Long time reader, first time poster.
I have recently joined a Parish Council which is deeply factional and dysfunctional. Governance is non-existent and many of my fellow councillors have no knowledge of any policies or principles.
The one faction is headed by the Chair who is incredibly Presidential in his manner and action, ignoring resolutions and making unilateral decisions to alter the dates of meetings etc. Supported by the ex-clerk with whom there was a familial relationship he has long tried to isolate other voices on the council. This includes blocking the calling of a Finance Committee Meeting where after the Annual Meeting his supporters do not have a majority.
We are now preparing for the budget setting and again there has been an attempt to block any kind of scrutiny in committee by raising the matters at an EGM of full council.
However our new clerk, in post for less than a week, after being contacted by the other two ctte members has agreed that there should be a Finance Ctte meeting before any meeting of full council.
There are a whole load of questions that I could raise in relation to previous governance failings but the question I have here is... Does the chair of the council automatically become chair of any ctte on which they serve? My automatic feeling is that the election of a chair should be done at the first meeting of said committee following the deciding of its membership at the APM. However there is nothing in standing orders about this.
The Finance committee meeting has been officially called by the Chair of the Council but is listed on the summons as the chair of the committee. He has informed the clerk that this is his position. However the ctte has not met since the APM. The agenda does not list the election of chair as its initial item. The clerk probably can't countenance that there hasn't been a meeting in this time and taken him at his word!
So whilst I don't want to question the legitimacy of the meeting being held - it is really necessary - there is a need to actually start following proper procedures and actions. But is this something that is incorrect?