Records of attendance by members of the public 2017-2019

Daniel Morris made this Freedom of Information request to Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire,

Does the Council require members of the public to "sign-in" to public meetings?

If so, please can you provide the dates that such records were made and the number of members of public recorded at each of these meetings.

To limit the scope of this request, please only provide the details for the calendar years 2019, 2018 and 2017.

Yours faithfully,

D Morris

Town Clerk, Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Morris,

I am currently investigating this request and will return to you by
Wednesday 15th May 2019.

Thank you

Clare Hope

Interim Clerk

Tel:  01269 839570

Town Clerk, Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

Dear Mr Morris,

Following my appointment, I was provided with an Attendance Register for
meetings (which was separate to the Members' Attendance Register) and
informed that anyone attending meetings needed to sign the book.

I have been unable to confirm whether this is an actual requirement of
Ammanford Town Council.   I do however feel that it is in the interest of
public safety that a register is taken, as in the event of an emergency, I
would need to know who is in the building.

This will be an agenda point on the next meeting of Full Council for the
Members' to discuss.

I am unable to confirm how many Members of the public have attended
meetings in 2017 and 2018 as I was not responsible for the register.

I will advise on how many Members of the public attended in 2019 within
the next seven days.

Thank you

Clare Hope

Town Clerk, Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthenshire

Dear Mr Morris,

Further to your request.  I can confirm since 1st January 2019, members of
the Public have signed in to meetings on fifteen occasions.

Thank you 

Clare Hope

Interim Clerk

Dear Town Clerk,

Thanks for the overall numbers. The missing 2017/18 registers flag data protection concerns.

May I suggest you consider moving to an anonymous token method of tracking the number of members of press and public in the building? You could implement this very cheaply: buying a packet of pegs from a shop in Ammanford, number, issue one per person on entry and retrieve on a person's departure. This avoids the somewhat Orwellian practice of the Council processing personal data as a condition of entry to attend a public meeting. The ICO classes a person's name as their personal data, and their HelpLine confirmed you could have a contentious issue if a member of public withheld their consent to your processing of the same - denying access to a service would be in direct conflict with the GDPR (Recital 43 & Article 7.4) as enacted in the 2018 Data Protection Act . The brave firefighters at Mid and West Wales Fire Service would even rescue a politician, so the name of an observer is not relevant to Fire Safety, nor attending the Council's public meetings.

Yours sincerely,
D Morris