City councillors in Peterborough have recommended to begin Full Council meetings an hour earlier at 6pm.
Chairman Cllr David Seaton (Conservative), speaking at the meeting of the Constitution & Ethics Committee on Monday (March 11), said: “The last three Full Council meetings have been dominated by the budget and as a result at each of those meetings we haven’t managed to get through to the end of the agenda.”
Full Council meetings are typically dominated by the most critical matters put before councillors to decide upon.
Meetings have a ‘guillotine’ of four hours – currently from 7pm to 11pm – with a motion to carry on required for that time limit to be extended.
Recently, with the annual budget dominating events, items such as motions have not been addressed before the cut-off, with meetings finishing towards midnight.
“All council members were asked in a survey conducted last November if they would be agreeable to starting Full Council meetings one hour earlier than previously, at 6pm,” Cllr Seaton explained.
“Of the 28 responses received, 53 per cent said they agreed with 6pm, while 32 per cent favoured the old 7pm start time.
“I think in order to get through the agenda we do need to consider starting an hour earlier, and who knows we might even finish a little earlier than midnight.”
The proposal will be voted on at the next Full Council meeting on Monday, May 20, which follows the local elections on May 2.