FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – PUBLICATION SCHEME
MODEL PUBLICATION SCHEME FOR LOCAL COUNCILS
(Core classes, plus optional classes of information)
adopted December 2008. Amended June 2012.
The Freedom of Information Scheme is intended to encourage local councils to publish more information, proactively and to develop a greater culture of openness and transparency. All local authorities are required to have a publication scheme and to list the information it produces. Other information is available from the Town Council office or the clerk may know its location/publisher and help will be given wherever possible locate information.
Paddock Wood Town Council endeavours to be open and accountable is happy to make the documents detailed in the following list available. Photocopies of documents released under this scheme will be forwarded within 20 working days.
If a request for information is refused then an explanation will be given. Appeals against any refusal should be made to the chairman of the Governance Committee.
The Clerk to the Council is responsible for operating the scheme on a day to day basis.
Paddock Wood Town Council has adopted the model publication scheme published by the National Association of Local Councils.
The classes are as follows:-
CORE CLASSES OF INFORMATION
1) COUNCIL INTERNAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Minutes of council, committee and sub-committee meetings – limited to the last 2 years.
Procedural Standing Orders
Agendas and supporting papers for council, committee and sub-committee meetings-limited in each case to the forthcoming/immediate meeting.
Terms of Reference for Committees
2) CODE OF CONDUCT
Members Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Members Register of Interests
Register of Members Interests Book
3) PERIODIC ELECTORAL REVIEW
This is information concerning changes to the electoral arrangements for parish, town and community councils. It includes recommendations for the creation of new wards, the amendment of existing wards, proposals for the names of new wards and alterations to the number of councillors to be elected to the council.
Information relating to the last Periodic Electoral Review of the council area
Information relating to the latest boundary review of the council area
4) EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Terms & conditions of employment
Equal Opportunities Policy
Health & Safety Policy
Exclusions – ‘personal records’
5) PLANNING DOCUMENTS
Responses to planning applications
Exclusions – Copies of planning consultations, the Development Plan, Structure Plan, Local Plan and Rights of Way/Footpath maps all of which are available from the local planning and/or highway authority respectively
6) AUDIT AND ACCOUNTS
Annual return form – limited to the last financial year
Annual Statutory report by auditor (internal and external) – limited to the last financial year
Receipt/Payment books, Receipt books of all kinds, Bank Statements from all accounts – limited to the last financial year
Precept request – limited to the last financial year
VAT records – limited to the last financial year
Financial Standing Orders and Regulations
Assets register – this will include details of commons/village greens owned by the council including management schemes for commons as well as village halls, community centres and recreation grounds.
Loan sanction approvals
Fees and charges applied by the council
Safety inspection records for example for playgrounds
Register/file of members allowances
Exclusions – all commercially sensitive information e.g. quotations and
tenders, loan documentation and insurance policies. With regard to quotations and tenders, this information is treated as confidential to ensure that the whole tender process is fair i.e. if tender information is released to a third party prior to the end of the tender period those who initially submitted tenders could be undercut and/or unfairly disadvantaged.
7) DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
Policy Statements issued by council
Responses made by council to consultation papers
Analysis of responses received to public consultations by the council
Complaints handling procedure
Made for any of the following purposes: –
The regulation of a pleasure ground or public space
The regulation of an open space or burial ground
To control dogs and dog fouling
9) COUNCIL CIRCULARS/NEWSLETTERS
Town, parish, community guide
10) ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT & TOURIST INFORMA
Information about Council organised Community Events
Standard tenancy Agreements
Exclusions – individual tenancy agreements and rent payment records under both privacy and data protection laws
12) BURIAL GROUNDS
Exclusions – all documentation relating to individual applications and registrations under both privacy and data protection laws