05 January 2012

Publication of Summaries of Trustee Decisions

Over the past few months, requests have been made for publication of the minutes of Slinfold Village Hall Trustee meetings: a direct request to the Trustees for the publication of their minutes, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request for such through the Parish Council, and an implicit request in an article in the December 2011 issue of the Slinfold Magazine.

As a Registered Charity, the Village Hall is not a public body and hence is not subject to the FoI Act. Additionally, constitutionally, the Parish Council has - and can have - no involvement in the running of the Village Hall, which is a Registered Charity. The Parish Council merely holds the role of Custodian Trustee, which means that the building and land is held in their name on behalf of the Managing Trustees, who cannot hold it in their own name because they do not legally constitute a Corporate Body.

The Trustees do not consider it appropriate to publish the minutes of their operational meetings - which may include sensitive or condfidential business - and as far as the current trustees are aware it has never been the practice for the Hall to do so.

Nevertheless, although the Trustees do not consider it appropriate to publish the minutes of their meetings in full, they do recognise the benefits of frequent and open communication and, in addition to regular updates in the Slinfold Magazine, their intention has been to publish a Summary of key Decisions from their meetings when volunteer time became available. The current Christmas break has finally afforded that time, and summaries of the decisions made at Trustee Meetings during 2011 have now been produced and retrospectively published in this blog. It is the Trustees intention to continue publishing such summaries, but it must be noted that they are under no legal obligation to do so, and that their continuance to do so is subject to volunteer time being available.