Ford: ‘Where is petitions committee?’

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East Garioch Green councillor Martin Ford has asked Aberdeenshire Council what they are doing about the proposal the authority establish a Public Petitions Committee.

Councillor Ford notes that a formal motion was debated at the meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on June 28, 2012. At the meeting there was general agreement that a public petitions committee was, in principle, a good idea. It was unanimously agreed to refer the matter to the Proceedures Committee for consideration. Other councils, including Aberdeen City Council, already have a petitions committee.

East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford

East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford

Cllr Ford has tabled two formal questions to Aberdeenshire’s chief executive for the forthcoming full council meeting on 20 November 2012:

1. What progress has been made on the unanimous decision of the Council on 28 June 2012 to examine the establishment of a public petitions committee, which it was agreed to refer to the Procedures Committee with the outcome to be reported back to the Council by the end of 2012?

2. When does the chief executive expect the public petitions committee to be established?

Responses to Cllr Ford’s questions should be included in the full council agenda papers.

Cllr Ford said: “I was pleased the Council reacted positively to the suggestion that it establish a public petitions committee, with expressions of support from across the parties. But the lack of visible progress since the initial agreement has been very disappointing. It shouldn’t be taking this long.

“I do support the idea of establishing a public petitions committee. Whatever difficulties there may be can certainly be overcome, since other councils, including Aberdeen City Council, already have a petitions committee.

“Petitions are a way residents can be involved in what the Council decides. Petitions can alert the Council to issues and trigger debate and change.”