At recent meeting a councillor was asked to stop recording the meeting when a confidential item was about to be discussed. The public had been asked to leave. (The clerk also had a recorder on and was not asked to turn it off ). The Cllr refused to turn off the recorder, saying he wished to record the meeting, as usual, in order to check the draft minutes produced by the clerk, as there were often discrepancies, (which there are). After asking three times, The Chair closed the meeting, and the item was not discussed.
The topic was to resolve a contract dispute, and it materialised a few days later that the contractor was offered a pay off. He had been threatening legal action, so there was some urgency to make a decision. Obviously this was what should have been under discussion, and given how important the decision was to make before the summer recess, should it have been discussed regardless of whether the discussion was being recorded or not?
Q1 Were there grounds to ask the Cllr to stop recording the meeting?
Q2 Is it legal to make a financial decision outside council meetings?