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My local association advises that for sub/committees that do not have decision making powers (advisory) then agendas and minutes are not legally required. This appears to contradict section 19(1) of the LGA Act 1972, which doesn't distinguish between committees. My query to them followed from my inability to get minutes from our Staffing and Management Committee. The ToR require reports from that committee to go to full council, but that obscures what else may be discussed. The clerk insists he doesn't have to produce minutes and also destroys his notes soon after such meetings. I'm informed it's not illegal to destroy these notes too.  So what now?
I have noted a similar question here in December 2022 but I'd appreciate some comments as I feel I'm stuck without more guidance. Should I just go to the MO?
by (730 points)
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Are you simply wanting copies of the minutes or are you on another quest.  What are you trying to achieve?
by (9.9k points)
Copies of minutes, agenda too.
sub committees are formed by the main committee to carry out work on specified matters within the remit of the main committee. They report back to the committee who then process matters to the council ( if they do not have the necessary powers to act). A sub committee have the same obligation as a committee to announce their meeting which must be open to the public, give the requisite notice of such a meeting, issue agendas for the meeting and publish minutes of that meeting. There has been much movement in recent years to short circuit these requirements by employing pseudo sub committees ( and even committees) in the guise of "working parties" to whom no such requirements are compulsory. Now whether this is intentional to sidestep openness and transparency is of course a matter for debate. A check of the definition in standing orders or the good councillor guide will highlight what a committee, sub committee and working party are designed to achieve will clarify this loophole employed by some councils.

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