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Can my Parish Council insist that I, a parishioner, attend one of its meeting to enable it to answer my questions?

0 votes
The Parish Council refuses to give me written replies to my written questions.  I have no wish to attend a meeting as I know that it will result in unpleasantness.
by (270 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
In theory yes, but it would be the mark of and obstructive and inefficient council.  As they are apparentl being a pain in the backside, I would give them a dose of their own medicine, and ask the questions as a Freedom of Information Request. If they wonlt give written answers to them, you can compalin to the Information Commissioner who can order them to reply unless providing a valid exemption.  Try this site to submit the FOI and their response will go in the public domain for all to see.
by (33.9k points)
Thanks for your help - I will do that.  I agree with you comments regarding our parish council.
Judging from its conduct, I wouldn't be surprised if the PC unjustly employs section 14 of the FOIA.
+1 vote
I would have thought that a good council would have specific policies for how the people who elected them can field questions of the council. Most would prefer a written question to which they can research and formulate an accurate response. Asking the question at the ( usually time limited) open session at the PC meeting can lead to a  " we will come back to you on that" response or censorship by the chair. Avoiding or not responding to genuine questions goes against all of the principles of the code of conduct.

How a PC can demand an appearance at one of their meeting is dictatorial in the least and good indication of a council who have lost their way and understanding of who they SERVE
by (22.5k points)
Its indicative of a tier of Government that has broadly lost track of why it exists in the first place
Does anyone know the % of Parish Councillors who are elected in contested contests ?
As without  contested elections there‚Äôs no pressure on Councillors to respond to public pressure as they have a seat for life
Thanks for responding - I completely agree with your comments.
Only recently I recall reading an article from nalc that just over 70% of Cllrs are co-opted... Hardly democracy in action eh?
There is one vital question that every Parish Council should be earnestly seeking the answer to:
Why do people NOT want to join the Parish Council?
Not so many years ago it was an honour to serve ( or be asked to serve ) your community.
 When you find the honest answer you will be on the road to solving the vacancy problem.

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