Monday 21 November 2011

The Council 'Minutes'....and no mention of Jacqui?!

Further to this post 'No round of applause for Jacqui' , I noticed, with some excitement, that the Minutes of the meeting (Full Council 9th November) were finally published this afternoon. As you may imagine I was waiting to see, under Item 2, Apologies and Personal Matters, the little announcement that was made by Cllr Caiach about my blog award win, preserved in Council records for posterity. Just in case my eyes were deceiving me, I checked several times before I realised, that there not a mention. Not even a carefully worded summary!

I can, of course clarify it did happen, and these were Cllr Caiach's exact words....

"Can I add in our list of congratulations, and congratulate Communiy Councillor Jacqui Thompson there [indicating me in the gallery] on being awarded the Welsh political blogger of the year award, I think it's very good that someone from Carmarthenshire has won this honour" 

Please understand I am certainly not glory seeking but I am not sure they are supposed to ignore parts of the meeting they'd rather not mention...are they? In fact aren't they supposed to provide a 'reasonably fair and coherent record of proceedings'? Yet again, rather like the fanciful 'Council Rule prohibiting filming' which of course didn't (and still doesn't) exist, they appear to make things up as they go along. Amongst the other inaccuracies/omissions was a failure to mention Cllr Caiach's formal complaint about the rejection of the Motion to debate a no confidence vote in the Leader, Cllr Gravell.

Let's hope there is overwhelming opposition to signing these minutes off as 'correct' at the next meeting on the 7th December.
I know I am in danger of endlessly repeating myself, but these meetings really need to be filmed.

Minutes 9th November 


nospin said...

well I always thought that minutes were supposed to reflect the contents of a meeting.

Andy said...

From what I've been told council meeting minutes are not intended to be a full verbatim account. But that apologies and personal matters bit in the minutes is clearly meant to be the fluffy nice bit so having your mention removed from it is small minded to the max.

Cneifiwr said...

The minutes for this meeting are even more politically slanted than usual, and they do not give a fair and balanced account of what happened.

For example, the attacks on Cllr Caiach are reproduced in detail, but there is no mention of what she said in response.

While no mention is made of Jacqui's award, there was space for congratulations on the birth of somebody's grandchild.

For minutes of a meeting also not to state that there was a formal complaint made to the chair about the rejection of a motion is a disgrace, whether or not you agree with Cllrs Caiach and Davies.

Of course the minutes will be approved by sheer weight of numbers, but there must be some remedy here. It would seem that the ombudsman is the only recourse.

Photon said...

I suppose you would have to ask: who was at fault for not recording the proceedings in a reasonably accurate manner? One might surmise that someone with an axe to grind had some hand in it all.

Certainly worth pursuing officially.

Cneifiwr said...

What senior councillors and officers need to ask themselves is what this sort of nonsense does for the credibility of the council as a whole. If the minutes of a public meeting cannot be believed, what faith can be put in anything else it says? A very dangerous and corrosive game.

Anonymous said...

The truth is, this council has no credibility. The most worrying about all of this, and something the Welsh Government should be showing deep concern over, especially with the well researched issues aired on this blog, is to put it bluntly, 'they don't care'! Why don't they care? They believe they are unaccountable.

Anonymous said...

I had issue with the town council, on which I was a councillor, producing inaccurate and distorted minutes. They weren't a true record, but nevertheless they were voted through as the majority of the council who weren't so much concerned with the accuracy, but with the result.