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In camera within an agenda

0 votes
I as a new clerk have to include an “in camera” session in to our agenda for the next meeting. I understand that this can session can appear anywhere in the agenda, is that correct and lawful?

Also can anyone tel me how it can lawfully appear as written on the agenda, can it simply appear as

“In camera” session
by (120 points)
reshown by

2 Answers

+2 votes
To hold part of a meeting in private, there should be an agenda item to resolve to exclude the public for specified agenda items. A reason should be given, in general terms. Some possible reasons are to deal with employment matters, to discuss a legal dispute or because the matter cannot be discussed without breaching an obligation of confidentiality.

From a practical point of view, the agenda item to exclude the public usually immediately precedes the relevant items. If it is passed, members of the public can then be asked to leave. It is also practical to make the private matters the last agenda items so that the public don't have to wait around to attend later items.

Excluding the public should be avoided unless it is really necessary.
by (31.5k points)
0 votes
Our Clerk always puts a statement next to the confidential item along the lines that 'Public & Press may be excluded under the Public Bodies (admission to meetings) Act 1960 s1.'

As counterpoint makes clear its important that a resolution is carried to clear the room. Until that is done the public could ignore the request to leave. (In practise we just tell them to leave and they do!). Always done at the end of the meeting too.

I presume you have a copy of Arnold-Baker by Paul Clayden - a most useful book for anyone interested in councils.
by (5.1k points)
edited by
There are only 4 reasons to exclude the Public ! Got to be very careful.Agreed latest edition of Arnold Baker is good - also Local Council explained.
Please elaborate on what the four reasons are for the benefit of a new clerk.  I'm sure others would benefit too.
I think this should cover it:
The public and press are entitled to attend any meeting of the council or any committee (Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960) unless excluded by formal resolution in relation to any matter of business (Local Government Act 1972 S.100 A (4)). However, the Council has a right to exclude the public for the whole or part of a meeting on the grounds that publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest, either because of the confidential nature of the business or for some other stated reason for example for business, legal, disciplinary or staff related reasons.

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