One of the things I expressed my commitment to when I was seeking election to Council, is to improve the perception that Councillors are accountable to the public, interact easily with the public, and welcome public participation at Council meetings.
Immediately after the election, my worthy colleagues and I began a conversation about measures to implement this desire. It was commonly agreed that removing the boundary cordon between the seated Councillors and the public gallery would be a symbolic yet significant gesture, as would dispensing with the security guard, since in the recollection of our Councillors who had been on Council for 17 years, not a single incident requiring security action had ever occurred.
At the council meeting on Tuesday 11th October, a Mayoral minute to this effect was put forward, with myself as a co-sponsor.
Immediately as the proposal passed in the Chamber, I was one of the Councillors reported as rising to physically remove the barrier.
I am confident that in this Council term, visitors to our public gallery at Council meetings will interact positively with us, and that mutual respect will prevail.