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Council Meetings

Council Meetings

Which meetings are open to the public?

  • Every meeting of the Full Council is open to the press and public.
  • Council Committees.

Along with other processes, public participation at the beginning of Council meetings permits you to “have a say.” 

Protocol

  • Prior to the meeting please write to the Town Clerk informing the Council that you wish to speak.
  • You will be allowed to speak at the discretion of the Chairman.
  • If you do not wish your name to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, please inform the Chairman before you start.
  • More than one question may be asked by an individual questioner subject to the time limit of 3 minutes.
  • Where a number of questions or statements are received expressing a similar view on one agenda item it is expected that a representative will be nominated to voice those views to minimise repetition.

What are the Rules for Speaking?

  • The Chairman will invite you to stand/sit in location where you can be clearly heard.
  • You can speak for a maximum of 3 minutes per meeting.
  • Supplementary questions will be allowed for a maximum of 2 minutes.
  • The Council may respond to you at the meeting or may write to you.

Behaviour

  • You must not interrupt speakers or speak during the member’s debate.
  • You must not hold conversations with other members of the public during meetings.
  • Members of the public who become disruptive during the meeting will be asked by the Chairman to leave.

Freedom of Information

Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and to publish information covered by the scheme.

The scheme must set out the Council’s commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information.

The ICO has developed a model publication scheme.

The information released by the Council in accordance with the publication scheme represents the minimum the Council must disclose.

Compliments and Complaints

We want the services we provide to be the best possible and that’s why your feedback is important to us.

You may feel unhappy with the service you receive or you may want to make a suggestion that helps us improve it.

We also hope that there are times when we do something well.

Complaints

We recognise that everyone has a right to make a complaint and we can learn valuable lessons from them.

Your complaint may well improve things for everyone.

Compliments

We would like to know when you have been impressed or pleased with our service.

We can use these examples to share best practice amongst our staff. In addition, compliments can help boost morale.

When to use the complaints procedure?

When you express your concerns or complain to us, we will usually respond in the way we explain below.

We hope that our complaints system will help you to sort out any problems quickly and successfully.

[PDF Full Complaints Policy and Procedure]     

Protocol on filming, recording and broadcasting of meetings

The public may record, film, and broadcast publicly accessible meetings of Penrith Parish Council and its committees, and may use digital and social media recording tools (for example: Twitter, blogging); but the following conditions apply.

  • The activity must not disrupt the meeting.
  • The rights (for instance, under the Data Protection Act 1998) of those being filmed, recorded or broadcast must be respected.
  • Any claims or other liabilities arising from the filming, recording, or broadcasting lies with those carrying it out – not with the Council.
  • Any editing must not lead to possible misinterpretation of the proceedings, or infringe the core values of the Council (such as editing in such a way that may ridicule, or show lack of respect to those being filmed or recorded).
  • The Town Council may photograph, film, record, or broadcast meetings, and may use or dispose of material following its own procedures.
  • These guidelines apply to everyone, whether or not they have not read them.
  • No-one may film or record meetings or parts of meetings from which the press and public are excluded.
  • The Chair can stop the meeting and take appropriate action if these guidelines are not followed.