Calls for change to council constitution

First published in News

HOW female councillors are addressed in Town Hall has brought a call to change Brentwood Council’s constitution.

Under the current guidelines, women members are referred to as Cllr Mrs, Miss or Ms while their male colleagues are simply referred to as Cllr.

The issue has been brought up by Labour councillor for Brentwood South Julie Morrissey, who feels the document is outdated and it should be brought up with modern times.

“I have raised this on numerous occasions at an early stage after being elected and have been assured that while the constitution is being updated this will be remedied,” she said.

“When I was elected as councillor for Brentwood South, I asked that I be referred to as simply Cllr Morrissey as I cannot see why female councillors are referred to as “Cllr Mrs Henwood” etc, both verbally in the chamber and on all paperwork, while the male councillors are simply referred to as Cllr Sleep.

“It is of no consequence as to whether I am a man or a woman as to my ability to carry out my duties as a councillor. Who needs to know and why?”

Council leader Louise McKinlay said there are elements of the constitution which do require updating and said this would be considered in April when a review is due.

Mrs McKinlay said: “All of this has been looked at. The constitution goes back to the 1950s so some of what is inside is outdated so it does need overhauling completely.

“I don’t see it as a really big deal how we are addressed in the chamber, but the council’s constitution does need updating.”

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