Carmarthenshire County Council is again demonstrating why we need change in the way the public finds out about its decisions and how it goes about making those decisions.
The last meeting of the full council took place on 8 June. It was an unusually stormy meeting for the council, with issues raised which are of great interest to many people around the county, but unless you were able to attend the meeting in person, you will not know what happened or what was decided. Almost three weeks have gone by, and the minutes for the meeting are still not available.
Let's not get too excited. Minutes are minutes, after all, and they are likely to provide only a very dry bones record of the decisions. Anyone unaware of the dramatic events which took place is unlikely to get a sense of what happened at the meeting, but the minutes are important nevertheless.
At the very least, the unacceptable delays in publishing minutes of meetings show how little importance the council attaches to the rights of the public and council taxpayers to be informed of its decisions. At worst, you have to wonder whether by holding information back for so long, the council is calculating that by the time it does publish, the so-called news agenda will have moved on and nobody will be interested.
Of course, delaying the publication of information which it is required to produce by law is only one way a local authority can keep things under wraps. There are many more tools in the box, and I shall be looking at some more in the coming weeks.