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0 votes
There is some dispute over the details in a set of minutes as to what occurred in a hybrid meeting. The meetings are recorded for the convenience of the clerk to do the minutes but not put in the public domain. Can the Community Councillors insist on seeing the recording in order to verify the minutes.  The clerk is refusing access.
by (120 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Depends on your definition of a "hybrid meeting"
by (26.4k points)
0 votes
I am assuming you are referring to meetings held in Wales as these permit hybrid meeting (where councillors and the public can attend remotely).  I am not based in Wales so unfamiliar with the wording of the legislation but if the council has resolved that a recording is taken for the purpose of aiding the minutes, then I would expect (a) that the record is retained until the minutes are agreed and (b) that therefore the record should be available to be reviewed up until the minutes are agreed.  Once the minutes are agreed then the recording should or probably is no longer retained as Minutes are regarded in law as being a true record of what happened at the meeting.
However, perhaps it is more pertinent to ask what is the dispute?   Is it a question over whether a resolution was actually made or is it that there is a disagreement about the nature of the drafting of the minutes?  Minutes are not and nor should be a verbatim record of proceedings and in my clerking days I was always told they should be a record of decisions with just enough additional text to give context to the decision.  Some councillors do seem to think that their long statements should be recorded verbatim and this is where disputes on "accuracy" sometimes occur.
by (18.4k points)
+1 vote
If the meeting was open to public and the recording still exists then there should be no reason why the recording would not be released in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Did you ask the clerk in person for the recording or did you ask her in writing (such as an email). If you asked in writing then you have probably already submitted a valid FOI request even if you did not mention it was a FOI request. Remind the clerk of this. Clerks have personally received criminal records in the past for not releasing recordings of meetings when requested.

At the very least the clerk needs to issue a formal response where they set out which exemption they are relying upon for withholding the information.
by (4.0k points)
Do you have a reference for the criminal proceedings AR - that would be really useful!

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