Bury councillors buried in questions, criticisms

Bury councillors buried in questions, criticisms
Bury residents peppered town councillors with questions, with interactions sometimes becoming heated (Photo : William Crooks)

Bury holds monthly council meeting

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

The Bury monthly council meeting held on June 3 provided an animated forum for residents to voice their concerns directly to the council during the first question period, which stretched on for nearly an hour. One resident confirmed to The Record that this is not abnormal for Bury, though from this reporter’s experience with council meetings, it is compared to the many other ones he has covered.

The session spanned a broad range of issues, from fire services and local governance to historical research access and public works maintenance. Interactions between the roughly 14 residents in attendance and councillors were sometimes heated, with Mayor Denis Savage doing most of the explaining and defending of council decisions under fire.

The session kicked off with a question concerning an item from the April 2024 payable accounts. A resident inquired why $823 was paid to Scotstown for assistance during a fire at a local residence.

The council clarified this expenditure, stating, “This payment was part of our mutual aid agreement with neighboring towns.” They further elaborated that these agreements are crucial for effectively managing emergency situations that occasionally exceed local capabilities.

Firefighting capabilities and preparedness were at the forefront of concerns, with several residents seeking clarification on the town’s ability to handle fires independently. One resident asked how many firefighters would be required before Bury could manage such emergencies without external aid.

The council responded, “With the new fire scheme and upcoming mutual aid agreements, our firefighting capabilities will be significantly enhanced. We are working towards a system where our local force can manage more situations independently.”

Residents also queried about firefighter attendance and mandatory training requirements.

The council confirmed, “All firefighters are mandated to attend training sessions regularly, and we are committed to ensuring that our team is well-prepared to handle emergencies efficiently.”

Access to municipal archives for historians was another topic of interest. The council was asked whether historians had been granted unsupervised access to personal documents within the archives.

Addressing this, the council assured, “Research conducted so far did not involve any personal documents and was open to the public. Historians had not been granted unsupervised access to any private or sensitive materials.”

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