Rothbury Joint Burial Committee 27th April 2015 ..

(1) Several parish councils are jointly responsible for this local authority committee, which manages the current Rothbury cemetery.
(2) This is the 2nd meeting in public in recent years.
(3) Despite request to the meeting chair, no information, financial or other, was made available to members of the public attending, despite documents being available to committee members. The reason for refusal and consequent lack of transparency with residents is not known. Minute of previous meeting not made available for public inspection despite prior request.
(4) The cemetery superintendent gave an excellent precis of recent practical activity
(5) The video is ‘narrow’ in focus due to the room being small and space for public attendees restricted. Focus is primarily that end of the table occupied by the meeting chair, with only a couple of short views across the table confirming attendance. Video start is merely seconds into the start of the meeting. Unedited.
(6) 3 members of the public in attendance. One, a councillor in a constituent council confirmed their presence as a community journalist, requesting permission to record the meeting and take photographs. This was approved by the chair with an objection from other public attendees re photographing public attendees. Contrary to normal protocols, and despite the public objection, the ‘community journalist councillor’ repeatedly directed a mobile phone camera lens not at meeting attendees, but directly toward other members of the public. This inappropriate behaviour by someone in public office, has been referred elsewhere.
(8) There are a series of key observations regarding governance practice of this local authority committee and conduct of this meeting which may be highlighted to auditors.
(9) No mention of refused access to minute books
(10) change to joint committee future audit arrangements unclear

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