RE: the letters from Cllr Batstone [echo 9.3.19] and Cllr Biggs [echo 12.3.19] regarding the use of social media during council meetings.

I too was dismayed to see the number of members who were buried in their phones and laptops during the public participation section of the February meeting. Unfortunately, their apparent lack of interest continued during the very important budget debate.

Cllr Biggs is correct, it’s simply bad manners. I think members should look up and at least try and feign interest when members of the public bother to address them and should be respectful enough to each other to be attentive when other members are speaking.

However, this behaviour is not unusual as the conduct of members at the January meeting left a lot to be desired and as a Parish Councillor I was left wondering why the Chair didn’t bring the meeting to order and remind members about the Code of Conduct. It may be fashionable to ape the behaviour of members of Parliament but the public don’t think it’s funny and it certainly isn’t clever or acceptable.

I accept that a ‘paper free’ council is the objective, but scrolling through your photographs, deleting and having a chinwag about said photos with your fellow councillor does not constitute good practice and being on facebook, even if it might have been your constituency page is unacceptable during meetings.

I’m sure your page will survive without you for a few hours.

Sarah Jackson

West Lulworth