Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

0 votes
My small Council met in February.
No minutes in draft have yet been made public. Is there a timescale?
I thought i'd read somewhere it was one month from the date of the meeting. I cant remember where i read it though!

Council are scheduled to meet again next month. Can anyone assist?
by (1.7k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

    Councils must publish the draft minutes from all formal meetings (i.e. full council, committee and sub-committee meetings) not later than one month after the meeting has taken place. Even if the minutes have not been finalised the draft minutes should be published.

    Councils must also publish meeting agendas, which are as full and informative as possible, and associated papers not later than three clear days before the meeting is taking place.

    Page 55

by (6.4k points)
selected by
Thanks for your reply and link :)
Is this in law, or just good practice? Our Parish council refuses to publish draft minutes. They meet monthly, but for example, the March meeting minutes will only be public, a few days before the May meeting. They are approved in the April meeting, and they seem to think they are only obliged to publish them just before the following meeting.
The link is to a good practice guidance document which is drawn from Local Government Act Part VA.

LGA states requirements of ‘principal authorities’ - are you seeking a ‘legal’ reference in order to try and persuade / cajole / convince entrenched parties to change / improve their output?

Simply pointing out ‘good practice’ guidance should be enough but we all know reality can be very different.
There are means of ‘forcing’ improvements but it’s a shame if it comes to that.
This is in law if your PC is a Smaller Authority (annual turnover below £25,000).
As enacted by the Smaller Authorities (Transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2015. This act makes the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities a legal requirement.
0 votes
There is, in my opinion, one huge problem in publishing draft (or even final) minutes 1 month late. Once a resolution is passed by the council, the clerk may act on that resolution immediately, so it could be a month before the parishioners find out what has been done on their behalf. In one case I know off, a contract was agreed to be signed for installing some equipment on an unused patch of land. A member of the public, who just happened to attend that evening, posted this on social media and all hell broke lose. The idea was quickly dropped.
by (5.3k points)

Minutes “should” be issued within a month - as the ‘right of arc’ maximum delay.
Good practice, good admin, good communication, good community engagement sets no MINIMUM time before issuing.
Next day is the gold standard and there is a sliding scale (downwards) for everyday after that.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

2,916 questions
5,660 answers
10,037 users
Google Analytics Alternative