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0 votes
First this is not me, but I'm watching  this train wreck and I'm appalled.

A councillor (Cllr A) was on a committee for years. Another councillor (Cllr B) joined the committee who is aggressively politically partisan and has a habit of writing formal complaints about other councillors who are independents or of another party.   Right before the AGM when committee seats were reassigned, Cllr A  (an independent) said in a non-public email that he was not going to rejoin "because he can't stand sharing oxygen with certain committee members" and didn't rejoin.  No mention was made of Cllr B in the privately circulated email, but Cllr B felt it was targeted at him and he was probably correct.

A couple of weeks later Cllr A changed his mind, decided that the work of the council was more important than personal animosity, and formally  requested to rejoin, a request that had to be approved at the monthly Full Council meeting. At this time Cllr B actively organised enough of his political party to vote not to allow Cllr A on the committee (blacklisted/blackballed the councillor), the first time that had ever happened on any committee on the council.

A few days later a different councillor resigned from the council and who also happened to be on the committee and the committee was now short of members and was in danger of not being quorate.

So the chair of the committee asked the clerk to email and see if Cllr A would like to be reconsidered and Cllr A said yes and the next time the committee met there was an agenda item to vote on admitting Cllr A. Cllr B and his mates again voted not to allow Cllr A to come on to the committee, along with about 15 minutes of insults and grievances about Cllr A.

So now the Clerk has contacted Cllr A and said that Cllr B and one of his mates have set pre-conditions for Cllr A to rejoin (public apology to Cllr B) and if Cllr A apologises, they will let him on the committee. I don't think there is any way  on God's green earth that is going to happen, but there it is.

Here are my questions-

Can two councillors, without any guidance from the wider council and without any delegated authority, set preconditions for a councillor to join a committee?

Can councillors direct the clerk to communicate such preconditions?  It seems to me that they are using the clerk to further a private agenda, not the business of the council.
by (140 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
I don't believe there is any Council regulation that says this can't be done; however, I don't believe the Clerk can be directed to communicate the terms, they should be asked. This is purely political and unfortunately personal, and the group that has the numbers controls the Council.
by (240 points)
–3 votes
I would take the view that pre-conditions for joining a committee would be standard and across the board otherwise you are in danger of taking the council down an unhealthy road. Councillors should be professional and personal differences should be "left at the door" - serving on a committee should be for the benefit of the community.
by (6.3k points)
+1 vote
Any pre conditions should be specified in the standing orders. Two councillors cannot unilaterally act as decision makers or issuers of decrees. The clerk should have informed the two cllrs that they are not empowered by legislation to bi laterally enact rules or regulations.
by (34.9k points)

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