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+1 vote
by (130 points)

1 Answer

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There probably isn't any legislation to guide this question, but members of the public do have the right to inspect minutes, and a web site can be regarded as a modern extension of this right.  It therefore seems reasonable that, if a council wants its website to be of real service, the minutes should be available promptly.

My view would be that draft minutes should also have been posted on the web site, labelled as such.  When approved, any changes should be made and the minutes no longer shown as draft.  Minutes are best drawn up immediately after a meeting, with circulation to council members so that corrections of obvious errors being made as quickly as possible.  Approval at the next meeting should in most cases be a formality.

Part of the reason for making draft minutes public is that typically actions will be taken on the decisions of a meeting well before the minutes are formally approved.  For example, if the clerk is authorised to go ahead with a purchase, this is likely to be put into practice soon after the meeting.  The public therefore has a legitimate interest in draft minutes.  In any event, so far as I can see, the public has the right to inspect minutes whether approved or not.
by (32.5k points)

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