URPC conduct a PRIVATE meeting – 25th Feb 2017

On Saturday afternoon, the 25th February 2017, four of the five councillors from Upper Rissington Parish Council met in the Village Hall for what appeared to be a Formal Meeting, without the Parish Clerk (photo proof available of the meeting). Papers were strewed over tables in what was clearly not an informal chat (noticed when visiting Linden homes East Wing sales office). 🙂

I cannot find an Agenda of any kind for this meeting, or a notice inviting the public and/or press. I will certainly ask for the minutes from the Chairman. 🙂 From my understanding, said councillors may have been unlawful in their conduct by holding this meeting (see below).

My guess is that someone within the council is manipulating councillors, of how the precept should be set. The reasoning for my assumption is that this illegally held meeting is only two days before the Extraordinary Meeting on Monday to set the precept. If this assumption is wrong please reply below.

This is an extract from the CPALC org website regarding INFORMAL meetings.

By definition there is no such thing as councillors have not been legally summoned to the meeting.
There is no business to be transacted  – no agenda or minutes.
These should be avoided at all costs as residents may well believe that decisions are being made behind closed doors to spend taxpayers money.
Such actions can only bring the council into disrepute.

This is an extract from the 2016 Good Councillors Guide. See page 31.

Meetings

Council meetings and committee meetings are formal events, not social occasions. They have a clear purpose – to make decisions – and are not just talking shops. Furthermore, they are public events; the meetings must be advertised and the press and public have a right to observe, record and report on how the council operates. 

Clearly, the four councillors present were figuring an orchestrated lecture to the public regarding the setting of the precept (a meeting before a meeting).

This is another extract from the NALC  – Local Councils Explained

Key Points – Page 132
Most meetings are open to the public unless there is a particular reason for excluding them (clearly in this case – but again without Agenda for the public to see).
Introduction – Page 133
Important decisions about local council business are made at the meetings. Meetings are subject to numerous statutory requirements as to how they are convened and how they are conducted. Most of the statutory requirements (excluding those that relate to the conduct and interests of councillors) are in Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings). Act 1960, the Local Government Act 1972 and the Localism Act 2011.
Statutory Requirements – Page 133 – 135
I will not replicate them – but needless to say the meeting held today does not comply.

Finally, I still find it shocking that on the 363rd day of 365 they are sitting the precept on Monday. 

One comment

  • I don’t like what I am reading here regarding informal meetings:
    By definition there is no such thing as councillors have not been legally summoned to the meeting.
    There is no business to be transacted – no agenda or minutes.
    These should be avoided at all costs as residents may well believe that decisions are being made behind closed doors to spend taxpayers money.
    Such actions can only bring the council into disrepute.

What do you think? Please reply!