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Knowles on Local Authority Meetings, 8th edition

Author: Philip McCourt

Published: July 2016 | ISBN: 9781860726798

Local authority law and practice continues to change at pace. Over many years Knowles has established itself as the authority on the law and practice of local authority meetings and decision-making.

Written for local authority democratic services officers, solicitors, legal officers and supporting officers, and anyone dealing with committee practice within a local authority environment, the new edition of Knowles on Local Authority Meetings covers the law and practice of local authority meetings and decision-making and discusses the developments within the local government sector.

The book provides an analysis of the framework within which local authority meetings are held, the rights and duties of members, officers and the public at meetings, and the practical conduct of meetings. Featured throughout are relevant case histories and illustrations of model documents and procedures with an extensive list of appendices.

This edition has been extensively amended to discuss the latest changes and developments within the local government sector, including:

  • developing law and practice under The Localism Act 2011
  • standing orders and the authority’s constitution
  • various approaches to members’ codes of conduct
  • individual decision making and the importance of the clerk’s role in quality control, the decision maker’s report and recording decisions
  • the Cities and Devolution Act 2016.


Part One: General Principles

  1. Current framework
  2. Standing orders
  3. Admission of press and public
  4. Local authority membership
  5. The role of officers

Part Two: Council Meetings

  1. Preliminaries
  2. Conduct
  3. Council minutes

Part Three: Committee Practice

  1. The committee system
  2. Work before meetings
  3. Work at meetings
  4. Work after meetings

Part Four: Miscellaneous Meetings

  1. Meetings for special purposes
  2. Meetings of other public bodies