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Recently a councillor posted a comment on a media page disclosing a vote that happened in close session.

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Recently a councillor posted a comment on facebook disclosing a vote that was done in closed session. I asked the question to our clerk and I was informed the councillor did nothing wrong after checking with LALC.
asked by (290 points)

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Disclosing genuinely confidential information could be considered a breach of the code of conduct if, given all of the circumstances, the monitoring officer was minded to find it a breach.  For example:

conducted themselves in a manner which is contrary to the Councils duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct


bringing their office or council into disrepute

Assuming there were no other forms of disclosure which might fall foul of the Data Protection Act or others it's unlikely to even amount to a finding of a breach.

Was the matter genuinely and wholly qualifying for discussion AND vote in a closed session?  Might it have been that elements of the discussion may have justified the exclusion of the press & public but that the vote did not?

Funny old thing...

I had a complaint registered against me for disclosing a so-called "confidential" matter which was discussed in closed session.

Simple fact was, the failure of the PC to conduct timely and adequate legionella testing was considered (by the PC) to be confidential so as to avoid their embarrassment and ineptitude.  I took the view that it was rather more important that the football teams using the uncertified cold water systems were properly aware of potential risks being imposed upon them without their knowledge.

I say again, was it maybe the discussion that may have contained elements of confidentiality?  How can the process of holding the vote be confidential? 

answered by (3.9k points)
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There seems to be confusion in some quarters between the words “ secret “ and “confidential “ my understanding is that minutes and therefore voting should automatically be made  public subsequently unless there are GDPR issues which I interpret as relating to individuals
In my experience the use of closed sessions to operate cover ups is quite common
Quite right! Totally agree!!

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