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+5 votes

There have been several threads recently in which a them and us (Clerks v Cllrs) has been demonstrated.   Until people realise that such a syndrome actually  exists we will never solve it as in some cases the divide is more like a chasm. People should start with the question “why cant we attract more good Cllrs”?   The answer to that precisely demonstrates the problem.  I always ask the question of resigned Cllrs and to a man the two main reasons are a) the existence of a small impenetrable elite of Cllrs who control everything usually in cooperation with the clerk and b) clashes with over zealous clerks.  The only way to address this issue is to raise the knowledge level of Cllrs but that will of course require willing participants. The plain and simple facts are that once elected Cllrs have no incentive to increase their knowledge as unlike Clerks, they are volunteers. Roles and boundaries have to be agreed and understood. My problems started on day one when our Locum Clerk refused to allow me access to LTNs. When approached by the Chairman the expression “over my dead body” was uttered and she threatened to resign and get our PC blacklisted .  When I wrote to our Staffing Committee they simply declined to reply.  NALC/SLCC refused to get involved and ever since then I  feel a war has been waged against me with almost everything I do being challenged.  I react to this with research and facts and so the vicious circle continues.   That’s local politics for you …a minefield .  Do we need are heads banging together ?  Probably… but without an arbiter it will probably never happen

by (4.6k points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Difficult to know where to start with this one.  I'm sorry you've clearly had a bad experience as a councillor but just as there are bad clerks, and councillors, there are good ones too and when the two work together the benefit for the residents can be clear.
Having been on both "sides" I am a very firm believer in compulsory training for both clerks and councillors.  I also acknowledge that the ridiculous legislation we have to work within is well past its sell by date.  The councillors job is to make decisions for the benefit of the area they serve and the clerk's role is to facilitate that decision making, ensure decisions are within the power of the council to make and are carried out in accordance with legislation and recommended practice.   
I have never understood the need to withhold access to background information.  As a clerk, I would have been delighted that a councillor showed an interest in ensuring the council acted within the legislation!
I'm sorry I don't have an answer.
by (17.2k points)
+2 votes
Threatened to resign and get your PC blacklisted - for a Cllr wanting to see LTNs?

Why the hell has this individual been engaged as a locum?

I’ve experienced similar recently - a local clerk that does IA services for a number of local councils, who is endorsed by the county ALC as an IA but delivers quantifiable GARBAGE.
Historically, my PC would have been literally petrified of being considered as ‘blacklisted.’  What they have always failed to grasp though is that rather than the PC being ‘blacklisted’ it should (and WILL) be the charlatan incompetent IA service which will be exposed as wholly inadequate.
Until councils start gaining the confidence to challenge and call out this type of unacceptable clerk behaviour they will continue to be dominated by such characters.
It’s not even as if NALC know their ass from the elbow either - I recently saw a NALC video seeking to encourage people to engage with, and become councillors.
Who do you think they had as the ‘star of the show’ in the video……??

Jackie bloody Weaver - if ever there were a LESS suitable individual to act as a recruiting sergeant for Cllrs I don’t know who it would be….

Priceless NALC, absolutely priceless - idiots.
by (17.4k points)
0 votes
I am wary of just defining a good councillor or a good clerk, in my opinion it goes further than that - often the monitoring officer does not want to get involved or like the local CALC sits on the fence with answers conflict with other agencies such as SLCC. This is not helpful

There is a severe lack of training for councillors and all training seems to more about an income generation for Organisations  than a provision to produce good quality teams of councillors.

There should also be a campaign to help communities understand the roles and regulations of the Clerk,  Parish Council,  District and County Council. This may also help.

The clerk and councillors should be a team who work together to bring out the best for the community they support. In most councils this is not the case as personalities and point scoring often take over the task in hand.
by (6.3k points)
As I’ve said before the way we are going we’ll end up abolishing Councillors and electing a Clerk every four years
Political parties are now struggling to get enough candidates for Borough elections now
Periodic fitness to practice exams for clerks at  PC level would  be a good start.

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