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0 votes
by (190 points)

2 Answers

–1 vote
Yes they are entitled to be present unless the financial matters concern staff wages.
by (24.6k points)
What is this determination to ‘hide’ staff wages?

It’s shabby and somewhat irrelevant since they can generally be ‘reverse engineered’ from pay tables and AGAR.
Get over yourselves and get it published.
Staff have the right under Data Protection for their wages to be discussed in private session, as would any employment matter.
Emphatically incorrect but not surprising to see it repeated.
It’s not “any” employment matter that should be confidential (closed session for example.). But rather only those of a personal nature.
Example - a work schedule is not confidential whereas an individual’s performance of the duties on the schedule ‘might’ be.
It is this dogged intransigence and inability to properly interpret and apply legislation which perpetuates incorrect exclusion of press / public by incompetent or poorly performing PCs.
Those that state high level legislation as a ‘reason’ why something shouldn’t happen often lack the knowledge and experience to have properly read, understood and implement appropriate compliance. “Elf and safety”

Information which is already (or required by legislation) to be in the public domain, cannot later be restricted or redacted from public access.
So you see (I presume) where such I’ll informed intransigence falls over?

A small PC, only 1 employee, states staff salaries in end of year statement. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to divide by 12 to give a monthly salary.
Tell me again why staff salary should NOT be public access.
You seem to be a very angry person with a lot of concerns about your parish council.  Thankfully tou are standing for election and therefore will be able to make the changes you require.

My answer specifically referred to staff wages and they should be discussed in closed session.  Even if you have one employee, the amount detailed on the AGAR will include all staff costs including Pension NI and PAYE so you would not be able to work out the monthly salary.
You interpret it as ‘anger’, I think of it as challenging that which is empirically incorrect.
If a statement is made by person A and challenged by person B, how does that make person B angry? Other than as the start of person A’s attempt to discredit, avoid or divert attention from the actual point of the discussion?

I thank you for the point you make above which actually illustrates rather well why there would be absolutely no reason why aggregated staff costs should not be shown as a monthly entry of PC expenditure in meeting minutes.
What I would acknowledge that you may have interpreted, is FRUSTRATION not anger at the perpetuation of (what is interpreted as) poor practice and incorrect quoting of legislation where it is patently neither understood nor appropriate.
If I told you it was Tuesday and you showed be a calendar demonstrating that it was actually Monday, I wouldn’t think you were ‘angry’ for highlighting my confusion, I’d THANK you....,
My comment referred to the discussion relating to staff wages, not the payment - setting the rate, increases, changes to contract etc.  All councils should be listing payments over £100 on their minutes which would include wages. In my original answer to the post I specifically stated that all financial matters are discussed in public and not in closed session except for the discussion relating to wages as I have just explained.
OK, maybe it’s a disadvantage of 2 dimensional ‘forum format’ that you interpreted ‘anger’ whereas laying in bed with a cup of tea on a bank holiday Monday, nothing could actually be further from the reality.
If we are agreeing that aggregated staff costs should be listed on monthly meeting minutes then we are in complete agreement!
+1 vote
Mrs Abster is quite right that most financial matters must be discussed in public. Although the question is perhaps a bit vague.

It is, for example, acceptable to exclude the public from a discussion where commercial confidentiality is required or where the council's negotiating position would be compromised.

My golden rule is that the public should be excluded as rarely as possible, and for as few items as possible. But where confidentiality is essential, then exclusion has to be voted for and applied. This should be done even if no members of the public are present, since otherwise someone arriving at the meeting during the item could not be excluded.
by (33.5k points)
thank you Counterpoint, totally agree.

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