In early July, we issued an alert on the draft Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 that would allow any person attending a public local government meeting to take photographs, film and audio-record the proceedings, and report on the meeting.

They also require local government officers to make a written record of certain decisions and to make the record available for inspection by members of the public on request. It will be an offence for an officer, without reasonable excuse, either to intentionally obstruct a person exercising the right to inspect, or to refuse a request to provide a written record or background papers.

At that time it was not known when the regulations would come into force, other than that it would be the day after they were made. This was expected to be at the end of July but nothing appeared then.

The finalised regulations were published late on 5 August 2014 and so come into force today.

Please refer to our previous
alert Council meetings – Lights, cameras, action! for action that you need to take. If you need any further advice, please contact Olwen Dutton.