Records Retention Policy

The Parish Council recognises that the efficient management of its records is necessary to comply with its legal and regulatory obligations and to contribute to the effective overall management of the association. This document provides the policy framework through which this effective management can be achieved and audited.

It covers:

  • Scope
  • Responsibilities
  • Retention Schedule 


This policy applies to all records created, received or maintained by the Parish Council in the course of carrying out its functions. Records are defined as all those documents which facilitate the business carried out by the Parish Council and which are thereafter retained (for a set period) to provide evidence of its transactions or activities. These records may be created, received or maintained in hard copy or electronically. A small percentage of the Parish Council records may be selected for permanent preservation as part of the Councils archives and for historical research.


The Parish Council has a corporate responsibility to maintain its records and record management systems in accordance with the regulatory environment. The person with overall responsibility for this policy is the Clerk. The person responsible for records management will give guidance for good records management practice and will promote compliance with this policy so that information will be retrieved easily, appropriately and timely. Individual staff and employees must ensure that records for which they are responsible are accurate, and are maintained and disposed of in accordance with the Parish Council’s records management guidelines.

Retention Schedule

The retention schedule refers to record series regardless of the media in which they are stored.

DocumentMinimum Retention PeriodReason
Minutes of Council meetingsIndefiniteArchive
Minutes of committee meetingsIndefiniteArchive
Staff employment contracts6 years after ceasing employmentManagement
Staff payroll information3 yearsManagement
Staff references6 years after ceasing employmentManagement
Application forms (interviewed – unsuccessful)6 monthsManagement
Application forms (interviewed – successful)6 years after ceasing employmentManagement
Disciplinary files6 years after ceasing employmentManagement
Staff appraisals6 years after ceasing employmentManagement
Scales of fees and charges6 yearsManagement
Receipt and payment accountsIndefiniteArchive
Bank statementsLast completed audit yearAudit
Cheque book stubsLast completed audit yearAudit
Paid invoices6 yearsVAT
Paid cheques6 yearsLimitation Act 1980
Payroll records6 years + current yearHMRC
Petty cash accounts6 yearsVAT
Insurance policies6 years after policy endManagement
Certificates for Insurance against liability for employees6 years after policy endManagement
Certificates for Public Liability6 years after policy endManagement
Insurance claim records6 years after policy endManagement
Health and Safety  
Accident books3 years from date of last entryStatutory
Risk assessment3 yearsManagement
General Management  
Councillors contact detailsDuration of membershipManagement
Lease agreements12 yearsLimitation Act 1980
Contracts6 yearsLimitation Act 1980
Email messagesAt end of useful lifeManagement
Consent forms5 yearsManagement
GDPR Security Compliance formDuration of membershipManagement
  • Created: 2018
  • Adopted: 8th January 2019
  • Version: 2
  • Reviewed: 2023‑05
  • Next review: 2024-05