Exclusion of the Public
1 To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.
2 To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.
3 If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-
RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of those parts of the agenda designated as exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.
The Chief Democratic Services Officer reported that the papers for this meeting had been removed from the internet following initial publication on advice from the Chief Officer (Legal, Licensing and Registration) that elements of the appellants submission could be considered to be defamatory. The Committee also noted that the papers which were to be discussed under the appeal were, pending any decision of this committee to the contrary, designated as working papers and therefore not open to public inspection. Therefore any discussion regarding their content to consider the question of accessibility may be impeded by the presence of the public.
RESOLVED – That the public be excluded from the meeting for the reasons cited above,
To note the attached procedure for this appeal.
The Committee noted the provisions of the Constitution as to the conduct of this appeal.
To consider an appeal by a member of Council following a refusal of access in the following terms:
To be provided with copies of all working papers associated with the Annual Council meeting in 2003.
The Councillors submission is attached to the agenda.
The submission of the Chief Democratic Services Officer is also attached.
A copy of the documentation which is the subject of the appeal is attached to the agendas of those members serving on the Committee.
The Committee heard an appeal by a Member of Council following the refusal of the Chief Democratic Services Officer to provide the member with copies of all of the working papers associated with the Annual Council meeting in 2003.
Written submissions by the Chief Democratic Services Officer and the appellant, together with the documentation which was the subject of the appeal had been provided to the Committee with the agenda for the meeting and each party presented their case to the Committee.
RESOLVED That –
(a) The appellant did not advance sufficient reasons to support that he had a need to know the information sought in order to discharge his duties as a Councillor.
(b) The information requested did not fall within the legal definition of background papers as defined by the Local Government Act 1972 as amended.
(c) In consequence of a) and b) above, the appeal be denied.