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Chairman withholding information until next meeting

0 votes
Following our last Council meeting (end of Sept) the Chairman agreed (somewhat reluctantly on some requests) to write to seven individual third parties to address Council concerns etc. All seven emails were sent from him and cc'd to the Clerk. The Chairman informed members that he would "let you know of any replies or information".

I have not seen the letters and I don't know if any members have seen them either.

Having not heard anything, and we are nearing December, I sent a quick email to the Chairman just asking if any response had been received.

His reply was " if there is anything significant I will advise, otherwise it will be on the agenda at the next meeting".

He has not stated that he has received something, a brief yes or no to answer my question?
Why should I have to wait until the next meeting?
All is quiet from members and only the Chairman emails when necessary.  Where is the collaborative working....I appear to be ignored having to be updated by the Chairmans posts on facebook.

Any advice on how to respond? Any legal stuff for back up? The smell just continues to linger.
by (1.4k points)

4 Answers

0 votes
As the Chair has contacted third parties maybe they are concerned about GDPR ?

Do  you expect the emails and replies to be discussed in open or closed session ?
by (5.7k points)
0 votes
Our Council don't have Gov.uk email addresses so we use our own. No idea with regards GDPR and Council have previously emailed some of those contacted again.
I've no reason to expect a closed session but hey anything could happen. Thanks for your reply.
by (1.4k points)
+1 vote
The Chair of a town or parish council has no elevated powers or duties over & above any other Cllr  except:

The right to unilaterally call an extraordinary meeting and the duty Signing/Countersigning certain docs e.g. Annual returns, minutes of full council meetings, which he/she are normally expected to chair.

He/she cannot unilaterally decide what to Council correspondence to share and what not to share or to apply his own filtering critieria.  All Cllrs should have access to all council documents and information.
The key question is what was the exact wording of the resolution that directed him to write to write to these third parties
by (28.8k points)
It all came out in matters arising from previous minutes. For info. meetings are dysfunctional and adversarial.
+1 vote
Why is the Chair dealing with correspondence? That's the role of the Clerk. Standing order 15.b.x states that the Proper Officer shall "receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary."
by (38.2k points)
The Clerk agreed that the Chairman write. Clerk is contracted for 2hrs per week and has no time. It's a shambles. I'm still waiting for the minutes of the last meeting.
That's ridiculous! The minimum for a small council Clerk/RFO should be about 6 hours per week.
Dave it just shows how out of touch the Chairman his wingman are with PCs. They both interviewed the Clerk and lowered the hours from 3.5 to 2 without consulting members. Oh and the 2hrs is to cover  2 parishes.  Over time you've kindly responded to many of my questions and probably gathered it's a shambolic Council.

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