Follow Councillor Q&A on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

Clerk's email account

0 votes
Looking for some advice on how other councils manage this. We have a new clerk just started with a 3 month overlap/handover period with old clerk. I believe old clerk should pass on access to the clerk email account (this is not her personal account) but she says she will just forward on ay future enails. My concern is there may well be a need in the future to access historic emails. Also, foes someone in your council also have the clerk email password incase the clerk was to become seriously incapacitated ? Thanks
by (120 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
It would be usual for the clerk email address to be a generic one and for the new clerk to be given the password immediately.  If the old clerk needs access (not sure why that would be) up until he/she leaves, then they can both access with the new clerk changing the password when the old clerk leaves.  It is not acceptable for the old clerk to retain access to council documents/emails after the date he/she leaves.

Also usual practice for the passwords used by the clerk to be written down in a sealed envelope which can be opened by other staff (if there are any) if/when the clerk is no longer able to act suddenly and where there are no staff, that envelope is usually handed to the chair on the understanding that it isn't opened unless absolutely necessary.  Passwords should be changed regularly of course.

Difficulties can sometimes arise when an account uses two stage authentication such as a text message to confirm identity. If the clerk is using a council mobile, it's not a problem (assuming the mobile is passed on, as it should be) but can be problematic if the clerk's personal mobile is used.  In this day and age, even the smallest of councils should be providing their clerks with appropriate equipment (laptop etc.) and a council mobile phone.
by (9.2k points)
edited by
Surely its the COUNCIL'S email account.  The rest follows ...
0 votes
Do you have "dotgov" email accounts via a platform / service provider or is it a "clerk@google/hotmail/iCloud" type account?

If it is dotgov simply resolve at PC to instruct the service provider to reset the password and pass that to the new clerk.

If it is a commercial platform email account you are more likely up the creek since only the person that set it up can change it.

Moral of the story - make sure you have dotgov email accounts and that everyone is aware that they are the "property" of the PC not any individual employee or Cllr and that all email accounts are subject to examination as a condition of use.
by (8.2k points)
0 votes
It would be a breach of GDPR for an ex-clerk to still have access to council emails. You need to get the login details from her and then make sure that you change the password.
by (400 points)
Oh dear - the GDPR bogeyman without really understanding GDPR.
It’s the new ‘Elf & Safety bogeyman.
Clearly you don't understand GDPR if you believe that a random person (that's what an ex-clerk would be) should have access to emails that most likely will contain personal information.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

Google Analytics Alternative