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I am acting as Clerk until our new Clerk starts. She has to work a month's notice.  I will have to help her when she does start as she has no previous experience.  There's a few small points I'm not sure about so would appreciate some advice.

I write notes during the meetings which I use to complete the draft minutes. Do these need to be kept after the minutes are approved at the next meeting?
We fill in an attendance register at each meeting - again do these need to be kept? I can appreciate that they may need to be kept for some time because of the 6 month rule. But I'm also trying to sort out old paperwork and have found attendance registers going back to 2015!
by (2.8k points)

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Hand written notes - definitely not. The sooner you can shred them the better! The minutes are the record and having two records is not helpful.

Attendance registers - I tend to keep them as evidence (i.e. it's the individual's signature, not a typed record), but they can be culled periodically rather than being kept forever.
by (52.9k points)
Thank you DavetheClerk. Just the answer I was hoping for. We don't have much storage space so I'll be able to clear the decks a bit now.

I had another Minutes related question which I forgot to include.  Our ex Clerk, she retired, always noted the names of the proposer and seconder of a motion. But it's occurred to me that they don't appear in the actual Minutes. Should the proposer and seconders names be included along with the resolution?
Where formal motions are proposed and recorded in the agenda and minutes, it is customary to include the names of the proposer and the seconder in the minutes. However, I'm not aware of a legal requirement to do so.
I find this approach quite surprising.
How much space does a sheet of hand written notes actually take up?

Shred as soon as possible - imagine how inconvenient it would be if there were any background detail from which those that follow those that were involved in decision making might be able to decipher the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what.’

I take this stance since I am currently intimately involved in trying to recreate and understand that which was previous done, or not done, by clerk(s) AND councillors that have come and gone and left some pretty chaotic administrative shambles behind them.
Imagine how ‘awkward’ it would be if there were contemporaneous notes which could give a clue why some disastrous actions and inactions occurred.
As to the second point about recording proposer / seconder - you should be maintaining a ‘motions book.’  Your motions book should contain your original written motions and show the names of proposer and seconder.
Again, if a decent motions book were maintained (and cross referenced to minute number) then it would be a good deal easier to recreate a decision making process, identify those that proposed the decision and what the rationale was.  The opposite or an an absence of such records perpetuates the situation where nobody knows what was decided, nor the reasons and nobody can be held accountable for poor choices.
I don’t know if anyone else shares my frustration and cynicism, maybe I’ve just had a bad run of luck….
This isn't a space issue. The key elements of the 'why' should be included in the 'what' and extraneous waffle is of no consequence. We can't change history. My notes mean nothing to anybody else, so there is no value in retaining them.

Your motions book sounds like a verbatim account of the meeting and unnecessary duplication of work. What was decided is recorded in the minutes, and I see no value in recreating a decision-making process to identify what the rationale was in order to hold someone accountable for poor choices.
Jann’s first reply “…We don't have much storage space so I'll be able to clear the decks a bit now...”

So apparently, it IS a space issue…

You say “your motions book” Dave, it’s not “my” motions book and it is not a duplication either - I think you miss the point. A written motion should be viewed as a business justification case - it records the reason, the means, the costs, the justification for any given course of action.
OK, maybe not necessary for routine business, but I’d suggest any issue which incurs financial liability or a significant policy / change of direction / deviation from norm should be supported by a written motion.
A written motion should be received by the clerk X days before a meeting, clerk checks for general typing / spelling issues, sense and legality of the motion, records with a number in order of receipt and adds to agenda with written motion published to inform cllrs and public of matters to be discussed at the meeting. Basic admin really. Surprised anyone would think it unnecessary or a duplication of effort whereas it is actually a common sense, audit trail efficiency measure.
I can’t recall precisely where I saw the REQUIREMENT that written motions be retained and numbered in the order they are received.
I’m not sure I am inclined to find and share the reference with someone of your experience if you don’t think written motions should be retained I wouldn’t have thought you’d be open to change.
Thank you for your comments RoundAgainCoxn and I'm sorry to hear you have problems within your Council. I've been down that road and with determination it can be resolved.
It's my understanding that the minutes only need to to be a 'resume' of the meeting, it does not have to include all details of the Councillors discussion just any important bits. Unless you can do shorthand, which I cannot, it would be impossible to take down everything said.
I have never head of a 'motions book' despite having done extensive training courses with our advisory body. I'm in Wales so that's One Voice Wales not NALC. Maybe this is an English thing?
I can assure you that this is not just 'a space thing'. If we have to have or do something I will do it. But I agree with DavetheClerk. It's the minutes that are important, they are the record of motions and resolutions decided by the Council and once accepted as accurate they are the true record. I see no  reason to keep my notes as well. Same with attendance register. It's helpful for the odd occasion when someone has not attended a meeting for 6 months, to decide whether to accept apologies if there are any, but after that they serve no purpose.  To keep then from 7 years ago is just ridiculous!
That’s Cognitive dissonance Jann.
The minutes are the record of the DECISION of any given motion not the justification for it - that detail rightly sits in the motion template.
NALC Model SOs chapt 9 details written motions and why they are required.
The ICOs PC model publication scheme details class 4 information (how we make decisions) which must be published.
There are a couple of examples of the requirement for written motions, frankly I can’t help but think it should be OBVIOUS that a written motion should be required for anything other than the most basic function, that once compiled a written motion should be retained and cross referenced to a minute and that this forms an obvious and essential component of audit trail + due diligence.
I say again - the written motion is the vehicle by which any Cllr may bring a topic / project / proposal before a PC. The document should contain any detail of business case justification and supporting evidence to allow cllrs to make any necessary investigations before a meeting and then make an informed decision at a meeting. A written motion is an agenda supporting paper and, unless appropriately excluded, should be published with the agenda for Cllr AND public consideration.
These really are basic and fundamental building blocks of the democratic process. Having to explain and justify such things really doesn’t bode well.

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