Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Town Council can't even follow its own rules!

The minutes of the meeting of the Town Council on 29th November 2010 have finally been published. The minute of the secret part of the meeting about Burial Plots is below:
The minute is not about burial plots per se. The minute is about the Closure of Eynesbury and Eaton Socon Cemeteries to new burials. So why wasn't this indicated on the Agenda? This is just pure misinformation by the Town Council. Realistically this should have read Formal Closure of Eynesbury and Eaton Socon Cemeteries.

What do the Town Council Standing Orders say on this secrecy? Well it differs from the exclusion text.
So the Town Council isn't using the text as set out in its own Standing Orders! Nor is it giving a reason, which the Standing Orders 57.2 says it should for the exclusion.

The Standing Orders set out the seven reasons why it can make this resolution. These are:
But none of these actually apply to the resolution to exclude the press and public. The nearest is 6 b. According to the minutes there was no order or direction under any enactment. If there was then that enactment should be quoted. It isn't!
So under the Town Councils own rules there has to be a public interest test. Something the Town Councillors ignored when making this resolution to exclude the press and public. 

This Town Council loves secrecy and doesn't follow its own rules when making these decisions. If the Town Council actually followed its own rules on the subject this item should not have excluded the press and public. The Town Clerk should know this. The Town Councillors who took this decision should also know this as they each have a copy of the Standing Orders. These rules were adopted at the meeting of 7th April 2010, so less than a year ago.

Isn't it time this secretive Town Council got its act together and was transparent about instead of just being secret! I feel it is and they should follow their own rules and not ignore them!
Just a little nitpick. These are minutes and therefore should be in the pasted tense. Minutes are a record of decisions taken and are therefore vital in showing the Council has taken a decision.
To resolve means the decision wasn't taken. Resolved that..... means the decision has been taken. With cut and paste this is an easy mistake to make.

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