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Publication Scheme

The purpose of the publication scheme is to be a means by which the 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.  The 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.

Background Information 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000.  The Act defines the public authorities that are covered by the Act and so are required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme. 

This scheme provides the public with a structured listing of any information released, with authorities undertaking a commitment to make it available to all.  It must set out how the Parish Council intends to charge for providing the information. 

Hurstbourne Priors Parish Council wishes to continue to be open and transparent and make information available to parishioners.  The publication scheme and charges may be revised from time to time.

Confidentiality 

Hurstbourne Priors Parish Council policy is to be as open as possible and supply the information requested.   However, the Council will withhold any information if it is considered that the release is not in the public interest or could cause harm. Any sensitive or confidential information is exempt from public information.

Requests for Information

All requests should be made to the Clerk and must include details of the applicant and the information required. T he Parish Council will respond to all requests within 28 days. 

All requests to view documents must be made in writing and an appointment will be arranged at a mutually convenient time and place.

All requests for copies of documents must be made in writing and should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.  The Council reserves the right to withhold the issue of copies until the appropriate fee has been received.

Charges

This is a new initiative and as parishioners are aware, your Parish Council has modest resources.  The Council will therefore set reasonable charges for the information requested to cover photocopying costs, postage, staff time and other expenses.

CORE CLASSES OF INFORMATION

Council Internal Practice and Procedure 

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for Supply(yes/no)

Minutes of the council, committee and sub committee meetings (limited to the last two years)

A4 loose leaf sheets available. Average 3-4 pages per meeting. Minutes of full council meetings are published on the web site

Yes No

Procedural standing orders

A4 loose leaf sheets available.

Yes

Council’s annual report to the parish meeting

Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting available. Average 3-4 pages

Yes

Code of Conduct

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for Supply(yes/no)

Members’ Declaration of Acceptance of Office

Copy available. 1 sheet per councillor

Yes

Members Register of Interests

Held by Monitoring officer at Borough Council

N/A

Register of Member’s interests book

Included in the minutes of each meeting, where applicable

As per minutes of the council

Periodic Electoral Review

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 Borough Council

N/A

Information relating to that latest boundary review of the council area

Available from Borough Council

N/A

Employment Practice and Procedure

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for Supply(yes/no)

Terms and Condition of employment

Model documents only available

Yes

Job descriptions

N/A One employee only

N/A

Planning Documents

Information

Format in which it is available

Charge for Supply (yes/no)

Responses to planning applications

Decisions recorded in minutes. Copies of specific letters of objection available – approximately 1-2 pages. Planning Reference numbers must be given

Yes

Audits and Accounts

Information

Format in which it is supplied

Charge for Supply (yes/no)

Annual return form – limited to last financial year

A4 copies available. 3 pages

Yes

Annual Statutory report by auditor (internal and external) – limited to last financial year

A4 copies available. 1 page

Yes

Receipts/payment books, receipt books of all kinds, bank statements from all accounts – limited to the last financial year

Viewing by appointment at a public place

Copies of all documents supplied in A4/A3 format. Length varies

Bank statements available in A4 format

Yes

30p per A4 sheet

£1.00 per A3 sheet

Precept request – limited to the last financial year

A4 copies available

Yes

VAT records – limited to the last financial year

A4 loose leaf copies available. 1-2 pages. Please note that this information could be confidential and may be withheld

Yes

Financial Standing Orders and regulations

A4 loose leaf sheets available. 2 pages

Yes

Assets Register

Assets Register available in A4 loose leaf copies

Yes

Financial risk assessments

Under development

Yes

* Current recommended charge is 30 pence per sheet.

Exclusions

Core Classes of Information

Employment Practice and Procedure

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

Planning Documents

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.

Audit and Accounts

All commercially sensitive information eg. 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. ie if tender information is released to a third party prior to the end of a tender period, those who initially submitted tenders could be undercut and/or unfairly disadvantaged.