iFAQs: The view from the gallery

Due to unforeseen, er, ‘technical problems’, we don’t have one of our usual inFrequently Answered Questions posts this week. To fill the gap though, we decided to answer some of the questions we’ve previously sent to councillors ourselves because we also have opinions you know and we are never above making this about us. We look forward to you telling us how wrong we are in the comments below.

What should be the minimum attendance percentage of full council meetings for a councillor to retain their position?

Not a fan of set numbers as councillors should be at all meetings unless there is A Very Good Reason not be, but it’s curious how variable the figures are between some councillors.
Jennings

90% + unless given an exemption.
Keevil

With reports that the Castle Concerts made a loss of over £300k, what is an acceptable financial loss for the Castle Concerts?

There is no acceptable loss for Castle Concerts. They should be run not for loss.
Keevil

If it could be proved a wider benefit for Medway exists from the concerts – reputational, tourism, wider financial benefits – small losses could sometimes be justified. As no evidence for these can be seen, such losses are difficult to support.
Jennings

Are the Castle Concerts an effective way for Medway Council to improve the local cultural offer or the resources be better invested elsewhere?

When successful they make sound financial sense, but unconvinced that do anything for the wider, diverse Medway cultural scene.
Jennings

Castle Concerts are a great idea but are not currently an effective way of improving the cultural offering.
Keevil

If it’s possible to accurately predict the response to every question and motion at Medway Council meetings, what does this say about the state of democracy in Medway?

It’s so possible that you can create a Bingo style game out of it.
Keevil

It’s almost like having one party with a stranglehold over all parts of Medway democracy leads to predictability.
Jennings

What would you change about Medway Council meetings and why?

Six instead of the current four sounds reasonable. Only a sadist would want more than that.
Jennings

Full Council should be monthly, ten times a year. Christmas and Summer off. And limited to approximately three hours.
Keevil

What could Medway Council do to make its democratic systems more open and accessible?

Rule changes to change public questions should be reverted to allow more time and follow up questions.
Keevil

Re-introducing supplementary questions and not holding important public meetings at 3pm on a weekday would be a great start.
Jennings

In an ideal world, what would be your preferred voting system for local elections?

The heart says proportional representation but the head says single member FPTP wards to retain local connections.
Jennings

Proportional representation.
Keevil

What acceptable reasons are there for a political party taking three years to take any action against a councillor engaging in hate speech online after it is highlighted in a full council meeting?

Acceptable reasons? None.
Keevil

How the fuck is this even a question in 2019?
Jennings

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