Somebody pointed out on Caebrwyn's blog that public access is guaranteed by the Public Bodies(Admission to Meetings) Act 1960; so I wrote to Linda Rees-Jones:
"I had assumed that as one of the council's law officers that you are obliged to conform to the various Local Government Acts but you appear to be overlooking the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 which clearly states the public right of admission and, unless you have persuaded the Government to draft new laws especially for you, I expect to find the door to the public gallery to be open for the public entry and egress for all meetings from now on.
She wrote back almost immediately:
"The 1960 Act does not apply to County Councils; rather, admission to meetings of County Councils is governed by the Local Government Act
1972. Yours faithfully,"
I have written to her Again:
"Dear Ms Rees-Jones
Annotations C1 of the Public Bodies Act 1960 specifically mentions "non-metropolitan counties and districts constituted by LGA 1972" which makes me think that it does cover your public meetings, I shall still expect to be able to enter the public gallery without hindrance. yours faithfully"
I'm not sure that she can have looked at both acts and worked out that they are linked. I await, with baited breath, to hear her rebuttal ;-)
*doh! since starting to write this blog Caebrwyn posted that the undertaking has now been rescinded