Parish councillors in Rothbury have sought legal advice after a member of the public’s home address was published in their draft minutes.
The personal details – which have now been struck from the record – appeared in the August minutes, sparking a complaint from the ‘flabbergasted’ resident.
At last Wednesday’s meeting, the parish agreed to seek advice from Northumberland County Council’s chief legal officer and the Association of Local Councils after the resident said they had no right to publish private home addresses of those who wished to speak on a public issue.
But Coun Steven Bridgett that that when anyone addresses the county council, or asks a question in an open public meeting, their full name and address are displayed on agendas.
Coun Alan Fendley said he respected the point being made, but queried that if a person was prepared to make a point, why would they not be prepared to have their details published.
Coun HelenEdes and Coun Ros Tinlin agreed, however, that addresses should not be in the public domain.
Chairman, Coun Jeff Reynalds stated that in the case of planning matters, it was important in a public part of the meeting that councillors present knew the address of the person making comments to judge whether they are relevant to the application.
He added that f there were reasons for a person not to have their address known, the chairman and clerk should be informed in advance and the matter then discussed in private session.