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a member of the public has asked me to put an item on the agenda - is this legal

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I am aware that the agenda is the clerks responsibility and that councillors can ask for items to be placed on the agenda but I have had a request from a member of the public to place an item on the agenda in respect of potential conflicts in councillors interests. I have placed the item  on the agenda as a confidential item as I know that this discussion will get personal and I do not feel that this is an appropriate discussion for public consumption. Therefore, am I right to assume that legally a member of the public cannot ask for an item to be placed on the agenda?
by (140 points)
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1 Answer

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You are quite correct that the Clerk puts the meeting agenda together but it is an integral part of a councillor's role to bring issues to the meeting that have been raised with you (assuming, of course, you see merit in having the matter discussed).

Having said that, the specific item to which you refer may be fraught with danger. It appears from what you say that the matter might relate to specific councillors' interests in specific items. If so, the matter is not one that can be discussed at council. It is very much up to the individual member to declare his/her interest in a matter, it is not for the council as a whole to debate it. Even if a situation arose where a member does not declare an interest but other members feel he should, the council does not have authority as such to compel a member to declare.

If, however, I have mis-interpreted your post, and all you propose is a disussion on interests in general, this could happen for essentially this might provide an opportunity for your clerk to advise. This would not I think, justify excluding the public.

I would be interested to hear Counterpoint's veiw on this.

by (3.9k points)

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