Category Archives: Parish Council Policies

Publication Scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

KING’S SOMBORNE Parish Council

Electorate 1268

The Legislation

The purpose of this publication scheme is to provide a means by which the Parish Council can make a significant amount of information available routinely.  The scheme will ensure that the Council will publish more information pro-actively and help it to develop a greater culture of openness and transparency.  This authority’s key responsibilities are to represent the electorate of its areas, to take action within the legal framework and to provide a leadership focus for the community.

Exemptions

Some exemptions will be qualified exemptions but will be subject to a public interest test.  Does the public interest outweigh the reasons for keeping the matter in exempt?  Examples include matters of commercial interest and legal professional privilege.  Other exemptions will be absolute and not be subject to the public interest test.  Examples include information provided in confidence and personal information.

Private meetings and private materiel

The Council recognises that the application of the legislation has the potential to include anything written down or handed out at any meeting, anything recorded privately and anything received by council officers or members in connection with council business.

Request method, multi-requests and right of appeal

Requests for information are to be made in writing, including electronic means, be legible, be capable of subsequent reference, contain the name and address of the requestor and describe clearly the information required.  If the council does not comply with the request within the statutory deadline the requestor can appeal to the Chairman and if not satisfied with the response to the Office of the Information Commissioner.  Seventeen or more requests for similar information can be aggregated and treated as a single request giving the advantage that if the estimated time taken to comply with the request(s) exceeds 18 hours the Council may refuse the request (section 12 (1) of the FOIA) or if the time taken does not exceed 18 hours the Council does not have to sort the information into 17 or more different sections.

Response to requests

The Council recognises that good practice requires a prompt acknowledgment giving the information requested or advising whether or not it is available.  In either case the response will not take longer than 20 working days.  When a request has been complied with and an identical or substantially similar request is received the council will not comply a second time unless a reasonable time has elapsed.

Fees and charges

 The Council reserves the right to charge a fee to cover its expenses in providing the information requested and details can be found below.

CORE CLASSES OF INFORMATION

 

1          Council Internal Practice and Procedure

               

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Minutes of council and committee meetings A4 sheets, average 6 pages for full Council Yes – 20p per page plus postage or download free from website
Procedural standing orders A4 sheets – 35 pages including annexes Yes – £5 per copy
Council’s annual report to parish assembly Contained within Minutes of Annual Assembly – average 5 pages Yes – 20p per page plus postage or download free from website

 

2          Code of Conduct

               

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Members’ declarations of acceptance of office Kept by the Monitoring Officer at Test Valley Borough Council Refer to the Monitoring Officer
Members’ register of interests Kept by the Monitoring Officer at Test Valley Borough Council Refer to the Monitoring Officer
Register of Members’ interests declared at Meetings Recorded in Council meeting minutes and available to view by prior arrangement at meetings of the Parish Council N/A

 

3          Periodic Electoral Review 

                This is information concerning changes to the electoral arrangements for parish 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 Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Information relating to the last Periodic Electoral Review of the council area. Available from Test Valley Borough Council Refer to Test Valley Borough Council
Information relating to the latest boundary review of the council area Available from Test Valley Borough Council.

The Parish Clerk holds a map of boundaries, which may be viewed by prior arrangement at meetings of the Parish Council

Refer to Test Valley Borough Council

 

4          Employment Practice and Procedure        

 

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Terms and conditions of employment A4 sheets – 3 pages Yes – 20p per page plus postage
Job descriptions A4 Sheets – 2 pages Yes – 20p per page plus postage

 

5          Planning Documents

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Responses to planning applications Contained within Parish Council minutes – quote Planning Application number in any enquiry – only supplied as complete sets of minutes – average 6 pages Yes – 20p per page plus postage or download free website

 

6          Audit and Accounts               

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Annual return form – limited to the last financial year A4 sheets – 6 pages Yes – £5 per copy
Annual statutory report by auditor (internal and external) – limited to the last financial year Contained within the Annual Return – see above Yes – see above
Receipt/payment books, receipt books of all kinds, bank statement from all accounts – limited to the last financial year Available to view by prior arrangement with the Clerk N/A
Precept request – limited to the last financial year A4 sheet – 1 page Yes – £1 per copy
VAT records – limited to the last financial year A4 sheets – number of pages dependent upon number of transactions subject to VAT in the period Yes – 20p per page plus postage
Financial Standing Orders and regulations A4 sheets – 9 pages Yes – £2 per copy
Assets register – includes details of commons/village greens owned by the council, including management schemes for commons as well as village halls, community centres and recreation grounds Contained within full Annual Accounts Yes – £3 per copy
Financial risk assessments A4 sheets – 2 pages Yes – £3 per copy

 

OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS WITHIN CORE CLASSES

 

1          Council Internal Practice and Procedure

 

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Agendas and supporting papers for council and committee meetings, limited in each case to the forthcoming / immediately preceding meetings A4 sheets

 

Agendas are 1 to 2 pages, and are posted up on Parish notice boards at least 3 clear days before the subject meeting. Also available f.o.c. at subject meetings.

 

Supporting papers available f.o.c. at meetings of the Parish Council, or by post on request against payment. Number of pages dependent upon  matters to be discussed

No – agendas for Committee Meetings and agendas and supporting papers for Council Meetings are available f.o.c. at the subject meeting.

Otherwise Yes –  20p per page plus postage for supporting papers

Terms of reference for committees Not applicable

 

  1. Development and Implementation of Policy 
Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Policy statements issued by council Contained within Council minutes

 

 

Yes – 20p per page plus postage
Responses made by council to consultation papers Members of the public are requested to specify the subject matter and approximate date of consultation Yes – 20p per page plus postage
Analysis of responses received to public consultations by the council Members of the public are requested to specify the subject matter and approximate date of consultation Yes – 20p per page plus postage
Village appraisal Not applicable N/A
Complaints handling procedure A4 sheet – 2 pages 20p per page plus postage
Receipt/payment books, receipt books of all kinds, bank statement from all accounts – limited to the last financial year Available to view by prior arrangement with Clerk No

 

  1. Byelaws

None issued by King’s Somborne Parish Council.  Refer to Test Valley Borough Council.

 

  1. Council circulars/Newsletters       
Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Council newsletters/circulars Not applicable N/A

 

  1. Allotments

None owned or managed by King’s Somborne Parish Council.  Refer to local allotment managing agents – Dreweatt Neate in Winchester.

  1. Burial Grounds

Refer all queries to the Clerk.

  1. Best Value

This encompasses the duty owed by a council to its local people to provide good quality services at an acceptable cost and to continually improve the delivery of those services across the parish as a whole.

 

Information Format in which it is available Charge for supply

(yes/no)

Best Value performance plan Not applicable N/A

 

EXCLUSIONS

Core classes of Information

Employment Procedure and Practice

‘Personal records’ ie appraisals, employee specific salary details, disciplinary records, sickness records and the like by virtue of being personal data as defined under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Planning Documents

Copies of planning consultations, any development plan, structure plan, local plan and rights of way or footpath maps, all of which are available from the local planning officer and/or highway authority and the county council rights of way officer.

Audit and Accounts

All commercially sensitive information eg quotations and tenders, loan documentation and insurance policies.  With regards to quotations and tenders, this information is treated as confidential to ensure the whole tender process is fair and to prevent information being released to a third party before the end of the tender process thus enabling a tender to be undercut or unfairly disadvantage those tendering.

DOCUMENT RETENTION POLICY

Approved Council minutes and important supporting papers are kept indefinitely.

Council Standing Orders are updated as required and previous copies destroyed.

Registers of declarations of interest and Members’ attendance records are stored electronically.

 

Rough notes made at a meeting are destroyed when the minutes of the meeting are adopted unless retained by originator through personal choice.

Electronic mail is only retained either in hard copy or electronically when it is likely to be required for reference purposes in an on-going situation.

Hard copy correspondence is periodically reviewed and that unlikely to be of historical interest is destroyed.

This publication scheme was adopted by King’s Somborne Parish Council at its meeting in January 2009

Clerk to the Council