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  14th December 2016Sir, Last month I observed two debates: Cornwall Council and a debating competition for sixth formers. One group stayed till the end of proceedings. Two thirds of the other group bunked off early. One group of speakers pretty much kept to the three minute time limit. Many of the other group waffled on and on until they were stopped. One group received an allowance and the other did not. Teenagers ought to be able to learn a lot from councillors. From what I saw it was the other way round. We’ve read a lot about payments for councillors. How can they be justified when most of them can’t be bothered to stay till the end of meetings? Dick Cole has banged on about keeping more than a hundred councillors. He doesn’t have much of a case if many are absent for a lot of the business, can’t plan their lives to be at County Hall for seven days a year, can’t prepare a speech to last less than three minutes and lack the collective discipline to ensure business is conducted efficiently as it should be. One might expect leader John Pollard’s cabinet to set an example. To be fair John does but some of his colleagues can (and do) waffle for Cornwall. We might be better off if we elected some sixth formers to the council next May?Philip KerridgeQuarry Park TerraceBodmin

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