Access to Information Policy

In line with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Minster-on-Sea Parish Council has a duty to adopt and maintain a model publication scheme. This policy commits the parish council to producing and publishing its methods for publishing its information so that it can be easily identified and accessed by the public.

ACCESS TO MEETINGS:

  • The public and press are entitled to attend any meeting of the council or any committee (Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960) unless excluded by formal resolution in relation to any matter of business (Local Government Act 1972 S.100 A (4)). However, the Council has a right to exclude the public for the whole or part of a meeting on the grounds that publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest, either because of the confidential nature of the business or for some other stated reason for example for business, legal, disciplinary or staff related reasons.
  • Notice of all meetings and agenda for meetings will be displayed on the Parish Council Office’s Notice Board at least three clear days before the meeting.  Agendas for meetings are also available by telephoning (01795) 873831 or by e-mailing minstercouncilservices@hotmail.co.uk.
  • The public may put questions and/or make comments to meetings of the parish council in accordance with Standing Orders as follows; —-

2.  DISORDERLY CONDUCT AT MEETINGS:  

(a) No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly. If this standing order is ignored, the chairman of the meeting shall request such person(s) to moderate or improve their conduct.

(b) If person(s) disregard the request of the chairman of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct, any councillor or the chairman of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or be excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.

(c) If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) is ignored, the chairman of the meeting may take further reasonable steps to restore order or to progress the meeting. This may include temporarily suspending or closing the meeting.

MEETINGS GENERALLY:

3 (d). The public shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council and its committees and sub-committees, to include representations and questions to the Parish Council, all at the discretion of the Chairman. The Council may however, temporarily exclude the public by means of the following resolution:

Under Section 100 A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public are excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 6 of Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Act.

 Information relating to any individual

Information which reveals that the authority proposes: –

  • To give under any enactment a notice under by virtue which requirements are imposed on a person; or
  • To make an order or direction under any enactment

(Notes: The special reasons should be stated. If a person’s advice or assistance is needed they may be invited (by name) to remain after the exclusion resolution is passed.)

3(l) Subject to standing order 3(m), a person who attends a meeting is permitted to report on the meeting whilst the meeting is open to the public. To “report” means to film, photograph, make an audio recording of meeting proceedings, use any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear the meeting as it takes place or later or to report or to provide oral or written commentary about the meeting so that the report or commentary is available as the meeting takes place or later to persons not present. Persons attending this meeting who wish to report on the procedures of the meeting are requested to avoid filming, recording or otherwise reporting about children and vulnerable adults without the consent of the relevant responsible adult.

3 (m) A person present at a meeting may not provide an oral report or oral commentary about a meeting as it takes place without permission.

3 (n) The press shall be provided with reasonable facilities for the taking of their report of all or part of a meeting at which they are entitled to be present.

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS:

  • A reasonable number of copies of agendas shall be available from the Clerk for the public attending meetings.
  • Agreed minutes of council meetings shall be available for free inspection by local government electors as must those of committee meetings which require approval by the council (section 228, Local Government Act 1972) at the Parish Council Office which is located at Love Lane, Minster-on-Sea ME12 2LP or via e-mail from minstercouncilservices@hotmail.co.uk A (published) charge may be made for these copies as opposed to the Council’s own wish to publicise its actions by advertising or the publication of a newsletter or website.
  • The rights of inspection of local government electors extend to the inspection of orders for payment of money. At the time of audit, any interested person may inspect the accounts and related financial records. There are restrictions on the inspection of records relating to employees.
  • A reasonable number of open reports submitted to meetings of the council and committees shall be available from the Clerk for the public attending meetings.
  • Open reports may subsequently be obtained by the public on application to the Clerk (a copying charge may be applied).
  • Applications under the Freedom of Information Act should be addressed to the Clerk.
  • Applications for personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998 should be addressed to the Data Protection Officer.

Minster-on-Sea Parish Council is committed to this policy. It expects its members and employees to share this commitment and to work together to achieve it.

To contact Minster-on-Sea Parish Council please address your enquiry to Mrs. Trish Codrington, Parish Clerk, Minster-on-Sea Parish Council Love Lane, Minster-on-Sea, Sheerness, Kent ME12 2LP You can also telephone the Council Office on (01795) 873831 from Monday to Friday (10 am – 12.30 pm ) or e-mail minstercouncilservices@hotmail.co.uk

 

Policy revised 29 May 2018