ITEM NO.6

SUBJECT:
RECORDING OF MEMBERS' APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE from MEETINGS

 

SUMMARY:
A practice has developed whereby apologies for members' absence are recorded in the minutes of Council and Committee meetings whether or not they have been tendered. This has arisen because of the frequency with which members contended when minutes were subsequently presented for approval that their apologies had not been recorded
The Local Government Act 1972 Section 99 and Schedule 12 paragraph 40 requires that a record of members' attendance at meetings be kept. It is customary to record apologies for absence, but it is difficult to justify doing this on a members' behalf where no apology has in fact been submitted.
The responsibility for ensuring that an apology is tendered is that of the members concerned. It is suggested therefore that the current practice of registering all members absent from meetings as having apologised for absence should cease, Members should be requested to submit apologies either to the relevant Committee Secretary whose name appears on each agenda before the meeting or via the Chair at the meeting. It is further suggested that in future no apologies for absence will be accepted after a meeting has taken place.

   
 

1.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS:
There are none.
RP

2.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:
There are none.
WMB

3.

STAFFING IMPLICATIONS:
There are none.
HD

4.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS
The Local Government Act 1972 Section 85 provides that a member is disqualified from office if he/she is continuously absent from meetings for a period of six consecutive months from the date of the his/her last attendance unless the failure was due to some reason approved by the authority before the expiry of that period. If no apology for absence is tendered for a meeting by a member it should not be recorded as such otherwise it may be represented that the council has consented to the absence. SPM

   

LOCAL MEMBER(S) COMMENTS:
Not applicable.

 

RECOMMENDATION(S):
Cabinet recommends that in future members be advised that apologies for absence must be submitted in advance to the relevant Committee Secretary or through the Chair at a meeting. No apologies will be accepted after a meeting has taken place.
In addition if a members indicates that they are absent because of other Council business this fact will be recorded with the apology for absence.

 

Local Government Act 1972 - Access to Information

Background papers used in the preparation of this report:-

None identified.

 

DIRECTORATE:

Corporate Administration

Contact Name:

Mike Pugh Jones

Designation:

Head of Corporate Services

Tel. No.

01267 224022

File Ref:

AD015-002

Committee Ref:

Ratification Committee

Date of meeting:

18th June, 2001