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I recently submitted a proposal for full council which the clerk accepted and included it on the agenda. However the Chair when the proposal was reached rejected it saying that the matter had been dealt with by the Estates committee and under the 6 month rule of not bringing something back in that time it couldn't be heard. I asked then why did the clerk allow it on to the agenda.
The clerk then said because I assumed you knew you were submitting an alternative proposal that required 4 other councillors to support this. I wasn't aware of this so my question is - is it reasonable to expect the clerk to check and clarify and advise that you know what type of proposal you are submitting and why?
by (560 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Be careful with this one...

I've been caught out by this before.

It is the question of whether a motion must have a seconder (or indeed 4 for a recision motion) at the point of submission or at the point where it is debated.

I would contend that it is at the point of debate since how can anyone NOT be predetermined if they second a motion prior to debate?

There was a long discussion about this recently.

The point being, whether your motion properly required 1 or 4 seconders, that cannot be determined until AFTER debate so the chair would have been wrong to dismiss prior to debate on the basis that it hadn't received sufficient seconders....

Sounds to me like you're being tucked up by your clerk & chair.

PS - to answer the question is it reasonable to expect the clerk to assist / advise - I'd be at something of a loss to describe what their job actually was if those 2 elements were not primary outputs...
by (19.8k points)
As usual Roundagain you’ve hit the nail on the head I believe part of the Clerks role is to assist Councillors but many don’t
Recently Ive known a Clerk reject perfectly good motions but allow poor ones which should clearly never been put forward in the form they were
In one case I suspect a motion was put on the Agenda as a form of revenge
I think that the guidelines for clerks is a maze of dead ends. I think that clerks who have a little bit of knowledge wield and awful lot of power which complicates the democratic process especially if you then challenge a clerk who happily will throw you under the bus in front of your fellow cllrs as ours did with this proposal being rejected and disallowed. All too often our clerk will copy in all cllrs when they want to tell me off and then when I challenge the admonishment with facts and often correct their mistakes they remove all the cllrs in their response back to me. Worse is the fact that outside of the council there is no body or monitoring officer you can complain to about the clerk or get clarification or confirmation from on what you believe the clerk is saying isn't right etc.....BUT with more responsibilities being passed down to parish councils because our budgets are not subject to any cap when setting precept so budgets are going up more money becomes the responsibility of councillors and an engaged, helpful and non combative antagonistic clerk is even more important. I'm going to resign anyway life is too short BUT it is a mess and bad for taxpayers in my opinion.
Read the standing orders previous resolution the clerk should have asked to see at least 5 letters from other councillors before it was put on the agenda
exactly what I argued....but clerk was happy to see me embarrassed than take responsibility for a mistake she had made.....I don't like being thrown under the bus.
I’m in exactly the same boat as you it’s crazy that one unelected person can so dominate a Parish Council
If the Clerks emails could be considered a complaint go out with a bang and self report the complaint to the Monitoring Officer like I did
If you want to see what happened n my case PM an email address to me
Monitoring officers do not deal with complaints about the clerk
I know Andrew but if the Clerk circulates a complaint about a Councillor that Councillor has the right to forward it to the Monitoring Officer and have it independently reviewed
I know because that’s exactly what I did
Like to see what happened to your complaint to the MO please
Whinnie send me an email address by PM

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