NHDC) agreed that area committee meetings will be held only four times a year as opposed to six, in a bid to save money on administration and resources.

At the time councillors had said it was an attack on democracy.

The area committees offer residents the chance to raise issues and apply for grants within their community.

Cllr Leal-Bennett said: “Hitchin is a major town in Hertfordshire and we need to be on the ball, that is why I have called for another provisional meeting in July and, if need be, will call for a further one later on in the year.

“The next meeting that was schedule is in September and that is not right for the people of Hitchin, we need to be talking frequently about all the major issues that the town faces. The issue of cost is a farce.”

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Prior to the Hitchin area committee, there is also an unconstituted community meeting called Hitchin Town Talk, where Hitchin residents can directly address councillors.

Chairman of Hitchin Forum Mike Clarke said: “It is extremely good that there will more meetings, there are number of issues that get discussed and it is a good way for cabinet and the council to see what is being discussed by local people and it gives local people in Hitchin a voice.”