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0 votes
My question is related to the public particpation. Last November i asked a question regaring the correspondence policy, as concerns were brought to my attention. Having looked at the minutes for the meeting, my question and one other person question was not recorded, there was only 3 questions during those 20 minutes, what is the rule regarding this, are they by law required to record questions? As i recall there was nothing untoward about the 2 questions that didn't get recorded in the minutes.
I had the same issue in February, when i tried to ask about street lights, whilst it is usually a county council issue, the street lights in question are looked after by the local prison because the area in question is an estate owned by the prison. My district councillor advised me to double check with the parish council to see whether they already knew about this issue and i was interrupted straight away, cutting my 3 minutes down. Other people seemed to be getting a full conversation, and again my question was not minuted.

There are other concerns like the fact these minutes on several occasions werent put up within one calendar month, for example the november one wasn't uploaded till January, the december one wasn't uploaded till Feb and feb and march minutes both in May, i read somewhere that the transparency code states it needs to be given no later than one calendar month.

Can someone please advise on this, many thanks
by (340 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
There is no obligation upon a PC to answer a public question (unless it is formatted as an FoI.)

But it is the mark of a poorly engaged PC that has a public session and then refuses to proactively engage with the feedback or questions they receive.
Not at all uncommon - they so often forget why they actually exist.
by (19.8k points)
Thank you for your answer, so just to clarify the parish council stated in their standing orders that people could speak during the 20 minutes slot for public participation, with each person entitled to 3 minutes(according to their standing orders) the trouble is that some individuals get interrupted and some get more than 3 minutes and have a full discussion, it has since came to light that the people who get the full discussion are personal friends of the chairperson, it is just a bit annoying cause in my view we are all there to represent our community to the best of our abilities, we have no council surgery now so the 3 minutes (if i even get that) is all i have to address any issues, i do however get better responses from county and district council which is a relief.
FOI is good in the sense it is public but you have to be careful when wording it as it is easy to be misunderstood on the internet, and whilst it states they should respond promptly, they can however decide not to answer it. This is why i prefer to talk in person cause what i say in person might not come across the same way online.
0 votes
Yes, under the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities, they must publish a draft version of the minutes within one month. Only applies to smaller authorities (turnover under £25,000).

However no real avenue to go down to seek redress if they don't bother to do this.
by (4.1k points)
Thank you for your answer, yes i did think that was the case. It makes it difficult to say whether it was a true reflection of the meeting if we don't see..we could bring it up if we have concerns but by the time the public would have seen the minutes it would have already been approved by the council, it's very different to how i did things on a charity committee i was on. I suppose they don't read out the minutes to save time
There are no repercussions whatsoever for a PC that fails to publish information under the Transparency Code.
0 votes
Items not on an agenda cannot be discussed, they can only be noted and, if appropriate, referred to a subsequent meeting.  I would have expected a brief note of the question raised but once minutes have been accepted at the next meeting, they cannot be changed other than a subsequent meeting can note that further comments were raised.  Perhaps the way forward is to ask councillors why they didn't raise the point of your missing question.
by (18.5k points)
I had raised 2 seperate questions with them, according to their standing orders each person can have 3 minutes within the public participation 20 minutes slot. The second time i raised the question i was interrupted part way through my question just to remind me of the 3 minute rule despite the fact the rules were read at the start of the meeting. The trouble is because we don't see the minutes on time we don't know either way whether it has even been recorded, we used to have a councillor who would always double check to make sure it was being recorded but he was asked to step down.

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