The London city council easily passed the motion on Tuesday night to allow spectators of council meetings to eat and drink in the council chambers. The item did bring up some discussion though from some of the other Councillors.
The idea was originally brought up by Ward 5 Councillor Maureen Cassidy at the Corporate Services committee meeting last week and got approved. On Tuesday night, Cassidy refers to this matter as making this city council pioneers on the subject as only one other city hall allows consumption of food or drinks during meetings.
The problems that arose were those of when the councillors would break for lunch or dinner for 30 minute periods there is not enough time for the spectators to leave city hall and get something to eat and then coming back to the council chambers in time for the rest of the meeting.
When putting the item up for question, Councillor Phil Squire spoke up to the item saying “I think the previous council while I was a spectator, time and how long the public had to be here, how long the people had to wait and when matters were spoken to that the public was interested in, then there didn’t seem to be a real concern as to how that related to the people that are interested in what we do.
There were some amendments, however, that some of the other councillors discussed. Councillor Bill Armstrong suggested that the public be allowed to use the cafeteria on the 12th floor of City hall because that is where they would have to go regardless if they want to access a vending machine. Also Councillor Virginia Ridley spoke to the matter of allowing a specific time on the written agenda for lunch breaks, that way everybody knows when the breaks would come.
The motion now has to be looked over by city staff in order to formally create the new rules to come into effect. That way they can look at the best scenarios to make everybody happy.