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Should the public have to contact the clerk to be able to attend a zoom meeting

0 votes
Hi All, our parish council have decided to now hold council meetings on zoom, we have had are 3 days notice of time day etc of the first meeting,  the clerk has also advertised this meeting on the parish council notice board, (but nowhere else as they don’t want to many public at attend) so the public have been notified, on this public notice the clerk has stated if a member of the public wishes to take part (or I guess view the zoom meeting) they must contact the clerk to get the meeting id / login code etc, is this the correct procedure? I feel that the clerk is screening who can take part / view this public meeting, as it’s a public parish council meeting surely all information ie login codes, meeting id etc should be on all meeting notifications so if a member of the public wishes to attend / view they can without asking? after all said and done aren’t all council’s suppose to be / have totally transparency?
asked by (300 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
The invitation to join the meeting should be published on the agenda along with the id.  The rules about all council meetings being open to the public remain even if the meeting is held on zoom or other video applications.
answered by (770 points)
0 votes
That is what we have been advised to do by our CALC.
answered by (11.5k points)
Mrs Abster by no means lowly part time clerks but basis of an efficient council who I have said for many years have been had on the cheap. Since the PC's have moved into the realm of carrying out their duties under near county council bureaucratic requirements the renumeration of the extra burden placed on clerks has fallen well behind their status. Driven, in my opinion, and aided and abetted by local NALC offices who "advise". What is conveniently forgotten that they also "advise" that it is for councils to decide what they do. Apparently this somehow doesn't stretch to paying the clerks over the suggested pay scale. I say pay your clerk what they are worth to the council not get them on the cheap by clowning on their dedication!
Umm, wages interesting subject, our clerk has no form of cilca training what so ever, she has refused to go on any training courses apart form one, which was “the roll or the clerk“ done by Nalc, yet she demands £14 an hour, which she then puts up each year then says that’s the going rate??? she does 15 hours a week, I don’t know anyone that’s on that high hourly rate in a full time job with full training!!!!!
Don't forget that the PC employ the Clerk not the other way around. Mutual agreement is the basis for a good efficient working agreement. Neither employer nor employee should engage in intimidation of the other.
You might look at what other councils do on pay. There is an interesting document here which gives a clue...
https://pencombegrouppc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2017.10-Salary-Review.pdf
Often seem to find inconsistencies in terms of local association advise.  With suitable controls in place (including but not limited to a waiting room) no reason why the meeting codes should fixed to the Agenda.  Ask yourself in ordinary times would you put "Email me and ill send you the address of where we are physically meeting but do so a day before.. Or else ill not bother replying"
0 votes

Is this not a sensible precaution to avoid 'zoom bombing' of the meeting? 

In addition, I assume Parish Councils still have to keep a record of those attending? At our recent PC meeting, some-one joined as "My iPad" and refused to put their camera on, giving them a level of anonymity not available in a traditional public meeting.

answered by (910 points)
The public are under no obligation whatsoever to identify themselves whilst observing what is a public meeting.  I always remember the first meeting i attended back then as a member of the public "WHO ARE YOU... WHAT DO YOU WANT... WHERE DO YOU LIVE... ".. Councils then wonder why so few observe.  Officers should simply note the number of members of the public as part of the minutes.
Very interesting, our parish council requires parishioners to sign an attendance book.

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