Jul-Oct Minutes for town council meetings

The request was successful.

Dear Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire,

I've looked on the Council's website but still can't find Minutes of meetings held by the town council during July, August, September and October 2017 (there may have been a reduced number of meetings over the summer).

Please can you provide copies of these Minutes in electronic form? If it is more convenient to upload and link them directly on the town council's website, then please just advise of the new links.

Yours faithfully,

D Morris

Town Clerk, Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

1 Attachment

Hello

Please find attached minutes of meetings as requested 

Anette

show quoted sections

Dear Town Clerk,

Thanks for the zip file, unfortunately there appear to be a few mistakes.

Firstly, this request is for Minutes of July-October 2017, but you seem to have sent 13 Feb 2017-6 March 2017.
Secondly, you appear to have included two identical copies of the Personnel meeting of 6 March 2017.
Thirdly, the Minutes of 13 Feb state:

"Min. Feb/607/17
Proposed, seconded and agreed by members present that the following minutes be approved -
Ordinary Council - 16th January 2017
Special Council - 19th January 2017
Special Council - 27th January 2017
Personnel Committee - 27th January 2017
Planning & Environment Committee - 6th February 2017
Finance Committee - 6th February 2017"

sadly none of those were in the zip file.

Fourthly, the Special Meeting of 2 March 2017 suggests another Meeting on 13 March 2017, warranting a Police presence (for security), local members of the press and a venue to hold 150. Unfortunately there are no Minutes for that (asset transfer) meeting.

Ammanford Town Council seems to be repeatedly in breach of the The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 and failing many of its obligations. I appreciate you are relatively new to the role (now they've found the applicants file), but you may find the following guidance note of help http://gov.wales/docs/dsjlg/publications...

I'd be grateful if you could gather the missing pieces and reply to the relevant request on the WhatDoTheyKnow platform - you should see that the Subject line for each independent request will have relevant time period in it (eg "Jan-Mar 2017 Minutes for town council meetings"), responding to the respective request will help others find the information easily.

For clarity, there are four requests outstanding:

18 Oct 2017: Aug-Dec 2016 Minutes for town council meetings
01 Nov 2017: Jan-Mar 2017 Minutes for town council meetings
16 Nov 2017: Apr-Jun 2017 Minutes for town council meetings
30 Nov 2017: Jul-Oct Minutes for town council meetings

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Morris

Daniel Morris left an annotation ()

ICO wrote to the Ammanford Town Council regarding all four outstanding requests on 21 December with the following agreed course of action:

"Action required

Rather than asking you to now issue a proper response to each request, I believe it would be more practical for all concerned for you to treat Mr Morris’s correspondence of 05/12/17 as a request for internal review. The correspondence I refer to can be accessed via the link above for the request submitted 30/11/17. Would you therefore please arrange for an internal review of your handling of all four requests, in particular you should:

inform the applicant whether you hold the requested information;
if it is held, provide the applicant with a copy of it, or;
if the information is held but not being provided, stated which exemptions in Part II of FOIA, or other exclusions, are being applied and explain why they apply.

.....
Although you may not have specifically asked Ammanford Town Council to undertake an internal review of its handling of your requests, it is apparent from your correspondence of 05/12/17 that you have expressed dissatisfaction with how all four of your requests have been handled. We expect public authorities to treat any such correspondence as a formal complaint to be dealt with under its internal review procedure.

Although there is no statutory time set out in the FOIA within which public authorities must complete a review, the Commissioner has issued guidance on this matter. The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review, and in no case should the total time taken
exceed 40 working days.

Accordingly, I have written to Ammanford Town Council requiring that it now conducts an internal review of their handling of your requests and to inform you of the review outcome as soon as possible, and in any case within 20 working days of today’s date.
"

Additionally, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales refused to investigate the maladministration (failure to prepare/keep records of meetings and make them available for inspection per the 1972 Local Goverment Act, and failure to proactively publish them in electronic form per s55 of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013. The reason stated was that I have not exhausted the Council's formal complaints procedure. This is somewhat cyclical as Ammanford Town Council does not publish this procedure on its website, and has not replied in a timely manner to other requests!

A formal written complaint was duly posted into Ammanford Town Hall on 21 December 2017 and no response has been received. I also asked PSOW to look at their decision again.

Daniel Morris left an annotation ()

Council fined by PSOW and ICO delay detailed here:
http://exasperatedof.blogspot.com/2018/0...
Ammanford Town Council: Half inept. Half hiding something. Half not good at integer maths!

Ammanford Town Clerk, Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Morris,

Please find attached all of the Minutes I have found for Ammanford Town
Council meetings held between the dates you requested.

If you would like me to post a hard copy, please send your address to:
[Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire request email]

Please note, no meetings were held during the month of August 2017.

A formal response to the ICO investigation into the complaint raised by
yourself will be issued today.

Unfortunately, I am unable to change what has gone on before, however I
have made recommendations to members as to how Ammanford Town Council
should operate going forward. These recommendations form part of the
response to the ICO.

Regards

Clare Hope
(Interim Cler

 

Town Clerk, Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Morris,

Please find attached a set of minutes I am now able to disclose from July.

Regards
Clare Hope

Dear Ms Hope,

Thanks for your help in trying to get to the bottom of the mess made by the fifteen elected Ammanford Town Councillors and the part-time staff they supervised.

Daniel

Daniel Morris left an annotation ()

ICO issued Decision Notice FS50711667 on 4 March 2019. "The Commissioner does not require any steps to be taken". Notes Information Notice issued 26 October 2018 and that Council had not cooperated.

Ammanford Town Council finally registered as a Data Controller on 25 Feb 2019 (enforcement action started 10 Jul 2018).

Daniel Morris left an annotation ()

Decision Notice FS50711667 upheld this complaint (amongst others). Linked with further details (and PSOW fines/report) in blogpost https://tinyurl.com/plaidcredit

This is also tagged with 'reported for Administrator attention' since adding the annotation "Thanks for your help in trying to get to the bottom of the mess made by the fifteen elected Ammanford Town Councillors and the part-time staff they supervised." I'm guessing that someone didn't like being called to account. However, on re-reading that statement I realise it is not wholly accurate and I apologise for any offence. I should have written the following:

"Thanks for your help in trying to get to the bottom of the mess made by the fifteen elected Ammanford Town Councillors (or co-opted cronies, as applicable) and the part-time staff they supervised."