The terms “open governance” and “accountability” are not terms that spring to my mind when thinking of Moulton Parish Council.
They choose to conduct the majority of their business in closed session whereby the public and press are excluded. They do so on the pretence of the confidential nature of business to be discussed.
Whilst I fully appreciate that at times there may be a genuine need to exclude the press and public I challenge them to justify the need do so as a matter of course rather than on a basis of need – it is after all our money they are spending.
The annual return (the parish council’s set of accounts) – which is public record – shows that the clerk’s salary was approximately £20,000 for 2011 – how strange is it then that the agendas and minutes, again public record, indicate that his salary is approximately £9,500 per annum.
Presumably the balance is being authorised in closed session – perhaps this is the reason the chairman was unable to answer the perfectly valid question about the figures on the agenda regarding the clerk’s salary.
Bell Lane, Moulton