Council rule change prompted by councillor losing her voice

Chichester District Council has agreed to tweak its Constitution after a councillor was unable to chair a meeting because she could not speak.

Carol Purnell (Con, Sidlesham & Selsey North) was due to chair a meeting of the planning committee but lost her voice due to illness.

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Still perfectly capable of working, she wanted to hand control of the meeting to her vice-chair but was told she could only do so if she took no part in the day’s business.

At a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (March 2), members agreed the Constitution should be changed by the Monitoring Officers to allow vice-chairs to take on the role of chairman, even if that chairman was present during a meeting.

East Pallant House, Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR2007221 SUS-200722-111704001