We received two complaints that council for the City of London held an illegal closed meeting on June 10, 2015. Shortly after the meeting began, there was a disruption in the public gallery and members of the public were asked to leave the building. Once the security issue was resolved, the doors to City Hall remained locked to the public.
While the Mayor and council believed that the meeting was open to the public, the public was not actually free to enter the building in order to access council chambers to observe the meeting. Those attempting to watch the meeting did not have access to council chambers for a significant period of time while the front doors to city hall remained locked. During this time period, the meeting was not open to the public as it should have been.
The Acting Ombudsman advised the City to ensure that the public has unimpeded access to council chambers in order to observe all open meetings of council and committees, and to ensure that a formal written policy is created and implemented that sets out security protocols during meetings of council or committees.