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Our  clerk refuses to put " The Pledge" on the agenda ( the clerk has put it in writing that it's the clerks role to set the agenda and has the final say ) also the whole council have shown no support in  adopting the Civility and Respect  policy, despite one councillor suggesting I write one, which i did .  As no councillor seconded my motion to adopt the Civility & Respect policy  what are my options ?
by (1.1k points)

1 Answer

–1 vote
Whatever the subject matter, if there's no support for your motion, then your only option is to wait for the six months and then resubmit it for consideration.
by (17.5k points)
This whole issue of who sets the agenda needs sorting out (see para 9 of SOs).  I am surprised your proposed motion was refused as our Clerk is happy to put forward any item which can be used to reduce any criticism of the clerk/Council hierarchy.  We all agree that that civility respect, harassment whatever you want to call it has no place in the PC but also there must be a place for "vigorous debate"
I personally think there's a world of difference between vigorous debate and the examples of ludicrous behaviour that seem to be littering the internet these days but then I'm of an age where I was brought up with the mantra "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".
I was aware of the civility and respect pledge but hadn't really looked at it that closely until this post, in part as my own council do seem to be able to operate politely.  I've found its not just about how councillors and the clerk work together but talks about councillor to councillor, staff to councillors, council to public relationships, supports training in managing difficult situations and support for the code of conduct which already includes a requirement to treat others with respect but the pledge includes staff and the public in that requirement too.  Unfortunately there are no sanctions for non compliance other than those already available through employment law and/or the monitoring officer.  I can't help thinking its a sad world that requires us to put such measures in place rather than rely on everyone to behave appropriately towards each other.
Wait 6 months and resubmit is incorrect advice.
If the proposed motion didn’t make the agenda it can be resubmitted immediately at the next opportunity, and every subsequent opportunity, until (a) it achieves listing on the agenda and (b) it is proposed, seconded and presented for vote.
It is incorrect to assert that there must be a 6 month delay for resubmission.
The ‘problem’ may be getting a motion onto the agenda due to well discussed barriers. If you get it onto the agenda and then fail to secure a seconder and or a majority vote then you have no complaints since that is democracy in effect.
Only AFTER your motion has been presented, and failed a vote to carry it, would you then have to wait 6 months before resubmission.
The real problem I believe is that there is no formal training to educate Councillors on "how to be councillors".  In this scenario it must be difficult for trained clerks not to want to take charge and tell them how to work.  The problem is that in doing that they often overstep their remit and get into a "giving instructions mode".  The problem comes when they come up against a Councillor who knows what the rules of the game are and stands his/her ground. It is in such scenarios that "the cancer" starts.   Of course, people should treat one another with respect but there is now too much talk about harassment, respect etc etc as it is often used as weapon to stifle "perceived opposition".  I see the situation as that NALC and the SLCC are flexing their muscles and taking charge and saying this is how you will run the show.   The upshot of that is less and less people want to be Councillors, and more and more are leaving.  I joined in order to improve the lot of my community.  I see PCs as overly bureaucratic and that the whole process has lost focus on "serving the community"
Not only has the whole process seemed to have lost focus as serving the community but appears that the precept taxpayer has seen this as a form of "charitable giving" and those willing to put themselves in the hot seat to improve the status quo self-deserving.

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