The Chairman reported that the views of the Panel were that deliberations on the complaints before them would be held in private.
Counsel clarified that the complaints would be received in non-public session but that the actual determination/deliberation on these would be held in private session. The Town Clerk added that, following deliberations, the outcome of each complaint would be communicated with the relevant parties in writing as was normal procedure and in accordance with the organisation’s complaints procedure.
With the permission of the Chairman, an elected Member, observing from the public gallery, questioned this approach and asked whether those present would be called back in to the meeting to be informed of the decisions following private deliberations. A Panel Member stated that this would not be the case as there was a reluctance to publicly announce outcomes before all of the relevant parties (all of whom were not in attendance today) were informed of these. Counsel drew the attention of those present to paragraph 45 of the Complaints Procedure which set out how the decisions of this Sub Committee were to be announced.
Another elected Member, also observing from the public gallery spoke to suggest that it was not automatic that complaints had to be heard in non-public session. The Chair acknowledged this point but reiterated that a confidential deliberation was supported unanimously by the Panel.