Town votes for transparency

CAMBRIDGE Mayor Keri Shannon says the town needs to lead from the front on transparency.

Ms Shannon presented motions to the council at its December 15 meeting in a bid to increase the town’s accountability to rate-|payers.

One of the motions, which was approved by the council, was for the chief executive to prepare a report for the council to consider introducing a public register of all Elected Member meetings and telephone conversations with developers and applicants.

Ms Shannon said it was important that there was no perceived bias at council level.

“It is worthwhile having a conversation about it,” she said.

“I’m putting up motions that I think have value.”

Councillor Corrine MacRae voted against the motion, but noted it would not do any harm. “It is a heavy-handed approach to something that is not a problem,” Cr MacRae said.

“It is more important that we look at how we deal with developers not how often.

“It doesn’t focus on the how or when or why.”

Ms Shannon’s motion for the chief executive to present a report on introducing a public register of senior administration officers’ dealings with developers and applicants on significant developments was refused. It would have included a prohibition on junior administrative officers directly dealing with developers and applicants on significant developments.

Cr MacRae was against the motion and said the audit committee already fulfilled that function.

“The chief executive runs the organisation,” Cr MacRae said. “We need to have a separation of powers. It would be an unwelcome intrusion into the functions of the chief executive.”