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Legislation about sending apologies.

0 votes
Is there any legislation that says apologies for missing a meeting can only be sent to the Clerk? (Wales)

One of our Councillors has recently had an experience that left her traumatised, not council related. She withdrew from any communication with anyone, by phone or email. However she has now opened up to me recently (Chair until this evening). She told me yesterday she did not feel able to attend this evening's Annual Meeting. I informed the Council of this at the meeting but the Clerk refused to note it as an apology stating they can only go to her. I have checked our standing orders and there is nothing in them about sending apologies.
by (2.3k points)

2 Answers

0 votes

I would write to your clerk and her to confirm precisely where it says that apologies can only go to the clerk.

I would be really interested to hear the outcome of that enquiry.

by (2.3k points)
See my reply to Delboy'swife
0 votes

Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1974 is usually cited as the reason why apologies for absences must be given to the Council and the Proper Officer of the Council (usually the Clerk) is the person to whom the apology should be sent as it is the role of the Proper Officer to receive communications on behalf of the Council.  However, this seems like a difficult situation and perhaps a little understanding on the part of the Clerk would be appropriate here although I have to say an apology can be sent by any means so text, email etc. would suffice and not require any actual contact as such.  Perhaps more difficult is how this scenario might develop as the council should approve absences and to do so need to record the reason for the absence so a bit of thought needs to go into the wording of that approval.  If the absence continues for six months and there has been no formal approval the councillor may find themselves in the situation of losing their seat by the application of Section 85.   

by (2.8k points)
Thank you Delboy's wife. I've heard that this item in the Schedule is very ambiguous  and I can now see why. You could argue that the Chairman is the representative of the council and entitled to accept apologies from a fellow Councillor.  Add to that would an employer send their apologies to an employee?  If the Schedule itself (I can't find it) simply says 'the Council' and not the 'Proper Officer' I would argue that  apologies to the Chair are acceptable. I don't have a problem with them being sent to the Clerk only that one sent to the Chair was refused.

Unfortunately it's now a moot point, although I'd still like to get it settled, as the poor Councillor in question has now resigned.

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