Follow us on Twitter

Can a member of public be excluded from a meeting?

0 votes
A parish council have refused to answer questions regarding holding meetings in lockdown and sending out false links to a zoom meeting. They have declared me vexatious and banned me for 6 months from attending meetings. Surely the council have to prove the actions are disruptive, when the member of the public is holding to them to account under their code of conduct.
by (230 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
Without knowing the procedures they have followed such as their compliant procedure, it is difficult to say.  Have you reported the Councillors to your local Monitoring Officer?
by (3.1k points)
0 votes

They don’t ‘have’ to answer your questions unless submitted as FoI and not subject to an exemption. Whilst a poor state of affairs - thems the rules if the PC want to shrink away from embracing your issues. 

They can declare you as vexatious if your actions are deemed to have triggered that course of action according to their policy. It is also a poor state of affairs when a PC invariably expend more energy trying to shield themselves from answering questions and embracing what might be perceived as ‘difficult’ questions than they do just answering the questions. 

They absolutely CANNOT ‘ban’ you from attending a PC meeting which is open to the public. 

You must ensure you don’t provide any opportunity for them to criticise you. Understand, and abide by, the standing orders for a meeting. 

The chair can ask a Cllr or member of the public to amend unruly or disruptive behaviour in the first instance, they can then call a vote that a Cllr May no longer be heard from and they can adjourn a meeting for disruptive behaviour. 

It is imperative that you do not provide them the opportunity to criticise you. Other than that, just turn up to the next meeting and abide by standard procedure. 

They can’t ‘put’ you out, all they can do is abandon the meeting and (so long as you have abided by due process) that is entirely voluntary and inappropriate action on THIER part. 

Stick with it!

by (3.0k points)
+1 vote
You may only be asked to leave the meeting at which your conduct is deemed to be disorderly. If your Council has published a policy that gives them the right to ban residents from attending meetings, that policy has no legal basis.
by (41.2k points)
0 votes
You should contact the external auditor about this. You can't be assumed to act vexatiously at meetings you haven't yet attended.
by (31.8k points)
Thank you for this. It is extremely satisfying to see professionals taking the time to answer these queries. The Parish Council have invoked a vexatious behavior policy on the back of questions raised about the following. Public Meetings in lockdown. Changing historical minutes by removing my name on several documents. This follows a ruling made by the ICO about breaching my data so the council decided to "punish me". I am now shown on the records as XXXXXX whereas everyone else has a name. I have been mentioned in minutes that were before records were put on line, so goodness knows what has happened to them.
I also applied to become a councillor as there were 3 vacancies. This was ignored. I have a petition which 40+ parishioners have signed to hold a meeting to hold a meeting. That has been ignored. I have asked to hire the village hall for a parishioners meeting. That has been blocked. There are also a lot more events I could go on about. In this council 2 councillors are related to each other and another 2 are related to each other. There are only 5 councillors. My MP has written to them and they have ignored him as well. They are an embarrassment. Do you want to know who the council are?
You have a right to attend all public meetings of the Council by default by reference to the openness of Local Gov 2014 regulation https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2014/9780111113554   and a flawed or misinformed policy does not alter that. I would be interested in knowing who the council are but best tell me by direct message and I will offer my thoughts in the other points you make.
Yes, absolutely DO name the council. Their website should be open source so anyone can look at it.
When the next election for the parish council is due, why not stand for election? If you do I would suggest sending your nomination papers directly to the Electoral services dept. Don't rely on your PC to pass them on!  And try to canvass local residents to vote for you.  Do the PC own the village hall or administer it's bookings?
Hi Everyone, Thanks again for all this. I will answer all your points. Do you have an email address to do this? I can then send you all the detail. I can assure you that it makes Handforth Parish Council antics look like a tea party.
The best way to do it is by private message. If you click on our user names, a profile window will pop up. When it does scroll down to " Type". To the right of Type it should say registered user, and there should be. Blue link to click on, which will allow you to paste in your responses and send the private message
The Parish Council is PUXTON PARISH COUNCIL.
They have received a petition about their conduct which they have refused to accept.
The external auditor is also going to pass a judgement on 3 matters regarding an AGAR inspection which the council refused me to have. I am a finance manager by profession and there are issues in the accounts. This is just one of many items that need to be raised with parishioners

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.

Google Analytics Alternative