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Musselburgh councillors divided over ‘secret’ meetings

East Lothian Council

East Lothian Council

Moves by East Lothian Council to end private meetings of the county’s Common Good committees have divided councillors in Musselburgh.

The proposal has been welcomed by SNP councillors in the town, who only last month called for an end to “secret meetings” and greater transparency in the distribution of Common Good funds.

But Labour councillor John McNeil, who chairs the Musselburgh committee, maintains there is nothing wrong with meeting behind closed doors to protect the privacy of applicants.

In a report to council next week, officials will recommend that future meetings of Common Good committees be subject to the same standing orders as other council committees.

If approved, it means each of East Lothian’s four Common Good funds – Musselburgh, Haddington, North Berwick and Dunbar – will meet in public for the first time in living memory.

It would see meetings being moved away from council headquarters and into the areas where the funds operate - with dates, times, venues and agendas being publicised in advance.

Full story and more comments in this week’s Musselburgh News, on sale now.

 

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