Published on 22nd September 2023
Measures to increase security during council meetings will come into effect next week. The changes will ensure that meetings can go ahead without interruption and provide evidence if it is needed.
The announcement of the new measures – expected to be temporary – follow the actions of a group who disrupted this week’s cabinet meeting, resulting in the public meeting being terminated.
Due to the increased interest in council meetings, the council is taking the following measures to ensure the safety of all present.
At the next few public meetings, anyone wishing to attend will be required to register their details in advance until advised otherwise. Members of the public can register to attend online by emailing [email protected] or phoning 01242 262626, no less than two hours before the start of the meeting. Registration will be checked upon entry and anyone who is not registered will be prohibited from accessing the public gallery.
In addition, the security and CCTV in the building has been enhanced.
Cllr Rowena Hay, leader at Cheltenham Borough Council said: “These temporary measures are due to the actions of a minority who caused considerable disruption during a meeting of cabinet. We welcome questions from members of the public but these must be submitted in advance and must be in accordance with the provisions in the council’s constitution.
“As a council, we remain committed to ensuring that we are able to take democratic decisions in open session, however the safety and security of councillors and staff must be a priority. We will review the security measures in due course and in the meantime, remind the public that you can still watch all of our public meetings online.”
Further information on the various ways to get involved with public meetings are all set out on the council’s website, Get Involved - Modern Council (cheltenham.gov.uk).
This week’s cabinet meeting, during which the disruption occurred, can be viewed on the council’s You Tube channel.
For press enquiries, contact [email protected], 01242 264231.