I agree. Once the recording is made, it becomes part of the official record. There is no legal requirement to retain the recording, so once it has served its purpose (i.e. enabled the Clerk to draft the minutes), it can be destroyed. However, the council should have an agreed policy for this and documentary evidence of the destruction is required. A casual as-and-when approach is unwise. From the ICO website:-
- If information is destroyed before a request is received, a public authority can say it does not hold it but should explain why the information was destroyed and advise the applicant of any other available information.
- A public authority should have disposal schedules for records in order to identify and describe those that can be routinely destroyed.
- If information is held when a request under FOIA is received, a public authority may lawfully be able to say that it does not hold it if it would normally be destroyed before the deadline for responding. However, the authority should, if possible, and as a matter of good practice, suspend any planned destruction and consider the request as usual.
- Destroying requested information outside of a public authority’s normal policies is unlawful and may be a criminal offence if done to prevent disclosure.
- As a matter of good practice, a public authority should keep all requested information for at least six months to allow for appeals to the Information Commissioner.