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We're not keeping meetings secret, says council

Created on 01/02/2018 @ 20:07
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We're not holding meetings in private, Powys County Council says.

Just a week after councillors voted to get rid of the local Montgomeryshire Committee, claims have been made that the council has been holding more meetings behind closed doors, ignoring local democracy.

But it has refuted the claims, saying only 10 of 122 items discussed by the council have been kept confidential, saying this was due to commercial or for staff reasons.

The council said it believes figures quoted are crude and are not a true reflection on how cabinet meetings are conducted.
From April 2015 to March 2017, 462 items were considered by cabinet and only 38 (8.22%) of these were confidential.
Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Leader of Powys County Council, said: “We are committed to being an open and transparent council but the figures that were published recently were extremely misleading.
“Cabinet meetings are open to members of the public and they can attend and listen to proceedings. 
“However, there will be times where cabinet will need to consider some items in private session as they could be commercially sensitive in nature or could contain information relating to staff. These items are few by comparison to all the item considered.
“In fact, this financial year only 10 of 122 items were confidential and members of the public were asked to leave the meeting so that members considered the items privately.
“These misleading figures portray the council as a secretive council but this is clearly not the case.  The vast majority of items are considered by the cabinet in open session and we will only go into a private session if it is necessary to do so.”

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