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No Clerk, No Councillors, so how does chairman resign?

0 votes
The clerk resigned some time ago.  Then some time after this, 6 of the 7 Councillors resigned by informing the Chairman.  So to whom does the Chairman resign?  Or is it that he is technically still chairman of an empty parish council?  He claims to have resigned.  My district council say my parish council will not be reinstated until 2023 elections.  But do we still legally have a chairman?
by (120 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
It's rather an academic question, given that the council cannot achieve a quorum, and is in the hands of the district council. I guess the chairman is all that is left of the council, so perhaps he can send his resignation to himself, and thereby cease to be a member immediately after receiving his own resignation. If that is what he claims to have done, I can't see any reason to contest it.
by (30.0k points)
The Local Government Act 1972 Part V clause 84 notes:-
(1) A person elected to any office under this Act or elected as an elected mayor may at any time resign his office by written notice delivered -
(a) except in a case falling within paragraph (b), (c) or (d) below, to the proper officer of the council;
(b) in the case of a person elected to a corporate office in a London borough, to the proper officer of the borough;
(c) in the case of a parish councillor, to the chairman of the parish council;
(d) in the case of a chairman of a parish council, to the council;

So how can the chairman deliver his written notice to a council that no longer exists?  No Proper Officer existed.
As I said, prior to his resignation, the chairman is the council, even though it cannot function for the lack of a quorum. So I see no reason why he can't resign to himself. The council doesn't cease to exist just because there is no proper officer. I really doesn't matter though!
An interesting comment.  The flaw may be that the chairman cannot actually be a chairman if there is no quorate council.  Inquorate councils cannot undertake either business or responsibilities, so an irresponsible chairman cannot accept any resignations, even his own.  But as you say, it's all irrelevant since the PC remains as an entity but in reality doesn't exist.
0 votes
The chair should send his notification of resignation as a parish Cllr to the Monitoring officer of the Principal Authority. The PA could potentially, if legislation permits, set up a shadow parish council to receive the resignation if they feel the Parish council must legally exist as some form of entity to receive the resignation. The chair would create a Cllr vacancy which could require a by election or co option and this would be in the gift of the PA. A shadow council could potentially  participate in a co option.
by (25.3k points)
That's not what is specified in the Act.  Section 91 (1) of the LG Act 1972 can enable the PA to make the PC quorate.  As far as I know, there is no legislation exists to create a shadow PC.
Not in the LGA Act 1972 but it must exist elsewhere, probably representation of the people's act.  See link below:  It could be that a Shadow Council can only be created by the PA when an appropriate governance review is being implemented.  Something that could be a possibility in this instance.  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2019/9780111183717/part/3?view=plain
0 votes
The resignation of the Chairman aside, the District Council has the power to appoint people to the Council temporarily to enable it to function - they don't have to wait until the next elections - there must be contracts in place/obligations on the parish council that can't just be ignored for over a year.

The Chairman should have notified the elections team who should have organised a notice of casual vacancies to enable a poll to be called by the residents to get new people on to the council.  If no poll was called then revert to my first paragraph - the District Council should be appointing people to form a quorum to enable the parish council to function!
by (180 points)
My DC evidently decided to not use Sec 91(1) to appoint.  Why?  They have refused to explain apart from the 2023 election.  No poll either, perhaps both situations are because clerk and all cllrs. ceased to exist.  So where are we? a) the DC don't care about a small parish b) the residents don't care about having a PC c) we're all paying precept for this (and 2022/23 on on?) for no reason d) bills (insurance, new notice board, web fees, etc) don't get paid.  But again, who, apart from myself and one other resident, cares!?
See another angle at https://dunchideockvillage.weebly.com/councillors-et-al.html
You won't be paying a precept to the parish council in 2022/23 if it doesn't exist as there is a requirement  for the parish council to complete a demand for their precept.  It is not a rolling thing but a legal, formal requirement.
Thanks; I think you're right because without a clerk or council, there's no legal means of asking for a precept.  Therefore it cannot be requested not just for for 2022/23 but since the 2023 election will be long after the precept request timetable, we'll not be paying for one in 2023/24.
Apart from myself who the council refused to co-opt, there have been no eligible locals ever willingly stand for co-option the the vacancies since July 2020.  So the new council, should anyone bother to stand, will have an interesting start!

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