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The secret / undemocratic world of ERC
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TOPIC: The secret / undemocratic world of ERC

The secret / undemocratic world of ERC 1 week, 4 days ago #1

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Were you aware that ERC have been conducting 'SECRET' meetings for years.

Neither were we, but we can now reveal the details.

As a result of Freedom of Information requests (FOI) we are now in possession of information that the public of East Renfrewshire have never been aware of.

Re: The secret / undemocratic world of ERC 3 days, 11 hours ago #2

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This investigation commenced with looking at why Cllr Barbara Grant was claiming expenses for travelling to Pre Audit & Scrutiny (A&S) Meetings at the Council Headquarters.

Via FOI and subsequent enquiries with the chair of A&S Cllr Stewart Miller, it was established that these PRE meetings have been a regular occurrence, and indeed many other committees also held these PRE meetings.

However, NOT ONE of these meetings had an agenda, was minuted or was open to the public.


More to follow...................

Re: The secret / undemocratic world of ERC 2 days, 20 hours ago #3

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The position in respect of the meetings you have referred to in your request is as follows:-

Planning Applications Committee – a pre-meeting is held with the Chair and Vice-Chair; and Planning and Democratic Services staff; to brief the Chair and Vice-Chair on the reports that will be considered by the committee. The agenda and reports are available on the Council’s website. There is no other recorded information in respect of these meetings.

Cabinet – no pre-meetings are held.

Cabinet (Police and Fire) – no pre-meetings are held.

Civic Hospitality Committee – no pre-meetings are held.

Education Committee – a pre-meeting is held between Education staff and the Chair immediately prior to the meeting to brief him on the reports that are being considered by the committee. The agenda and all non-exempt reports are available on the Council’s website. There is no other recorded information in respect of these meetings.

Licensing Committee – a pre-meeting is held between members of the committee and Legal Services and Democratic Services staff immediately prior to the meeting to brief members on the reports that are being considered by the committee. The agenda and all non-exempt reports are available on the Council’s website. There is no other recorded information in respect of these meetings.

Joint Consultative Committee – A pre-meeting is held between the Chair and Corporate and Community Services staff prior to the meeting to brief him on reports that are being considered by the committee. As this committee is an operational committee with no executive powers and not one established in terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, papers for the JCC meeting are not published on the Council’s website. Minutes of meetings of the committee are submitted to the Cabinet and are available on the Council’s website. There is no other recorded information in respect of these meetings.

Council – a pre-meeting is held between the Provost, Leader and Deputy Leader and Chief Executive’s and Democratic Services staff on the afternoon of the Council meeting to discuss the agenda and to brief the Members on the papers that are being considered by the Council. The agenda and all non-exempt reports are available on the Council’s website. There is no other recorded information in respect of these meetings.

Sections 17 and 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 provide absolute exemptions for information not held and for information otherwise available.

Re: The secret / undemocratic world of ERC 2 days, 19 hours ago #4

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So lots of PRE meeting meetings.

Not published that they are held.

Not open to the public.

Not minuted.

Democracy in operation in East Renfrewshire Council.

Secret meetings.............................

The chair of Audit & Scrutiny said that his PRE meetings were in order that the clerk to the committee could inform him what members of council staff would be attending the committee meeting to speak to items on the agenda.

Do they not have email?

Why does Barbara Grant require to attend and claim mileage for doing so?

Next to follow, Committee Agenda's ..............................

Re: The secret / undemocratic world of ERC 1 day, 10 hours ago #5

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We have also established that the agenda's of all council meetings are considered and prepared by council staff.

Elected members (Councillors) have no say in the format or content of the agendas, that they discuss at committee meetings, or indeed full council.

Source - Democratic Services manager, Chief Solicitor to the council and the chair of A & S.
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