Section 50G(3) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 requires the Council to provide a summary of the rights of the public and press to (a) attend meetings of the Council and meetings of committees and sub committees of the Authority, and (b) inspect and copy documents and to be furnished with documents.
Admission to Meetings of the Council
Meetings of North Ayrshire Council and meetings of any committee or sub-committee of the Council, are open to members of the public and the press except to the extent that they are excluded (during the whole or part of proceedings).
Members of the public and press require to be excluded from a meeting during consideration of any item of business whenever it is likely that, if they were present, confidential information would be disclosed to them in breach of the obligation of confidence. Confidential information means information provided by a Government department in confidence or information regarding which disclosure is prohibited by any statute or by any court order.
Exclusion of Public and the Press
Members of the public and press may also be excluded from a meeting or part of a meeting by resolution during consideration of an item of business whenever it is likely that there would be a disclosure to them of exempt information. Exempt information is defined by Schedule 7A of the 1973 Act.
Photographing and Recording Meetings
The taking of photographs during proceedings of the Council and its committees and sub committees is prohibited except with the prior approval of the authority.
Public Notice of Meetings
Public Notice of the date and times of meetings is posted 3 clear days at least before the meeting or, if the meeting is convened at shorter notice, then at the time convened. Conduct The right of the public and press to attend meetings is without prejudice to the Council’s power to exclude to suppress or prevent disorderly conduct or other misbehaviour at a meeting.
Access to Agendas and Connected Reports
The agenda and reports for meetings of the Council and its committees are open for inspection by members of the public, except for any reports on items of business during consideration of which the meeting is not likely to be open to the public. Agendas will usually indicate exempt items of business.
Agendas and reports will normally be available for public inspection at least three clear days before a meeting or after copies have been made available to members of the Council. Where a meeting is convened at shorter notice, the agenda and reports will be available from the time the meeting is convened. If an urgent item is added to the agenda, and this item is available for public inspection, then this item will be available for public inspection from the time it is added to the agenda. Copies of agendas and reports for meetings are available for inspection by members of the public from Committee Services.
Agendas and reports are also normally published on the Council’s website 3 clear days before the meeting in question. A reasonable number of copies of the agenda and reports for a meeting are available for members of the public attending meetings.Copies of the agenda and reports are also available on request for the press and media. The Council may make a reasonable charge for the photocopying of background papers.
Inspection of Minutes and other Documents After Meetings
After a Council meeting or a meeting of a committee or sub committee, a copy of the minutes of the meeting, or a summary of what took place in private at the meeting, and copies of the agenda and reports (but not exempt reports), are available for inspection by members of the public from Committee Services.This right of inspection to agendas, reports and minutes continues for six years from the date of the meeting.
Inspection of Background Papers
Members of the public may inspect a list of background papers for any report and may also inspect a copy of each of the documents included in that list. This right is available as soon as the agenda for a meeting is published and continues for four years from the date of the meeting.
Background papers disclosing confidential or exempt information are not open for public inspection. The list of background papers annexed to any given report, where appropriate, is available for inspection from Committee Services.
Background papers are documents (including maps and plans) which relate to the subject matter of a report and which disclose any fact or matter on which the report is based or which have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report, but do not include any published works.
The Council may make a reasonable charge for the photocopying of background papers.
Additional Access for Members
Any document in the possession of, or under the control of the Council, which contains material relating to any business to be transacted at a meeting is open for inspection by a Member of the Council.
Where a document discloses certain specified categories of exempt information it does not require to be open for inspection by a Member of the Council. The specified categories of exempt information include personal information, information relating to any legal or criminal proceedings, and matters concerned with negotiations and industrial relations.
Publication of Additional Information
The Council requires to maintain a register stating the name and address of every Member of the Council and the ward he/she represents, and the name and address of every member of every committee and sub-committee of the Council. This register is open for inspection by members of the public from Committee Services.
Details are also published on the Council’s website.The Council requires also to maintain a list specifying all powers delegated by them to their officers (except for powers delegated for a period of six months or less) stating the title of the officer by whom each of these powers is exercisable. This list is open for inspection by members of the public.You can download this guidance from our Public Documents library.