Staffordshire council launches monthly surgeries

Residents will be able to raise issues with Stone community leaders at a series of town council surgeries starting next month.

The Frank Jordan Centre in Lichfield Street, Stone.
The Frank Jordan Centre in Lichfield Street, Stone.

Stone Town Council is trialling the monthly sessions from June to August. The first one will be held at the Frank Jordan Centre on Wednesday, June 8, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

A Saturday event has been scheduled for the same venue in Lichfield Street on July 2, when town councillors will be available to speak to residents from 10.30am to 12.30pm. The third surgery will be held on Saturday August 6 or Wednesday August 10.

Town councillors agreed the plans at their meeting on Tuesday. Councillor Steve Walley first proposed the surgeries last year and was asked to bring back detailed plans for further consideration.

But suggestions that councillors could hold “street events” outside and wear body cameras to reduce safety risks sparked concerns from members. Instead it has been agreed that at least four councillors will be present at the surgeries and they should all remain in the same room for safety purposes.

A report to Tuesday’s meeting said: “It is proposed that 10 minute appointments would be available in advance, to be booked via the office, and the remaining time made available for walk-in attendees. Each councillor would have their own table and chairs to meet residents, with one set of table and chairs well away from the rest to allow for confidential conversations if necessary.

“A seating area would be available for residents who are unable to see a councillor immediately to wait comfortably. The councillor acting as co-ordinator for the event will have a key role in ensuring that other councillors’ time is used effectively, and residents are not kept waiting any longer than necessary.”

Residents who wish to book a slot at one of the surgeries in advance should email or call 01785 619740.

Councillor Rob Kenney, chairman of the council’s General Purposes Committee, said “We hope that Stone residents will take this opportunity to meet their town councillors and discuss issues important to them and the town. If this pilot is a success, we would hope to be able to continue these events on a regular basis.”

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