More secrecy within the secret state?

Attending meetings of our local councils used to be a matter of routine. Press and public are supposed to be welcomed with open arms. Even if a matter under discussion is to be held in camera, the administration of the meeting (apologies, minutes of last meeting, declarations of interest etc) should be in public.

And even if officers of councillors would like an item to be in camera, it is supposed to be subject to debate or at least a vote. And a reason, more to the point a valid reason, for holding that meeting in camera has to be given.

Earlier today The Leveller heard that a meeting of South Somerset District Council’s Regulation Committee was to meet today. To be precise at the Brympton Way offices of the council at 6pm with one item on the agenda.

Except that it is not listed on SSDC’s calendar of meetings, nor is it listed on the Regulation Committee listing.

Either this meeting is not happening, or SSDC are going to great lengths to hide the existence of the meeting from the public. We emailed the officer responsible for coordinating the meetings of the Committee at 12.25pm given the urgency we also phoned. We were not surprised to find the phone going straight to voicemail and by 3pm this afternoon we had received no response to our email.

Whilst being only to ready to accept this is short notice, given the urgency of the matter, (after all the meeting was supposed to start at 6pm) we had hoped to report something more concrete.

Whether or not the meeting does exist and if it does start at 6pm, we’ll be sure to report back.


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