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3 Clear Days requirement

+1 vote
It was been mentioned at a recent Councillors networking meet that when making financial decisions, any related paperwork needs to be served with 3 clear days notice. Our Council thinks not, and papers are given out at the meeting. I must admit this does make for a lot of shuffling of papers and budget setting a lengthy process so most just nod things through to get home. There has been costly errors on reflection.

Can agenda items/resolutions be put on hold, if the information provided has not been in time to make an informed decision.
asked by (550 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
A very good question, and one where it is difficult to give a cut and dried answer. Certainly it is clear from statute and case law that the agenda must provide sufficient information for councillors to know what matters are to be decided at a meeting. Inadequate information would make decisions invalid and open to challenge. There is also a strong tendency in case law and advice towards a requirement for supporting documents to be available to both councillors and public. In the current climate, I would argue that the only sound way to proceed is for all agenda items to be specific, and for all but strictly confidential supporting papers to be made available in good time, along with the agenda, to both councillors and public.

If the agenda does not give sufficient advance information, then certainly councillors would be entitled to object on the grounds that decisions made would be invalid, and thus the matter cannot be decided at that time.
answered by (27.4k points)
I agree.  Finding specific legislation on this is difficult, but there is a paragraph in the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities which I interpret as a specific requirement in this regard (although others may not!)  It states:-
"30. Smaller authorities should also publish meeting agendas, which are as full and informative as possible, and associated meeting papers not later than three clear days before the meeting to which they relate is taking place."

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