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‘Email not way to do business’ says March town councillor Martin Field



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A March town councillor has hit out at the lack of public debate following a decision to permanently close the toilets in City Road car park.

Councillor Martin Field is unhappy at the way the decision to close City Road toilets has been taken. (3110777)
Councillor Martin Field is unhappy at the way the decision to close City Road toilets has been taken. (3110777)

Coun Martin Field asked for the matter to be included at the recent council meeting so the decision, which was made after an email discussion among councillors, could be properly discussed and ratified.

The closure was deemed necessary due to ongoing vandalism, including a spate of incidents during March Summer Festival, which included faeces being smeared on walls and floors in the women’s cubicles.

City Road toilets in March have been permanently closed following vandalism issues and the need for a major refurbishment which could cost £10,000s. (3110775)
City Road toilets in March have been permanently closed following vandalism issues and the need for a major refurbishment which could cost £10,000s. (3110775)

But Coun Field claims email is not the way the council should do business and, although he accepted the need for fast action during the Summer Festival Weekend, believes the matter should be discussed publicly.

Coun Field said: “I raised a question about where in the standing orders, (the rules the council has to abide by), does it state that we can make decisions via an email exchange, rather than at a meeting of the full council?

“This was in reference to the decision to close the toilets and end the contract with the cleaners that was made after a quick email conversation between a number of the councillors.

“A majority of councillors involved in that conversation agreed with the decision to close the toilets but, when I asked for the decision to be taken to the full council for it to be discussed and ratified, I was denied by the mayor, Coun Jan French.

“She said the matter was closed and pointed out the toilets were closed because of the cost of maintaining them and the fact they needed a major refurbishment which will cost £10,000s.

But Councillor Field said: “I’m not questioning the state of the toilets or the potential costs, just the way the decision was made.”

Coun French said the council had made decisions in the past via email, and therefore there was no need for it to go to a meeting for ratification.



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