Councillors are quizzed by public

THE Tesco development and issues surrounding ‘pink papers’ were the hot topics of the night at a public Question Time.

The event, held at Scarborough Library, gave members of the public the opportunity to quiz a panel of Scarborough Councillors.

Facing the questions were Cllr Derek Bastiman, leader of the Conservative Group, Labour group leader Cllr Eric Broadbent, Cllr Dilys Cluer, leader of the Green group, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Cllr Geoff Evans, and Independent representative Cllr Bill Chatt.

The debate hotted up early on when Scarborough resident Tim Thorne asked why councillors were allowed to hide their votes.

He said: “Surely all votes should be recorded so we can take our councillors to task over anything they are doing in our name?”

Cllr Cluer agreed, and said she would be in favour is having council meetings filmed and streamed online.

She said: “Most meetings take place during the day when most people are at work. This could be overcome with televised meetings or electronic voting.”

Cllr Chatt agreed with the concept of video streaming to allow those unable to attend meetings to watch the debate.

He added: “As far as pink papers go I have never sat in any council chamber ever when someone has said let’s make this a pink paper so no-one can see it. They are used as they should be.”

Cllr Broadbent said he understood people have “lost their faith” following the MPs’ expenses scandal, and said fighting for open voting was part of Labour’s manifesto.

Questions were also asked about the sustainability of the Tesco development.

Macolm Short, chairman of Scarborough Town Against Tesco Store, urged councillors to listen to the voices of local residents.

A question on why the tourism industry in Columbus Ravine had not been considered was not answered, as the leader of the debate Lindy Rowley, said she did not want it to become a meeting about Tesco.