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Can a Chair of a committee change to day of the meeting just beause he/she cannot attend?

0 votes
We have 6 committees. All have Terms of Reference, including the day/time of the monthly meeting. One Chair is frequently changing the day and time of the meeting because he cannot attend the set day/time due to working shifts. All the committees have a Vice Chair and without him the meeting would still be quorate. Is he entitled to keep doing this chopping and changing? All Councillors know when committee meetings should take place so try to keep these days free. So changing it can be a nuisance and sometimes mean more than just one person cannot then attend.
by (2.7k points)

1 Answer

0 votes
No. Meetings dates are supposed to be published as a schedule in advance by the Clerk. Some flexibility is possible at the discretion of the Clerk. Once an agenda is published, the date is fixed - it is a legal summons after all.
by (1.3k points)
Indeed. The Chair has no special status and even without a Vice-Chair, the meeting could proceed if quorate.
Thank you for your replies. I may not have made myself clear. The agenda is not sent out for the scheduled day/time and then altered. It is altered by the Chair and Clerk, with no consultation with the other committee members, and then an agenda  is sent out with a different date and time to the schedule in the Terms of Reference. It has happened again this month. The date has been changed to what the Chair wants so he can be present. But that has resulted in one other member not being able to attend and I will have to leave early because of a doctors appointment.
Check the Committees and Sub-committees section of your standing orders. In the English model, the Council sets the calendar for regular committee meetings at the Annual Meeting for the whole year. If the Council has set the date, a resolution of Council is required to change it.
Thanks DavetheClerk. The date and time has been set at the Annual Meeting of the Council by way of Terms of Reference so that's very helpful.
It follows therefore that decisions taken at such displaced meetings could be challenged as "ultra vires" with the Parish Councillors becoming personally liable for any expenditure incurred as a result. Hopefully your insurer is friendly.

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