Kerry County Councillors change how monthly meetings to be held

Kerry County Councillors have changed how their monthly meetings are to be held.

Due to COVID-19, they’ve been restricted to two hours, which some councillors feel is very unfair, as it’s a short timeframe to deal with a large agenda.

Some believe there’s no need for a two-hour time limit as councillors are two metres apart.

The issue arose on Monday at the county council’s scheduled monthly meeting, which had to be adjourned until Wednesday as they had only gotten through half of the agenda.

Independent Cllr Jackie Healy-Rae said all attending the meeting at the John Mitchel’s Clubhouse in Tralee were more than two metres apart.

He said if they were in a bar and that distance apart, they could stay all day.

Sinn Féin Cllr Deirdre Ferris said NPHET stipulates if two or more metres can be facilitated, then there’s no time limit, adding the two-hour meeting was wholly inadequate.

The council’s Corporate Policy Group met on Tuesday to discuss the matter, and agreed there’ll now be on online element before the full meeting.

The physical meeting, from next month onwards, will take place in the afternoon and will deal with the Chief Executive’s and Cathaoirleach’s reports, as well as councillors’ motions.

Beforehand, in the morning, there will be a three hour online meeting where all other reports will be discussed.

There’ll then be an hour and a half break to allow councillors to get to the meeting venue.

Mayor Patrick Connor Scarteen said he believes this is a fair and reasonable way of dealing with the matter.