Rugby council might set up stalls at summer fairs so you can tell them how you think they are performing

File image.
File image.

Visitors to summer fairs across Rugby could soon be asked say how they think Rugby council is performing.

As well as enjoying the traditional tombola or welly wanging, they may be asked for their views on how the borough council is performing.

Having stalls at fetes around the region is just one of the ideas being considered by councillors after it was revealed that an annual workshop which was open to the public had been scrapped in favour of using social media.

But while the workshops might not have drawn in crowds of residents, there was some disappointment from councillors at this week’s (June 27) communities and resources overview and scrutiny committee meeting.

Cllr Tim Douglas (Lib Dem Paddox) said: “I’ve been on scrutiny for three years and consider myself to be diligent and a well-read councillor but I read that in late 2018 a decision was made by the scrutiny chairs not to hold the annual scrutiny work programme workshop. I think they’ve taken that into their own hands.

“We now have platforms like the council website, Facebook and listening posts so how do we know that this is working? Yes we would only get a handful of residents attend but we are in desperate need of more public engagement and I think to shut that down by two people in a room coming to a decision is not good enough.

“I seem to remember at the first public meeting seven people arrived, then ten arrived. This year I was expecting 15 to arrive. I thought we were building some public engagement.

“I welcome the use of modern social media but not at the loss of other things and maybe we should look at a variety of ways to engage different cross sections of our community.”

And Cllr Nick Long (Lib Dem Rokeby and Overslade) said lack of publicity may not have helped.

He explained: “I remember attending one meeting at Benn Hall and when I arrived there were no notices outside that confirmed it was definitely on and I was thinking ‘have I got the right day?’

“You might have got a couple of people walking in if you just put an A-frame outside telling the public that there was a meeting going on where they could air their views.”

New committee chair Cllr Tom Mahoney (Lab Benn) said he would get some answers and report back to the next meeting.

But he added: “We have to consider whether the general public have an interest in scrutiny at all. Do they understand it and are they going to turn up?

“My instinct is that if they won’t come to us then we go to them. I can’t see any reason why we can’t put a stall up at summer fairs and things like that.”