Council and committee minutes are the official and lawful record of what happened at meetings and have to be made available for public inspection.
Some parish councils follow best practice and publish their minutes online.
Here are some top tips for clerks, or anyone tasked with taking minutes at a meeting:
- Minutes should be a permanent written record of matters transacted;
- They should be made up in a minute book within a reasonable time after the meeting to which they relate;
- They should be made up from notes taken at the time of the meeting;
- This should include reasons for decisions, the basis upon which they were taken, the resolutions and details of alternatives considered;
- They should be able to be understood without extensive cross-referencing;
- Once minutes have been confirmed they should not be altered. Any inaccuracy should be corrected by a resolution and noted in the minute recording the signing of the minutes;
- They should be made available for anyone, not just electors.