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The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014

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Amendment of the Local Government Act 1972

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4.—(1) Section 100A of the 1972 Act (admission to meetings of principal councils) is amended as follows.

(2) After subsection (5) insert—

(5A) Where the public are excluded from a meeting of a principal council in England under subsection (2) or (4), the council 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.

(3) In subsection (6), at the beginning of paragraph (c) insert “subject to subsection (7D),”.

(4) In subsection (7), at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (7A)”.

(5) After subsection (7) insert—

(7A) While a meeting of a principal council in England is open to the public, any person attending is to be permitted to report on the meeting.

(7B) Subsection (7A) does not require a principal council in England 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.

(7C) A person attending a meeting of a principal council in England for the purpose of reporting on the meeting must, so far as practicable, be afforded reasonable facilities for doing so.

(7D) Subsection (7C) applies in place of subsection (6)(c) in the case of a principal council in England.

(7E) Any person who attends a meeting of a principal council in England 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.

(7F) Publication and dissemination may take place at the time of the meeting or occur after the meeting.

(6) After subsection (8) insert—

(9) In this section “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.

(7) In section 100E of that Act (application to committees and sub-committees), after subsection (1) insert—

(1A) But in section 100A, subsections (5A), (7A) to (7F) and (9) do not apply to a committee which is appointed or established jointly by one or more principal councils in England and one or more principal councils in Wales, or a sub-committee of such a committee.

(8) In section 100J of that Act (application of Part 5A to new authorities, Common Council etc.)—

(a)in subsection (1), after “Except in this section,” insert “and subject as follows,”, and

(b)after subsection (2A) insert—

(2B) In section 100A, subsections (5A), (7A) to (7F) and (9) do not apply to—

(a)a joint waste authority;

(b)the Common Council other than in its capacity as a local authority or police authority;

(c)a joint board or a joint committee falling within subsection (2) above;

(d)the Homes and Communities Agency; or

(e)a Mayoral development corporation..

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