Follow Councillor Q&A on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

0 votes
For Full Council, the Clerk advises that confidential papers that are provided during the session must be returned. Even if it's part of the agenda and we are part of the Full Council! Is this Legal?
by (1.1k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
The reason for circulating the agenda and supporting documentation three clear days prior to the meeting is to allow you the time to read it, understand it and seek any clarification necessary to enable you to make the best decisions in the minimum time at the meetings. Are these confidential papers matters that fall within the legal criteria for the exclusion of the press and public?
by (52.8k points)
Yes, but they also hand out paper copies at the meeting. I was told that these paper copies aren't allowed to leave the room, even if we received the same copy by email and post. It's bazaar!
It was seriously suggested at my PC that no working papers at all be circulated in advance
That Councillors attend 30 minutes before the meeting so they could be handed to them to read and that they were handed back at the end of the meeting and destroyed
What would happen if you refused to hand a document back ?
Apart from GDPR issues who would enforce the issue of documents leaking and how would you prove it?
During my local government career, we once had a situation where somebody was leaking confidential items. I was given the task of making every copy of every paper unique, by omitting a full stop at the end of a paragraph, or inserting a double-space between words, always on the front page, and keeping copious records of who received each copy, so that if we ever saw a copy in the wrong hands, we could identify who had shared their papers. Only my line manager and I knew this was being done. It worked!
Ha! We had someone leak them to a minor! The minor took pictures, sent them to me and I sent them to a Councillor I trusted. I took it to the Borough Solicitor and he too it at Town level.
+1 vote
I don't think so.  Councillors are responsible for the actions and operations of their Council and unless the clerk can provide the appropriate legislation article, he or she cannot enforce what amounts to their own opinion.
by (34.6k points)

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

Google Analytics Alternative