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Can a clerk call an 'extra' meeting of the full Council? I am aware of all the regs for the Chair or set number of Councillors calling for an Extraordinary meeting but this 'extra' meeting was called by the Clerk. It was about a road survey we had been asked to respond to but with very little notice. It was important to us as we have severe problems in one part of our town but I'm know wondering if this meeting was lawful.
by (2.8k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Extra Ordinary means out of the ordinary. If you have your meetings set for specific times in the year ( say monthly) then a meeting called at any other time is "extraordinary". This does not negate the requirements of notice for a meeting and certainly not to meet an outside timetable. The clerks first job in receiving such a notice should be to seek an extension in response time within which a meeting of the council can be called to give their response. If this is not possible then the next order of business would be for the council to lodge a complaint regarding the short notice to enable democratic action to be enabled. Too much stuff is rushed through these days with tight deadlines. A cynic would say by design of course.

But of course it all depends how important the " survey" is to the community.
by (26.5k points)
There was almost a month to reply but unfortunately it was not received in time to go on the last agenda and the deadline was just before the next meeting. So just unfortunate timing really. Although I tend to agree with your comment about things being rushed and maybe by design. I just want to clarify your answer - are you saying that a Clerk cannot call 'extra meetings' but there should have been be Extraordinary meeting following the normal procedure?
The parish council meetings are normally set each year by the clerk who then summonses the council to them. The council decides when or how often those meetings occur. The clerk decides and provides the agendas based on the requirements or business to be dealt with. The chair calls any extraordinary meetings and the clerk implements them ensuring councillors are notified and supplied with the required information.
What should happen in reality is that the clerk receives notice of a decision to be made outside of normal meeting. If they cannot get any time extension to fit in with the normal meeting Inform the chair who then instructs the clerk to call councillors to the extraordinary meeting and form the agenda.
As said the chair will have to decide whether the matter is important enough to warrant an extra ordinary meeting.
0 votes
No, the clerk cannot unilaterally call an extraordinary meeting, but could ask the chair or two other councillors  to call one, if the need was justified.
by (34.9k points)
Thank you for your reply Graeme_r   I knew the rules for calling extraordinary meetings but was a bit thrown by the Clerks email. These are the exact words used:

I will send you details of the proposed extra ordinary (not extraordinary) meeting

I was worried she knew something I didn't. But know think it's the other way round!
I suspect your Clerk is trying to convey that the nature of business to be conducted is not significantly different to a regular scheduled monthly meeting. Perhaps to emphasise that it is not the same in scope to an extraordinary general meeting which might be called when something non routine has arisen such as resignation of a chair and or a number of councillors where the functioning of the council itself is impacted. But the clerk's terminology is certainly dubious.
I'm a little confused again now. Based on previous replies I thought there was only 2 types of meetings. Ordinary as defined in standing orders. (Ours is once a month apart from August when we are in recess). And then Extraordinary, which is anything over that. And that an Extraordinary meeting could be called for anything that can't wait. I've never before seen a reference to anything else. Are you saying that the Clerk has the power to call 'extra' meetings with no consultation with the Chair or anyone else? We certainly have not delegated that power to the Clerk.
No the clerk can't call an Extraordinary meeting. Or an Extraordinary general meeting. The two terms are used by Parish and Town councils, in this example both terms are used in the minutes of the same meeting.https://www.diddleburyparish.co.uk/meetings/extra-ordinary-general-meeting
In addition to the AGM a parish council must hold at least three regular meetings per year. Some might hold eleven, an some might meet just bi monthly. If your PC just meets bi monthly, the clerk might be seeking to hold an additional regular meeting, but cannot issue a summons without a council resolution.I see this as a proposed extraordinary meeting, not an additional regular meeting, even though the survey might not be deemed as justifying one.
Thank you. I think I've got it all clear now. The survey did justify a meeting as we have severe problems in one area that needs urgently looking at by the Trunk Road Agency. The timing of receipt of the survey and it's deadline where just unfortunate.

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