Freedom of Information Act 2000

Publication Scheme

Smarden Parish Council has resolved to adopt the Model Scheme for Local Councils (core classes plus optional classes) in accordance with Section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will publish information in accordance with that Scheme.

The scheme is intended to encourage local councils to publish more information proactively and to develop a greater culture of openness and transparency.  Other information is available at the parish office or the Clerk may know its location/publisher and help will be given where possible.

Availability of Information

The details of the scheme will be available:

  1. in person from Smarden Charter Hall
  2. by post from the Smarden Parish Council, Smarden Charter Hall, Chessenden Lane, Smarden, Kent, TN28 8NF
  3. the website: www.smardenpc.kentparishes.gov.uk

Further information or copies of particular documents can be requested from or consulted at the Parish Office, Smarden Charter Hall, Monday and Thursday 9am-1pm.  Arrangements can be made to open the parish office outside of normal opening hours. Telephone 01233 770680.

The Parish Clerk, Mrs Caroline Levett will be responsible for maintaining the scheme on a day to day basis.  The Chairman to the Parish Council will be responsible in the absence of the Clerk. If any issues arise concerning the organisation’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act contact Caroline Levett at Smarden Charter Hall (address above), by telephone 01233 770680 or email charterhall1@btconnect.com

Rights and Complaints

From the 1st March 2003 any person has the right to receive a copy of the information described in the Publication Scheme and, where that information is available in printed format the Council will endeavour to provide photocopies of documents requested under this scheme within 20 working days or the request.

If you are unhappy with the way in which Smarden Parish Council has dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you should raise the matter in accordance with the Parish Council’s Complaints Procedure. If the applicant is not satisfied with that response there is a procedure to appeal to the Information Commissioner.

Charges for Information

The Council will not charge for the inspection of documents or for viewing the information. If copies are required this will be charged at a rate of £1.00 per A4 sheet. The cost of any postage and packaging will be met by the person requesting the information.

PUBLICATION SCHEME

CORE AND OPTIONAL CLASSES OF INFORMATION

where applicable to Smarden Parish Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

Class 1
COUNCIL INTERNAL PRACTICE & PROCEDURE

  • Minutes of meetings of Council, Committees & Sub Committees – limited to last 2 years
  • Council Standing Orders
  • Council’s Annual report to the Parish Meeting
  • Agendas and supporting papers for Council, Committee and sub-Committee meetings – limited in each case to the forthcoming / immediate meeting
  • Terms of Reference for Committees

Class 2
CODE OF CONDUCT

  • Members’ Declaration of Acceptance of Office
  • Members’ Register of Interests
  • Register of Members’ Interests Book

Class 3
PERIODIC ELECTORAL REVIEW

  • information concerning changes to the electoral arrangements in the parish. It includes recommendations for the creation of new wards, the amendment of existing wards, proposals for the names of new wards and alterations to the number of councillors to be elected to the Council
  • Information relating to the last Periodic Electoral Review of the Council area.
  • Information relating to the latest boundary review of the Council area.

Class 4
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE & PROCEDURE

  • terms and conditions of employment
  • job descriptions
  • Equal opportunities statement
  • Health and safety policy
  • Disciplinary procedure

Exclusions – ‘personal records’ i.e. appraisals, employee specific salary details, disciplinary records, sickness records and the like by virtue of being personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998.

  

Class 5
PLANNING DOCUMENTS

  • responses to planning applications

Exclusions – Copies of planning consultations, the Development Plan, Structure Plan, Local Plan and Rights of Way/Footway maps all of which are available from the local planning and/or highway authority respectively.

Class 6
AUDIT & ACCOUNTS

  • Annual Statutory Report by auditor (internal and external) – limited to last financial year
  • Annual return form – limited to last financial year
  • Income & Expenditure and Balance Sheet reports, receipt/payment books, bank statements –  limited to last financial year
  • Precept request –  limited to last financial year
  • VAT records – limited to last financial year
  • Financial Standing Orders and Regulations
  • Assets Register
  • Risk assessments

Exclusions – all commercially sensitive information e.g. quotations and tenders, loan documentation and insurance policies. With regard to quotations and tenders, this information is treated as confidential to ensure that the whole tender process is fair i.e. if tender information is released to a third party prior to the end of the tender period those who initially submitted tenders could be undercut and / or unfairly disadvantaged.

Class 7
DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY

  • responses made by Council to consultation papers plus analysis of responses received to public consultations by the Council
  • Policy statements issued by Council
  • Complaints handling procedure

Class 12
BURIAL GROUNDS

·         Plans

·         General policies

Exclusions – all documentation relating to individual applications and registrations under both privacy and data protection laws.

 

 

Date of adoption/last review 8th February 2008