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Your rights

1. Executive Arrangements

These rights will apply to all meetings of the Council, Scrutiny, Standards and regulatory committees and public meetings of the executive.

2. Rights to attend meetings

Members of the public may attend all meetings subject only to specific exceptions. These are attached as appendix A.

3. Notices of Meeting

The Council will give at least 5 clear days notice of any meeting by posting details of the meeting at all Council Offices.

4. Access to agenda and reports before the meeting

The Council will make copies of the agenda and reports open to the public available for inspection at Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria and on the Council's web site at least 5 clear days before the meeting. If an item has been added to the agenda later, the revised agenda (where reports are prepared after the summons has been sent out, the designated officer shall make each such report available to the public as soon as the report is completed and sent to Councillors) will be open to inspection for the time the item was added to the agenda.

5. Supply of Copies

The Council will supply copies of:

(a) Any agenda and reports which are open to public inspection;
(b) Any further statements or particulars necessary to indicate the nature of the item's in the agenda; and

To any person on payment of a charge for postage and any other costs.

6. Access to minutes etc after the meeting

The Council will make available copies of the following for six years after a meeting:

(a) Records of the decisions taken, together with reasons, for all meetings of the executive, excluding an part of the minutes of proceedings when the meeting was not open to the public or which disclose exempt or confidential information.
(b) A summary of any proceedings not open to the public where the minutes open to inspection would not provide a reasonably fair and coherent record;
(c) The agenda for the meeting; and
(d) Reports relating to items when the meeting was open to the public

7. Background Papers

The Borough Solicitor will set out in every report a list of those documents (called background papers) relating to the subject matter of the report which in his opinion:

(a) Disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based; and
(b) Which have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report.

But does not have to include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information.

The Council will make available for public inspection for four years after the date of the meeting one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers.

8. Summary of Public Rights

A written summary of the public's rights to attend meetings and inspect and copy documents will be kept at Allerdale House, Workington and will be made available to the public on the Council's web site.

9. Procedure before taking key decisions

This procedure is outlined in the Constitution.

10. Content of the forward Plan

Details of the content of the forward Plan is outlined in the Constitution.

11. General Exception

If a matter which is likely to be a key decision has not been included in the forward plan, then subject to rule 12 (special urgency), the decision may still be taken if:

(a) the decision must be taken by such a date that it is impracticable to defer the decision until it has been included in the next forward plan and until the start of the first month to which the next forward plan relates;
(b) the Borough Solicitor has informed the chair of Scrutiny, or if there if no such person, each member of that committee in writing, by notice, of the matter to which the decision is to be made;
(c) the Borough Solicitor has made copies of that notice available to the public at the offices of the Council; and
(d) At least 5 clear days have elapsed since the proper officer complied with (a) & (b).

Where such a decision is taken collectively, it must be taken in public.

12. Special Urgency

If a decision is so urgent that rule 11 (the general exception rule) cannot be operated it can only be taken with the agreement of the Chairman of Scrutiny or in his/her absence the Mayor or Deputy Mayor.

13. Report to Council

When Scrutiny can require a report

If Scrutiny Committee thinks that a key decision has been taken which was not:

(a) included in the forward plan
(b) the subject of the general exception procedure; or
(c) the subject of an agreement with a relevant Scrutiny chairman, or Mayor/Deputy Mayor of the Council under rule 12

the Committee may require the executive to submit a report to the Council within such reasonable time as the committee specifies. The power to require a report rests with the committee, but is also delegated to the proper officer, who shall require such a report on behalf of the committee when so requested by resolution passed at a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.

Executive's report to Council

The Executive will prepare a report for submission to the next available meeting of the Council. However, if the next meeting of the Council is within 7 days of receipt of the written notice, or the resolution of the Committee, then the report may be submitted to the meeting after that. The report to Council will set out particulars of the decision, the individual or body making the decision and if the leader is of the opinion that it was not a key decision the reasons for that opinion.

Quarterly reports on special urgency decisions

In the event the leader will submit quarterly reports to the Council on the executive decisions taken in the circumstances set out in rule 12 (special urgency) in the preceding three months. The report will include the number of decisions so taken and a summary of the matters in respect of which those decisions were taken.

Record of Decisions

After any meeting of the Council, executive or any of its committees, whether held in public or private, the Borough Solicitor or, where no officer was present, the person presiding at the meeting will produce a record of every decision taken at that meeting as soon as practicable. The record will include a statement of the reasons for each decision and any alternative options considered and rejected at that meeting.

Executive meetings relating to matters which are Key Decisions

Where the executive leader or any other person likely to preside at the meeting believes that (a) or (b) applies in relation to a meeting, or a part of a meeting, of a decision making body, that meeting or part of a meeting must be held in public (except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed).

(a) a decision to be made will be a key decision
(b) a matter that is included on the forward plan or is the subject of a notice given under general exception is likely to be discussed and the decision on that matter is likely to be made within 28 days.

Executive meetings relating to matters which are not Key Decisions

The executive will decide whether meetings relating to matters which are not key decisions will be held in public or private.

Notice of private meetings of the Executive

The executive can call private meetings (excluding other councillors) as long as they are recorded and minutes.

14. Decisions by individual members of the Executive

The public are entitled to access to reports taking into account specific exceptions and records of such decisions. Further information is contained within the constitution.

Downloadable Documents

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Adobe PDF format - download the viewerAppendix - Meaning of exempt information in PDF format86 Kb12 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatAppendix - Meaning of exempt information in Word format30 Kb4 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ