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0 votes
Our clerk has shut the office for two days to sort out the paper work should the clerk have asked the council first if they can day this . When the clerk was asked about why she shut the office all councillors get told that the clerk runs the office and she will do want she wants
by (1.9k points)

3 Answers

0 votes
This seems to be a symptom of the often misunderstood or mismanaged relationship between employee / employer.
The employee delivers the desired output of the employer - not the other way around.
by (19.7k points)
+1 vote
Fair enough, they should have advised the council first but in reality, how busy is the office and did it make any difference?  Our office has next to no visitors...
by (24.3k points)
Should have advised or should have asked?

I’d suggest they should ask first.
I'd say advise.  They are appointed to run the office and don't have to pass every decision that they make by the council.
I’d agree - whether, or not, to purchase stamps would obviously be a reasonable autonomous action.
Unilaterally closing the parish office - er, no, not without direction from the corporate whole.
A clerk is employed to manage the work of the council and unless that council is an expert in local government administration, I'd suggest micro managing that employee might be counter-productive.   There's often a huge amount of work and deadlines that must be met of which individual councillors would have no knowledge or understanding but significantly nor would they need to as it is the clerk's job.  If the clerk says they need a time out to catch up on administration, then I suggest that unless this seriously impacts on the council's job of making decisions, that should be respected.
I wonder if the reason I find myself disagreeing with you (seemingly so often) is because we are operating in different environments?

I’m (happily) in a small ish rural parish with a p/t clerk and a p/t general handyman , precept less than 100k pa.
It’s a simple operation - or at least it ‘should’ be but for the succession of employee ‘issues’- predominantly due to the inability of the PC to effectively manage their staff.
You appear to be suggesting that the clerk is an expert in local government administration and should be better qualified than cllrs? Is that what you are suggesting?

I’d have to disagree (again) if that is what you mean (and if I am
Interpreting it as intended?)

I’m afraid you don’t get much of an expert in anything for £10-12/hr that a rural PC tends to pay.
I think I'd agree that you and I have very different experiences.  I make no secret that I was for many years a clerk and since retiring have become a councillor.  The role of clerk is very different now from what it was when I started but then so is the environment in which councils must  now operate. I very strongly believe a trained and, preferably, qualified clerk is an essential to councillors being able to do the job we have been elected to do and would very much advocate treating the employment and continuing professional development of the clerk as a priority.  I agree the salary is woefully inadequate (although of course councils can pay more than the national scale rates) but just like there are good and bad councillors out there, there are good and bad clerks and it is important to get the right one. The right clerk is a professional and should be treated as such.
+2 votes
Our Clerk has a policy of the office being open by appointment only which seems to work well as it avoids unnecessary distractions (people calling in for "a chat"), ensures there's always someone there to speak to the resident or councillor when they do attend (the clerk works part time) and is an important safety feature for anyone lone working anyway.  We were told rather than consulted but as responsible employers, I'd expect nothing less.
by (18.4k points)

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