Questions about town and parish councils
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Is this in legislation? Is it desirable if a council has a number of committees and subcommittees as well as a monthly meeting? Is it a mistake to write it into their job description? Can other staff attend the meeting on their behalf if their job description says that they ‘cover’ or ‘deputise’ or are an ‘assistant’ clerk, or must the proper officer attend?
by (1.6k points)

1 Answer

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If you're using the model standing orders, the Proper Officer is defined thus:

"The Proper Officer shall be either (i) the clerk or (ii) other staff member(s) nominated by the Council to undertake the work of the Proper Officer when the Proper Officer is absent."
by (52.9k points)
Are you asking if the clerk has to attend all meetings to take the minutes
Yes, I’m asking if the Clerk must attend all meetings, or can that be delegated to another member of staff?
We have that in our standing orders. What if it has been written into their job description? Is that more binding?
If its in their job description then yes, they should attend. However I consider it to be unreasonable if the committees increase and they are not allowed to deputise. What would happen if they were ill or wanted to have a holiday? They could also attend remotely as they're not elected which is a solution sometimes.
Our clerk tried to get the standing orders amended so that no one could be nominated to deputise.
What abouot attending APM (or annual parish assembly) which is not a parish council meeting and the clerk is not an elector of the parish holding the meeting?
I thought it was a requirement that the Parish Council Chair and Clerk must attend the APM, but other Councillors need not?
The APM is not a meeting of the Council, so neither the Chair nor the Clerk must attend, however, if the Chair does attend, they must chair the meeting, as must the Vice-Chair, in the absence of the Chair, if present. If you have amended your standing orders or the Clerk's job description or contract to require them to attend, then they must attend.

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