[Shropshire Council has censored this blog post.] Members of the public have always had a right to be heard at Shropshire Council meetings. Since the council was founded in 2009, public questions and petitions have been heard at the beginning of the meeting. That’s going to change. The new council leader, Malcolm Pate, is determined to end any public participation in council meetings. At present residents can ask a public question. The question is tabled at the beginning of the meeting. The resident then asks a supplementary question. It is answered by a cabinet member. This will end under Malcolm Pate’s proposals. Public questions and the answers to them will be noted at the meeting, with no opportunity to ask a supplementary question. There will be no public participation as at present. It will not be worth members of the public turning up. Many will think it will not be worth asking a question at all if all that happens is that it is minuted in a thick wodge of council papers. Maybe that is Malcolm Pate’s intention. To discourage the public from asking questions which challenge the council’s actions.