I am a new Parish Councillor and ex Highways Authority officer. I have noted recent threads which sought to discuss the various roles of the Clerk and by default Councillors. While the role of the clerk is enshrined in their job description, the role of a Councillor is less clear, let alone defined .As a new Councillor I have had several incidents lately in which I have been told “you can’t do that, you must do it this way” to the extent I am beginning to wonder precisely what a Councillor is allowed to do. These incidents involved public representations made to me personally . In the first case, I asked the gentlemen concerned to apply to speak at the next meeting under public participation and produced a report in which inter alia advised the Chairman of the relevant Committee to note and consider possible inclusion on the next Agenda. I then proceeded to discuss the issue with an old colleague with a view to presenting the options at the next meeting. That dialogue led to a proposed site meeting with my ex-colleague . Anticipating a proposed solution, I asked the Chairman/Clerk to make sure it was on the next Agenda. At this stage I got a stinging E mail from the clerk saying that he knew nothing about it and castigated me for contacting the District Council . I was told I have no authority to do this and he would now take over. I said “carry on” if that’s the way you feel.
A second incident involved another important local issue which was seldom discussed at Council. Again, I used an old contact and the officer involved agreed that he would, if invited give a presentation to Councillors i.e. before the next meeting . Accordingly, I wrote to the clerk to arrange. He told me to immediately cancel the arrangement and advised that the correct procedure was that I had to submit a proposed motion to him which sought to ask the committee whether they wanted the training in the first place. He made it clear again I had no authority to make such an arrangement .
In both cases I thought I had used my initiative to facilitate solving public concerns but am staggered by the responses I have encountered. My question therefore is where/what are the boundaries as to what Councillors can or cannot do ?