This post was first published by My London on 22/05/2019.
Croydon’s new mayor says council meetings are far too long
He says meetings that last three-and-a-half hours just aren’t family friendly.
Nobody can accuse new Croydon mayor Humayun Kabir of sitting on the fence.
He’s only just been sworn in, but he’s come right out and said what many people have probably been thinking for years… council meetings are far too long.
And he’s determined to sort it out.
Meetings regularly run to three-and-a-half hours or more, and Councillor Kabir thinks that’s just too difficult for councillors who have young families – and those who are older, too.
But his proposal has been criticised by some.
Critics say cutting meetings back will make the council less transparent.
There’s also concerns that there won’t be time for questions from the public – and there will be less time for scrutinising the administration, too.
Here’s what the mayor had to say
Speaking at Croydon Council’s annual meeting on Monday night (May 20), the new mayor said: “The demographic of the chamber is changing every four years.
“Now we have parents in the chamber who have young children, and many councillors are in their 60s, 70s and some of them are in their 80s.
“Considering the attention span we adults have, to sit for three-and-a-half hours in council meetings is a big ask at this age.
“Many councillors attend these meetings directly after a full day at work and as incoming mayor, I believe that it is the right time for this chamber to be more family and age friendly.
“And with this is mind I will be working with the leader of the council and opposition to review the length of future council meetings.”