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Bonkers Blog February 2013

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22 February (Part 2) - Caught in the Local Government Act

AgendaAround mid-day today Bexley council posted its Public Cabinet Agenda on its website. In response I don’t think I can do better than rely on the comment from this morning’s ‘postbag’.

Email 1
The three day requirement was increased to five days in 2002 [SI 2002/715], and in case law this has been established to mean five CLEAR working days, which means a full week plus a working day (more if any bank holidays intervene). So for a meeting scheduled to take place on Monday 25th, the papers should have been published by the end of Friday 15th. I suspect they’ve cancelled this meeting but not bothered to tell anyone.

Email 2
The papers for Public Cabinet on 25 February have just been published on the Council's website, only ONE working day before the day of the meeting, in direct contravention of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. It is now doubtful whether the meeting can legally proceed. If it does, this would appear to constitute a breach of Section 50H(4) of the Act, rendering the person responsible liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £200.

I’d guess that Mr. Barnbrook will be drafting his next letter right now. The opportunity to put Kevin Fox on the wrong side of the law will surely be a temptation too far.


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