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Accuracy of minutes

 
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tannatt
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:42 am    Post subject: Accuracy of minutes Reply with quote

I am concerned about the accuracy of minutes of the parish council on which I am a councillor. Can anyone please tell me where I can find the regulations relating to local authority minute taking?
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Chris
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Our councils minutes are woefully innacurate and sometimes have little bearing on the meeting that's taken place at all. The clerk is led by the chairman and appears only to put in what he says should be included leaving out lots of relevant information and certainly information that brings the workings of the council sometimes into disrepute. This can take the form of Cllrs not declaring personal and predudicial interests when knowingly they should.

Chris
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tannatt
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris,
I am amazed that only two of us appear to have experienced this problem or are all other councillors on this forum bound by an oath of secrecy? Or perhaps this is the wrong forum? Sad
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Chris
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

There doesn't appear to be much activity on this site at all, I have tried to look for other similar sites for guidance etc but alas to no avail as yet.

Chris
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Gavin
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Joined: 02 Dec 2009
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Location: Wiltshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys

Yes, it's quiet here at the mo, but that's life in the PC after all, it seems! I wish there was a magic bomb that would wake everyone up!

Ok, down to business. I've gotten a lot more involved with our PC lately, and I made a superb purchase of the absolute latest version of 'Local Government Administration' 8th Edition, printed mid 2009, so it's bang-up to date. It costs around £60-£65 and is available from Amazon or most good bookstores. However, even referring back to the 2nd Edition, there's fairly clear guidelines about the minutes.

Itís worth heading down to your library and seeing if they have a copy available.
ISBN 978 1 4057 3688 6

One word of caution first: If you're going to a PC meeting, DO NOT covertly record the meeting! Write your own notes and if you're a councillor, challenge the inaccuracies and omissions at the following meeting when the Minutes are due to be approved. It helps if you submit your suggestions in writing beforehand, so these can be circulated with the agenda and it will give people time to consider your comments prior to the meeting, thus reducing the length of debate, which should ideally be no more than 20 minutes per overall topic, but depends on Standing Orders. Keep doing this until they get the message Ė but be pleasant about it, not controversial. If youíre not a councillor, make sure you get a copy of the Minutes well before the next meeting, and write to the PC Clerk with your comments regarding inaccuracies and omissions, as early as possible and ask for this to be included in the agenda.

Be aware of the following facts:

Minutes purporting to be properly signed may be received in evidence without further proof.
Minutes of the council meetings must be kept, hardcopy, available for inspection.
Minutes are records of topic and decision, not the debate, unless elements of the debate are needed for clarity. Therefore Minutes should be short and concise.

The SLCC is a good place to seek advice. Browse this when you get a moment:
http://www.slcc.co.uk/UserFiles/File/Training/Thegoodcouncillorsguide.pdf

Also the NALC website, a useful document (among others) is the Governance Toolkit. You can download it here:
http://www.nalc.gov.uk/Publications/Booklets_and_Resources.aspx

Recommendation: Bookmark both sites' Home page

Regards

Gavin
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dave2951
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our Council minutes are only circulated on the night. Within 2 minutes the Chairman is signing them as being a true record. No doubt he and the Clerk discuss them prior to the meeting.
Wink
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Crewcut
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave2951
You dont say if you are a councillor or resident of the Parish, if you are a resident then that is in order for you to only receive a copy of the draft minutes at the meeting. If however you are a councillor then it is totally illegal, if you are a councillor you should receive a calling notice, agenda, copy of previous minutes (to be approved and signed off at the coming meeting) and copies of any paperwork relevant to items on the agenda, if this is not done then the meeting becomes Ultra Vires (beyond the scope or in excess of legal power or authority) as they are not in a postion to discuss the item with all relevent knowledge.
This make the whole meeting illegal and any decisions/resolutions made also illegal, our Parish Council won a court case on this point in 2008.
If you require further confirmation I suggest you ring your Borough Council and ask to speak to the Monitoring Officer for your Parish Council (may only be one that covers all PC's in the Borough) he/she should be able to confirm this post.
Crewcut
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dave2951
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply I am a Resident. I am yet to see one Councillor pass any comment when it is asked for approval of the minutes and cetainly I see copies handed out at the start of the meeting to the Council. Perhaps the Clerk expects them all to forget to bring their originals. Wink
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Chris
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our PC's minutes bear little resemblance to the meetings that I have attended. It is only recently since it was pointed out to them that they have to pass a resolution to exclude the press and members of the public when they wish to discuss private and confidential matters. Rolling Eyes

Nothing is ever commented on about the previous meetings minutes either.
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lesley219
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just come across this forum and it is like manna from heaven. I thought we were the only ones who had this problem. I'm a councillor and am now starting to question the minutes. In fact my partner, who is not a councillor but comes out of interest says that he also does not recognise the minutes from the meeting he sat in on.

However my problem is this. Inaccurate minutes have been put up on our website, which the whole council know are not right. But they will not take them down and replace them with the corrected (and rewritten) ones because they were signed at the last meeting as a true record. I voted against them and would not agree to them being signed.

How do we stand legally then with inaccurate minutes being displayed, and can I get them taken off the web.

Most of the councillors chat to each other like it's an old boys club and leave me out of it because I will not tug my forelock at them!

Help, ideas, anything welcome.
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Chris
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lesley,

I know what you mean like an "old boys club", I have only been a Cllr for a short while and feel that everything bought to the table is already a done deal.

Our minutes are not getting any better either.

If you want to PM me anytime to discuss further please do.

Chris
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dave2951
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do what we did having found the same problems a number of us stood for election and we won. Now we hope to stear them into the 21st century. Very Happy
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