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0 votes

Are there any consequences for a PC who have not ratified draft meeting minutes?

Thank you

by (4.3k points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Like many breaches of the regulations, there are no formal penalties, in the conventional sense, but failure to ratify the draft minutes means that they remain as draft minutes and the council has no official record of its proceedings, so the decisions are open to challenge. The auditors are likely to take a dim view of this.
by (53.7k points)
Many thanks DtC for your advice.
As rightly pointed out by Dave there is no consequences as such. BUT the parish council is responsible for ensuring that their codes of conduct and standing orders and legal requirements are adhered to. The clerk should in such a situation ( being responsible for advising the council) should be informing of them of any failures. If they are not then the council must call the clerk to account as their employer and account for failure to meet the terms of their employment.
Unfortunately these sort of situations arise due to a complete failure of the council and clerk for whatever reason and the only redress is at the ballot box.
Regarding the minutes going unratified for protracted periods strikes at the basic requirement of the council and legal requirements of openness and transparency.
This sort of situation cries out for a PC professional body to oversee and enforce the professionalism that should be at the heart of a PC
Many thanks Mentorman. I agree that PCs should be overseen by a professional body that is independent. Pipe dream!
Only a pipe dream if the "someone else's job" attitude prevails. Nothing will get done if no one does anything and waits for others. I tis for PC's to form their own professional body and sign up and support it Who do you think formed the respected professional bodies for architects and surveyors, doctors  etc etc.?
+1 vote
Sometimes the minutes are not received in time for the councillors to read and digest before the next meeting.

Ask for them to be put on the next agenda for ratification
by (6.3k points)
Thanks for your advice CG.  However, it would appear that the approval of draft minutes relating to meetings over the past 18 months would be a tall order.
Maybe impossible but you could raise a motion to make it a formal item on the agenda going forward
Eighteen months? Did the auditor comment on this? If not, you need to find a new internal auditor.
Unfortunately, as a member of the public I am powerless to make any such requests to the PC.  Even if I raised these concerns with the PC, I believe they would be simply met with contempt.
I suggest that you write to each member of the council and to the clerk to remind them of Section 41 of the Local Government Act 1972, which states:

(1) Minutes of the proceedings of a meeting of a local authority shall, subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, be drawn up and entered in a book kept for that purpose and shall be signed at the same or next suitable meeting of the authority by the person presiding thereat, and any minute purporting to be so signed shall be received in evidence without further proof.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in any enactment or rule of law to the contrary, the minutes of the proceedings of meetings of a local authority may be recorded on loose leaves consecutively numbered, the minutes of the proceedings of any meeting being signed, and each leaf comprising those minutes being initialled, at the same or next suitable meeting of the authority, by the person presiding thereat, and any minute purporting to be so signed shall be received in evidence without further proof.

(3) Until the contrary is proved, a meeting of a local authority a minute of whose proceedings has been made and signed in accordance with this paragraph shall be deemed to have been duly convened and held, and all the members present at the meeting shall be deemed to have been duly qualified.

This requirement should be reflected in the standing orders. If your council is using the current model, it's paragraph 12(c).

If they decide to ignore this, you may wish to notify the internal auditor, either now or during the audit period from 1 April next year.
Many, many thanks again DtC for your professional advice.  I will compose a letter and include the information you have kindly supplied and send it to the PC.
0 votes
Question...  are you saying that the Chair is not signing the minutes of the previous meeting or that the minutes are not being considered at all?
by (24.5k points)

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