£25k spend on microphones 'not an option' for Sleaford Town Council meetings
THE location of meetings held by Sleaford Town Council is to be reassessed after councillors agreed spending £25,000 on microphones to help hear each other speak was not an option.
The meetings which currently take place at The Source, Riverside, have been held there for about three years and concerns have often been raised about the ability to hear what is being discussed because of the size of the room.
In last week's meeting of the General Purposes Committee Councillor Brian Watson said: "These meetings are accessible to everyone and it's not fair that people can't hear what is being discussed.
"We try to encourage more members of the public to get involved by coming along and I think the fact that they can't hear us could be putting people off coming."
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Councillor Doug Vere-Critcher, who had spent time researching the matter, revealed that for each councillor to have their own wireless microphone it would cost in the region of £25,000.
For them each to have their own microphones, with wires, it would cost around £6,500 but the time taken to set up the equipment involved would add at least another hour on to the length of each meeting.
Councillor David Suiter suggested that councillors need to project their voices more and added: "There are many other things we can do to help rather than buying this system."
A further suggestion was made by Councillor David Birks, who said: "We should consult a voice tutor to enable us to project our voices. I think it's an important consideration because we all agree this is too expensive but we need to show the public we are not just dropping it off the agenda."
It was agreed that Mr Vere-Critcher would continue to research other options while the council would continue to look for a more suitable location to hold their meetings.