An earlier start time for council meetings in Langford should still allow the public time to arrive and   participate

An earlier start time for council meetings in Langford should still allow the public time to arrive and participate

Langford council changing timetable starting in September

Earlier meetings aim to better accommodate City staff

Langford council meetings will be starting a little earlier than usual come September.

“We’re going to try it and see what it’s like for six months,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “It may work and it may not work, we’ll see.”

Over the summer months, council meetings have been getting underway at 5 p.m. instead of the typical 7:00 start time. According to a recent staff report, this start time has worked well for staff and council members felt there could be some merit to changing the time on a permanent basis.

But in order to better accommodate the public, staff suggested a new start time be set at 5:30 p.m. for those that are commuting back to the West Shore.

If that time doesn’t work, Young noted, it could easily be pushed to later, although, he didn’t foresee any problems. “It’s better than having the meeting in the middle of the day,” he said, nodding to some of the other councils in the region.

“I don’t know why 7 p.m. was picked in the first place.” He added there have been discussions on changing the start time for roughly 20 years.

In the long run, Young noted it will save the city a bit of money, as staff members won’t have to wait around as long for council meetings. “It’s more of a hardship for our staff than anything … It’s just a little bit better for everyone that works for us.”

Some residents have expressed frustration over the 7 p.m. start time, he added, because it interrupted their evening routine. Now, he said, residents can come straight from work.

“I think it will still give everyone time (to arrive on time).”

Plus, he said many residents don’t sit through the entire meeting and often only stay for the item that interests them. Young added residents can also have their opinions heard in committee meetings before an item goes to council.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com