Thirst for democracy in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 04 Nov 2010 at 8:32 am

The democratic process can be dry at the best of times but for those interested in watching Brighton and Hove City Council in action, it seemed set to become parched.

The message to voters and taxpayers attending council and committee meetings was that they would no longer be able to pour a cup of water.

Councillors and officers would still be served tea and coffee but the public would genuinely have to thirst for democracy.

Refusing to give out cups at a meeting yesterday, a council staff member wouldn’t say whether it was the spending cuts, only that the water cooler outside the council chamber at Hove Town Hall was going.

xmas collections

Doughty campaigner Valerie Paynter, a regular in the public gallery, said: “Some meetings go on for hours. At some full council meetings they vote to continue past 9pm.

“It’s all right for the councillors and the officers but there’s nothing for the public. Just a water cooler. And now they’re taking that away.”

This morning, a spokesman for the council said: “The water cooler isn’t being removed and we apologise if a member of the public was led to believe it is.”

  1. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    Gosh! Didn’t expect to see this article! But I have a comment…..the water cooler outside the Hove Town Hall Council Chamber has not had plastic cups in its dispenser for a month and entrance security staff have said they can’t put any in because the cooler is to be decommissioned and taken away! So thanks for this…perhaps you have embarrassed them into a rethink.

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