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Community communication and notifications

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What is the criteria for public notifications of a parish council agenda and minutes. We have notice boards where agendas are posted and obviously the agenda and minutes are also online but members of the public are complaining this is not enough and accusing the council of not being transparent.
asked by (270 points)
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4 Answers

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Legal requirement is via notice boards and recommended ( and most practical) is via web site. It would be interesting to find out exactly what members of the public WOULD be enough? Perhaps a notice delivered by hand to each household?

answered by (7.9k points)
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We were thinking maybe they want a town cryer?
"you can please some of the people all of time and  please all of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time"
0 votes
What’s legally required is just the barest minimum
I personally think the chance to be part of an email group that gets each agenda and supporting documents would be a good idea

One of our former Chairman said that he couldn’t understand why I kept pushing for more transparency until he left and tried to work out what the PC were upto via the website
answered by (3.7k points)
I agree, Jules, it's a good idea to send information via email, for those who want it.

However, not everyone has access to technology, so noticeboards are useful for those people who can't check websites or receive emails.
The only problem with sending by email is that you have to handle and protect the database and also get permission from those wanting it for the PC to set up. and maintain. More red tape
Why spend time E mailing?  If people can receive E mail it's difficult to believe they can't also look at a website where each agenda and supporting documents could be viewed or downloaded.
Depends on the website ( let’s face it most are not user friendly ) and the size of the Parish Council

With a very small centrally based Parish a couple of notice boards are fine but a many now have large estates who’s inhabitants rarely visit the village centre

I know a large PC where in June the first news item on the website was warning people not to walk off and leave their car engines running in the cold

My suggestion that we publish / circulate a monthly digest went down badly
I have a parish magazine that sends a reporter to our meetings to write a plain English version of our discussions. Works quite well. At the other extreme, last year I had five notice boards strewn across a large parish, giving me a 26 mile excursion each time.
0 votes

If the legal requirement was to publish minutes on the parish council notice board, it would have to be the size of a bus - 

  1. Full council - 3 pages
  2. Planning - 3 pages x twice a month
  3. 2 other committees - 2 pages each
  4. Annual return notices..
  5. councillor contact details
  6. and the list goes on and on!
answered by (13.6k points)
0 votes
The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 states

8.—(1) The written record, together with any background papers, must as soon as reasonably practicable after the record is made, be made available for inspection by members of the public—

(a) at all reasonable hours, at the offices of the relevant local government body;
(b) on the website of the relevant local government body, if it has one; and,
(c) by such other means that the relevant local government body considers appropriate.

So are the members of the public actually complaining because you are not providing the agenda papers as well as the agenda itself?
answered by (20.8k points)
Out of 12 meetings in 2020, our PC provided agenda papers for 2 of them!

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