A huge leap forwards in Communications.

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In an historic move the Government has amended the regulations that control the summonsing of local councillors to meetings. From January 30th 2015 these may now be sent by email.

I suspect a number of you may be wondering why this is news. It is a complicated, and long, story!

When a Parish Councillor is advised of a Council meeting and given the agenda it is not a request but a summons. It is the nature of summonses that they must be delivered directly to the recipient. This has meant in practice that the Clerk has had to hand deliver them to the 11 councillors every month. Even those Councillors who receive the paperwork electronically still had to get a paper instruction to attend.

For those of you with a legalistic bent the change comes in The Local Government (Electronic Communication) (England) order 2015, Section 4, Paragraph10, sub-section (20 (b) (ii) and states:
'where a member has given consent for the summons to be transmitted in an electronic form to a particular electronic address (and consent has not been withdrawn) sending it to that electronic address' is now deemed an appropriate method.

It seems that the original rules were in an Act passed in 1972 when even the word 'internet' had not yet been invented. But if the world of electronic communications has moved at a whirlwind pace, the world of government has moved in a rather more stately fashion. Well — one has to make sure that the wording is just right!!

Perhaps the best comment should be left to our Parish Clerk, who, in his email to Councillors, just said "AT LAST!"

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