Kilkenny councillors reverse ban on press and public from policy meetings
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY County Councillors have rowed back on their decision to ban the public and press from their policy meetings.
On Friday, June 7th the city and county’s newly elected councillors voted by 19 votes to five to exclude the public and press from all its strategic policy committees (SPCs).
Apart from Cllr David Fitzgerald (FG), all of the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael council members, who make up 20 of the 24 County Councillors, voted in favour of the ban.
Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan, Labour’s Denis Hynes and Tomás Breathnach and newly elected Independent Eugene McGuinness joined Cllr Fitzgerald in opposition.
After much public outcry and derision, it appears the elected councillors from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have backtracked and are now willing to allow public access to the SPCs once again.
SPC meetings advise and assist the council in the formulation, development and review of policy, and are attended by elected councillors, council staff and experts in differing subjects.
There are currently five SPCs in Kilkenny County Council – economic development, infrastructure, housing, environment, and planning and heritage.