Council agenda rules brought up to date

Town and parish councils will be able to issue agendas electronically from the end of January, after the government announced updated rules.

The Local Government Act  of 1972 has not allowed councillors to receive agendas in electronic form until now.

On January 30, an amendment will bring the legislation into the 21st century, while allowing councillors to request paper copies if they prefer.

Local Government minister Kris Hopkins said: “We have been encouraging can-do councils to adapt to the digital age to modernise the services they deliver to local people and deliver savings.

“This Government is determined to bust barriers to modernisation in local government therefore it is only right councils should be able to issue agendas electronically, whilst ensuring councillors continue to have access to hard copy papers if they wish.”

He said that the move would help to reduce costs and provide better value for money for council tax payers.

Ken Browse, chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, which represents town and parish councils, said: “. No one knows the local community like we do and this new change to an arcane law shows this in practice.

“This reform to rules, which are over forty years old, is long overdue but very welcome and will help parish and town councils operate more efficiently and effectively.”

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