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Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Decisions, Documents and Meetings) (Wales) Regulations 2001

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Admission of the public to meetings of local authority executives and their committees

4.—(1) A meeting shall be open to the public except to the extent that the public are excluded (whether during the whole or part of the proceedings) under paragraph (2) or by resolution under paragraph (3) (including that paragraph as applied by paragraph (4)).

(2) The public shall be excluded from a meeting during an item of business whenever 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 public were present during that item, confidential information would be disclosed to them in breach of the obligation of confidence; and nothing in these Regulations shall be taken to authorise or require the disclosure of confidential information in breach of the obligation of confidence.

(3) A local authority executive may pass a resolution to exclude the public from a meeting of the executive during an item of business whenever 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 public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

(4) Paragraph (3) shall apply in relation to a committee of a local authority executive and a meeting of that committee as it applies in relation to a local authority executive and a meeting of the executive.

(5) A resolution under paragraph (3) (including that paragraph as applied by paragraph (4)) shall—

(a)identify the proceedings, or the part of the proceedings, to which it applies, and

(b)state, by reference to the descriptions in Schedule 12A to the 1972 Act(1), the description of exempt information giving rise to the exclusion of the public.

(6) The following provisions shall apply in relation to a public meeting—

(a)public notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be given—

(i)by posting it at the principal offices of the authority three clear days at least before the meeting; or

(ii)where the meeting is convened at shorter notice by posting it at the principal offices of the authority at the time that the meeting is convened; and

(b)while the meeting is open to the public—

(i)the executive or, as the case may be, the committee, shall not have power to exclude members of the public from the meeting; and

(ii)duly accredited representatives of newspapers attending the meeting 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 authority or not on the telephone, for telephoning the report at their own expense.

(7) Nothing in this regulation shall require an executive or committee 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) This regulation is without prejudice to any power of exclusion to suppress or prevent disorderly conduct or other misbehaviour at a meeting.

(1)

Schedule 12A was inserted by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 (c. 43).

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