Saturday, 13 May 2017

Parish Council Report

Change is in the air

I received the following email from the Chairman of the Parish Council.

Initial email

"From: Ian Goldsworthy
Sent: 11 May 2017 09:12
To: Geoff Hall; Philip Johnston-Davis

Subject: Parish Council Report

Dear both,

In looking at ways to make the Parish Council more effective and to reduce the call on councillors’ time, we have agreed that rather than produce our “press release” immediately after each meeting, our Clerk will post on our website her “notes” of the meeting as soon as they have been prepared i.e. before they have been presented to the Parish Council for ratification at the following meeting. This will provide far more information about what the Parish Council has been considering, etc at an earlier stage than at present.

Ruth is also going to look at ways of making our website more “user friendly” and will be considering introducing an arrangement where interested parties can sign-up to email alerts to indicate when new material has been posted. We will be including details of this proposal in Nocton News in due course.

Kind regards

My reply

"From: Geoff Hall
Sent: 11 May 2017 16:13
To: Ian Goldsworthy

Subject: Re: Parish Council Report

Hi Ian,

Thanks for letting me know.

I seem to recall the original aim of the informal Report was to provide an immediate response of the outcome of the meeting for those in the community who were unable to attend.  If you remember, before we became involved in Parish Council business, we had to wait weeks for the formal Minutes to be presented and signed off at the next meeting, by which time any matters of interest were lost in the annals of time. I would not want to return to that practice.

If this new proposal is agreed, I trust the Clerk’s ‘notes’ will be prepared timeously (as good practice dictates) and thus should appear on the Parish Council website very shortly after the meeting… and not be delayed unduly towards the next meeting.

I do appreciate the need to limit the demand on Councillor’s time, but it is also important to retain good communication with the whole community… and not just the few who attend the meetings. I therefore like the idea about signing up for email alerts - this is a sound principle and will be of interest to see how it works in practice.

Best regards,

Another reply

"From: Philip Johnston-Davis
Sent: 11 May 2017 16:21
To: Ian Goldsworthy; Geoff Hall and others

Subject: Re: Parish Council Report


Agree with Geoff on timeliness of communication with the wider audience. I would recommended that a link is posted by the Clerk in the Nocton What's On Facebook group directly when it is uploaded to the PC website, thus increasing the immediate reach.


Response from the Clerk

"From: Nocton Parish Council
Sent: 11 May 2017 16:59
To: PhilipJohnston-Davis; Geoff Hall; Ian Goldsworthy

Subject: Re: Parish Council Report

Dear All

It is my aim to prepare the meeting 'notes' as soon as is practicable after the meeting bearing in mind that I am employed part time and have other employment and commitments.

It is normal procedure for most parish councils that the notes to be posted on the parish council website and replaced by 'minutes' after approval at the next meeting; this temporary document is usually referred to as 'notes of the meeting' or 'draft minutes'. The key criteria is that the notes are ready to be approved as minutes at the following Parish council meeting and any pre-posting of notes is a helpful bonus.

The Parish Council does not have a facebook page, the official Parish Council website is the place for all documentation and reporting - however there would be no reason why another group could not copy the notes if wished.

I would like to make it clear that I would not 'delay the notes unduly', and will prepare all the relevant documents in as efficient was as is practicable.

To sign up to the email alerts click on the tab near the bottom of the website home page:

A  change of clerk (or chairman) can mean changes in the working methods of a Parish Council and I hope that all concerned will remain open minded to any variations that my joining the council brings.

Kind regards

Ruth Keillar
Clerk to Nocton Parish Council
Please note that the Clerk is employed part-time – please allow for this when awaiting a reply to your email."

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