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When a Council or Committee resorts to exclusion of the public and the press, to go into confidential session, should the exclusion apply to councillors who hold a position on the staff of a local community publication (not a free community newsletter delivered to every household but a magazine that sells for a cover price and paid subscriptions) which regularly contains coverage and commentary on council meetings and activities? If yes, does it apply even where councillors don’t formally have an editorial/writing function on the publication but are named on the published masthead among various role-holders?
by (640 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
When councils go into confidential session, councillors are bound by the code of conduct not to divulge any information from that session. It's a fundamental part of the role of a councillor to keep secrets secret. They have been elected or appointed to fulfil that role and all members of the council are treated equally, regardless of any other roles they perform.
by (52.8k points)
0 votes
No, the exclusion is of press and public not of Cllrs.

They are bound not to divulge that which is conducted in closed session - so long as that which is conducted in closed session is appropriately required to be, and qualifies, as being withheld from the press and public.
If there is business conducted in closed session which should not be, then the situation flips and any member NOT disclosing that which is not properly qualified as confidential are breaching the CoC for improperly preventing someone access to that which they are entitled to access.

Moral of the story - use the privilege of exclusion wisely and carefully.
by (18.2k points)
0 votes
A Councillor cannot be excluded from any Council meeting. The only exception being if a Councillor engages in disruptive behaviour.

Allow a rule such as you describe and Councillors would be excluding each other left right and centre at the drop of a hat !
by (590 points)
A councillor cannot be excluded even if they engage in disruptive behaviour. The chair must adjourn the meeting as a last resort if a troublesome member persists.
If a person disregards the request of the chairman of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct any Cllr or the chairman of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or be excluded from the meeting
They can indeed, but there is no means to enforce it. The police can be asked to assist with the removal of a member of the public who misbehaves. That cannot be done for a councillor because a councillor has an absolute right to attend a council meeting. And attempts at physical removal are strongly discouraged and could well rebound. Hence the only practical enforcement in the extreme case is adjournment.

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