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Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960

1960 CHAPTER 67 8 and 9 Eliz 2

An Act to provide for the admission of representatives of the press and other members of the public to the meetings of certain bodies exercising public functions.

[27th October 1960][27th October 1960][27th October 1960][27th October 1960]

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Councils of administrative counties, boroughs (except those in rural districts), urban districts, rural districts and urban parishes outside Greater London and Isles of Scilly together with municipal corporations of boroughs outside Greater London now abolished and councils of metropolitan counties, non-metropolitan counties and districts constituted by Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70), ss. 1, 2, Sch. 1

C2Act amended with the substitution for any reference to a rural parish or its council or meeting of a reference to (E.) a parish or its council or meeting and (W.) a community or its council by Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70), s. 179 subject as in that section mentioned

C3Councils of counties, counties of cities, large burghs, small burghs and districts in Scotland now abolished and regional, islands and district councils constituted by Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c. 65), ss. 1, 2, Sch. 1

C4Words of enactment omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision Act 1948 (c. 62), s. 3

C5Act amended (E.W.) by Water Act 1989 (c. 15, SIF 130), ss. 58(7), 101(1), 141(6), 160(1)(2)(4), 163, 189(4)–10), 190, 193(1), Sch. 25 para. 28, Sch. 26 paras. 3(1)(2), 17, 40(4), 57(6), 58

C7Act applied by S.I. 1990/2639, art. 5(1), Sch. Pt. II

Act applied (with modifications) (S.) (1.4.1993) by S.I. 1993/577, art. 5, Sch. Pt.II (with art. 6)

C8Act applied (S.) (1.4.1999) by S.I. 1999/686, art. 5(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II

Act applied (E.W.) (1.4.1999) by S.I. 1999/695, art. 6

Act applied (S.) (1.4.1999) by S.I. 1999/726, art. 5(1)(2), Sch. Pt. II

Act: transfer of functions (W.) (1.7.1999) by S.I. 1999/672, arts. 1(2), 2, Sch. 1; S.I. 1998/3178, art. 3

Act applied (E.W.) (27.8.1999) by S.I. 1999/220, art. 6 (as added (27.8.1999) by S.I. 1999/2219, art. 2(3))

Act applied (E.W.) (14.1.2000) by S.I. 1999/3431, art. 6

Act applied (S.) (1.4.2000) by S.S.I. 2000/47, art. 5, Sch. Pt. II

Act applied (S.) (6.4.2001) by S.S.I. 2001/137, art. 5(1), Sch. Pt. II

Act applied (E.) (2.7.2001) by S.I. 2001/1743, art. 6

Act applied (S.) (27.6.2002) by S.S.I. 2002/305, art. 5(1), Sch. Pt. II

Act applied (S.) (31.3.2002) by S.S.I. 2002/103, art. 6, Sch. Pt. II, (with art. 4(4))

Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at 1.6.1961 see s. 3(4)

1 Admission of public to meetings of local authorities and other bodies. E+W+S

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below, any meeting of a . . . F1 body exercising public functions, being [F2a body] to which this Act applies, shall be open to the public.

(2)A body may, by resolution, exclude the public from a meeting (whether during the whole or part of the proceedings) whenever publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons stated in the resolution and arising from the nature of that business or of the proceedings; and where such a resolution is passed, this Act shall not require the meeting to be open to the public during proceedings to which the resolution applies.

(3)A body may under subsection (2) above treat the need to receive or consider recommendations or advice from sources other than members, committees or sub-committees of the body as a special reason why publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest, without regard to the subject or purport of the recommendations or advice; but the making by this subsection of express provision for that case shall not be taken to restrict the generality of subsection (2) above in relation to other cases (including in particular cases where the report of a committee or sub-committee of the body is of a confidential nature).

[F3(3A)Where the public are excluded from a meeting of a relevant local government body under subsection (2), the body may also prevent any person from reporting on the meeting using methods—

(a)which can be used without that person’s presence at the meeting, and

(b)which enable persons not present at the meeting to see or hear the proceedings at the meeting as it takes place or later.]

(4)Where a meeting of a body is required by this Act to be open to the public during the proceedings or any part of them, the following provisions shall apply, that is to say,—

(a)public notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be given by posting it at the offices of the body (or, if the body has no offices, then in some central and conspicuous place in the area with which it is concerned) three clear days at least before the meeting or, if the meeting is convened at shorter notice, then at the time it is convened;

(b)there shall, on request and on payment of postage or other necessary charge for transmission, be supplied for the benefit of any newspaper a copy of the agenda for the meeting as supplied to members of the body (but excluding, if thought fit, any item during which the meeting is likely not to be open to the public), together with such further statements or particulars, if any, as are necessary to indicate the nature of the items included or, if thought fit in the case of any item, with copies of any reports or other documents supplied to members of the body in connection with the item;

(c)while the meeting is open to the public, the body shall not have power to exclude members of the public from the meeting and duly accredited representatives of newspapers attending for the purpose of reporting the proceedings for those newspapers shall, so far as practicable, be afforded reasonable facilities for taking their report and, unless the meeting is held in premises not belonging to the body or not on the telephone, for telephoning the report at their own expense.[F4;

(d)in the case of a meeting of a relevant local government body, while the meeting is open to the public any person attending is to be permitted to report on the meeting.]

[F5(4A)Subsection (4)(d) does not require a relevant local government body to permit oral reporting or oral commentary on a meeting as it takes place if the person reporting or providing the commentary is present at the meeting.]

(5)Where a meeting of a body is required by this Act to be open to the public during the proceedings or any part of them, and there is supplied to a member of the public attending the meeting, or in pursuance of paragraph (b) of subsection (4) above there is supplied for the benefit of a newspaper, any such copy of the agenda as is mentioned in that paragraph, with or without further statements or particulars for the purpose of indicating the nature of any item included in the agenda, the publication thereby of any defamatory matter contained in the agenda or in the further statements or particulars shall be privileged, unless the publication is proved to be made with malice.

(6)When a body to which this Act applies resolves itself into committee, the proceedings in committee shall for the purposes of this Act be treated as forming part of the proceedings of the body at the meeting.

(7)Any reference in this section to a newspaper shall apply also to a news agency which systematically carries on the business of selling and supplying reports or information to newspapers, and to any organisation which is systematically engaged in collecting news for sound or television broadcasts [F6or for programme services (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990) other than sound or television broadcasting services][F7or, in the case of a relevant local government body, for use in electronic or any other format to provide news to the public by means of the internet]; [F8but nothing in this section] [F8but, subject to subsection (4)(d), nothing in this section] shall require a body to permit the taking of photographs of any proceedings, or the use of any means to enable persons not present to see or hear any proceedings (whether at the time or later), or the making of any oral report on any proceedings as they take place.

(8)The provisions of this section shall be without prejudice to any power of exclusion to suppress or prevent disorderly conduct or other misbehaviour at a meeting.

[F9(9)In this Act—

  • “relevant local government body” means—

    (a)

    the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

    (b)

    a parish council; or

    (c)

    a parish meeting of a parish which does not have a separate parish council;

  • “reporting” means—

    (a)

    filming, photographing or making an audio recording of proceedings at a meeting;

    (b)

    using any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear proceedings at a meeting as it takes place or later; or

    (c)

    reporting or providing commentary on proceedings at a meeting, orally or in writing, so that the report or commentary is available as the meeting takes place or later to persons not present.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F6 Words substituted by Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42, SIF 96) , ss. 4(6) , 87(6) , 203(1) , Sch. 20 para. 5 ( Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984 (c. 46, SIF 96) , s. 57(1) , Sch. 5 para. 9 , which inserted new words after “broadcasts”, repealed by Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42, SIF 96) , ss. 4(6) , 87(6) , 134 , 203(3)(4) , Sch. 12 Pt. II para. 1 , Sch. 21 , Sch. 22 para. 4 , the repeal being in force 1.1.1991 subject to the provisions of art. 3 of S.I. 1990/2347 )

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C20 S. 1 extended (E.W.) by Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) , s. 100(2)(3)

C22 S. 1(2) excluded (E.W.) (1.12.1991) by Water Industry Act 1991 (c. 56, SIF 130) , ss. 89(7) , 91 , 223(2) , Sch. 7 para. 3(2) , (with ss. 82(3), 186(1), 219(3), 222(1), Sch. 14 para. 6)

C23 S. 1(4)(b) amended (E.W.) by Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) , s. 160(2)

C24 S. 1(4)(b) restricted (1.4.2005) by Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 (c. 23) , s. 24(5) (6) 73 ; S.I. 2005/558 , art. 2 , Sch. 1

[F101A.Publication and dissemination of reportsE+W+S

(1)Any person who attends a meeting of a relevant local government body for the purpose of reporting on the meeting may use any communication method, including the internet, to publish, post or otherwise share the results of the person’s reporting activities.

(2)Publication and dissemination may take place at the time of the meeting or occur after the meeting.]

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Amendments (Textual)

2 Application of Act, and consequential provisions.E+W+S

(1)This Act shall apply to the bodies specified in the Schedule to this Act, and to such bodies as may for the time being be added to that Schedule by order made under subsection (3) below; and where this Act applies to a body, [F11the foregoing section][F11sections 1 and 1A] shall apply in relation to any committee of the body whose members consist of or include all members of the body, [F12as that section applies] [F12as they apply] in relation to the body itself, but so that for the purposes of paragraph (c) of subsection (4) [F13of that section][F13of section 1] premises belonging to the body shall be treated as belonging to the committee.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F14

(3)Any body established by or under any Act may be added to the Schedule to this Act, and any body so added may be removed from the Schedule, by order of the appropriate Minister made by statutory instrument, but a statutory instrument made by a Minister under this section shall be of no effect unless it is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament; and for this purpose the appropriate Minister is, in the case of any body, the Minister of the Crown in charge of the Government department concerned or primarily concerned with the matters dealt with by that body, but an order made under this subsection by any Minister of the Crown shall be effective, whether or not he is the appropriate Minister.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C25 S. 2(1) saved (E.W.) by Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) , s. 100(2)

C26S. 2(1) modified (27.3.2012 for specified purposes, 1.10.2012 in so far as not already in force) by Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7), ss. 181(14), 306(1)(d), (4); S.I. 2012/1831, art. 2(2)

3 Short title, repeal, extent and commencement.E+W+S

(1)This Act may be cited as the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act, 1960.

(2)The Local Authorities (Admission of the Press to Meetings) Act, 1908, sub-paragraph (4) of paragraph 1 of Part IV of the Third Schedule to the Local Government Act, 1933, and section eighty-four of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1946, are hereby repealed.

(3)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

(4)This Act shall come into force on the first day of June, nineteen hundred and sixty-one.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C27[F10The text of s. 3(2) is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals made prior to 1.2.1991.]

F15SCHEDULEE+W+S Bodies to which this Act Applies

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Amendments (Textual)

F15Sch. Sch. para. 1(bca)(bcb) substituted for Sch. (1.1.2009 for specified purposes, 25.1.2010 in so far as not already in force) by Health and Social Care Act 2008 (c. 14), s. 170(3)(4), Sch. 10 para. 3(a); S.I. 2008/3244, art. 2(i)(iii); S.I. 2010/23, art. 2(h)(ii)

1The bodies to which in England and Wales this Act applies are— E+W+S

[F16(a) parish or community councils, the Council of the Isles of Scilly and joint boards or joint committees which discharge functions of any of those bodies (or of any of those bodies and of a principal council, within the meaning of the Local Government Act M1 1972, or a body falling within paragraph ( a ), ( b ) or ( c ) of section 100J(1) of that Act) ]

[F17(aa)(ab) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ] F17

(b)the parish meetings of rural parishes;

F18(ba). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(bb). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F19(bc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F20(bd)the Care Council for Wales; ]

[F21( bca)[F22the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care]; ]

F23( bcb ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F24 F20( be ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F25( bf ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F26(bg). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(bh). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F27(bj)the Care Quality Commission;]

[F28(bk)Monitor;]

[F29(bl)Local Healthwatch organisations, as regards the carrying-on of activities specified in section 221(1) of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (local care services);]

[F30(bm)Health Education England;]

[F31(bn)the Health Research Authority;]

(c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F32

(d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F33

(e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F34

F35(ea). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F36( f ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F37(fa)the National Health Service Commissioning Board, except as regards the exercise of functions under the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations 1992, or any regulations amending or replacing those Regulations];

[F38(g)if the order establishing a Special Health Authority so provides, the Special Health Authority;]

F39( gg ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F40(gh)Local Health Boards;]

( h ) bodies not mentioned above but having, within the meaning of the M2 Public Works Loans Act, 1875, power to levy a rate (other than [F41 bodies to which sections 100A to 100D of the Local Government Act 1972 apply, whether or not by virtue of section 100E or 100J of that Act ] ).

[F42(i)[F43Regional Flood and Coastal Committees ];]

(j)advisory committees established and maintained under [F44section 12 or 13 of the Environment Act 1995];

[F45(k)regional committees of the Consumer Council for Water established under section 27A of the Water Industry Act 1991.]

(l)National Health Service trusts established under [F46section 25 of the National Health Service Act 2006 or section 18 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 ].

[F47(m)the Wales Centre for Health;]

[F48(n)the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence];

[F49(o)the Health and Social Care Information Centre]

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Amendments (Textual)

F20 Sch. para. 1(bd)(be)(bf) inserted (1.4.2001 for W. in so far as it relates to the council; 9.4.2001 for E. as far as it relates to the National Care Standards Commission; 7.5.2001 for E. as far as it relates to the General Social Care Council and otherwise prosp. ) by 2000 c. 14 , ss. 6 , 54 , 66 , Sch. 1 para. 23 ; S.I. 2000/2992 , art. 2(2) , Sch. 2 ; S.I. 2001/1193 , art. 2(3)(b) ; S.I. 2001/1536 , art. 2(2)(a)(ii)

F21Sch. para 1(bca)(bcb) substituted (1.1.2009 for specified purposes, 25.1.2010 in so far as it is not already in force) for Sch. para. 1(bd) (as inserted by National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 (c. 17), Sch 7, para. 21) for specified purposes by Health and Social Care Act 2008 (c. 14), s. 170(3)(4), Sch. 10, para. 3(a), S.I. 2008/3244, art. 2(i)(iii)

F23Sch. 1 para. 1(bcb) omitted (1.7.2012) by virtue of Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7), Sch. 15 para. 70, s. 306(4); S.I. 2012/1319, art. 2(3)

F29 Sch. para 1(bl) inserted (1.4.2013) by Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7) , ss. 189(1) , 306(4) ; S.I. 2013/160 , art. 2(2) (with arts. 7-9 )

F30Sch. para 1(bm) inserted (E.W) (1.4.2015) by Care Act 2014 (c. 23), s. 127, Sch. 5 para. 30; S.I. 2014/3186, art. 2(f)

F31 Sch. para 1(bn) inserted (1.1.2015) by Care Act 2014 (c. 23), s. 127, Sch. 7 para. 22; S.I. 2014/2473, art. 5(m)

F32 Sch. para. 1 ( c ) repealed by Water Act 1983 (c. 23, SIF 130) , s. 11(3) , Sch. 5 Pt. I

F34 Sch. para. 1 ( e ) repealed by Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) , Sch. 30

F35 Sch. para. 1(ea) omitted (1.4.2013) by virtue of Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7) , s. 306(4) , Sch. 5 para. 7(a) ; S.I. 2013/160 , art. 2(2) (with arts. 7-9)

F38Sch. para. 1(f)(g) substituted (28.6.1995 for specified purposes and otherwise 1.4.1996) by virtue of 1995 c. 17, ss. 2(1)(3), 8, Sch. 1 Pt. III, para. 91 (with Scj. 2 paras. 6, 16)

F39 Sch. para. 1(gg) omitted (1.4.2013) by virtue of Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7) , s. 306(4) , Sch. 5 para. 7(c) ; S.I. 2013/160 , art. 2(2) (with arts. 7-9 )

F40 Sch. para. 1(gh) inserted (25.6.2002 for certain purposes and 10.10.2002 for (W.), 1.3.2007) by 2002 c. 17 , s. 6(2) , Sch. 5 para. 1 ; S.I. 2002/2532 , art. 2 , Sch.; S.I. 2006/1407 , art. 1(1),Sch. 1 para. 12

F42 Sch. para. 1 ( i )( j )( k ) inserted (E.W.) by Water Act 1989 (c. 15, SIF 130) , ss. 58(7) , 101(1) , 141(6) , 160(1)(2)(4) , 163 , 189(4)–10 ), 190, 193(1), Sch. 25 para. 28, Sch. 26 paras. 3(1)(2), 17, 40(4), 57(6), 58

F43Words in Sch. para. 1(i) substituted (14.7.2014) by Water Act 2014 (c. 21), s. 94(2)(r), Sch. 10 para. 1

F44 Words in Sch. para. 1(j) substituted (1.4.1996) by virtue of S.I. 1996/593 , reg. 3 , Sch. 2 para. 1

F45 Sch. para. 1(k) substituted (1.10.2005) by Water Act 2003 (c. 37) , s. 105(3) , Sch. 7 para. 17 ; S.I. 2005/2714 , art. 2(l)(i)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C28 Sch. para. 1 ( h ) excluded by S.I. 1986/1929 , art. 2

Marginal Citations

2The bodies to which in Scotland this Act applies are—E+W+S

(a)—(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F50

[F51[F52(ca)the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care]]

F53( cb ). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F54(d)Health Boards constituted under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act [F551978], but only so far as regards the exercise of their executive functions]

[F56(dd) National Health Service trusts established under section 12A of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 F57 . ]

(f). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F58

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Amendments (Textual)

F52Sch. para 2(ca)(cb), added (1.1.2009 for specified purposes, 25.1.2010 in so far as it is not already in force) by Health and Social Care Act 2008 (c. 14), s. 170(3)(4), Sch 10, para. 3(b), S.I. 2008/3244, art. 2(i)(iii)

F54Sch. para. 2(d) substituted for para. 2(d)(e) by National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1972 (c. 58), Sch. 6 para. 118

F56Sch. para. 2(dd) added (6.2.1998) by S.I. 1997/2763, art. 2(3)

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