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+1 vote
…and we co opted 8 councillors out of a potential 15. Clerk is saying that not having the GPoC will make little or no difference and that nothing can be done about it til the next elections in 2027. Locally it is being suggested that instead of going all out to co opt, the council might have tried to call another election, to at least try to meet one of the criteria… the clerk is saying that it wouldn’t have made any difference and won’t come up again til 2027 now.
by (1.9k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
There are several issues here.  Firstly does GPoC make a difference?  Well, it might but it depends entirely on how active your council is and what it wants to do that it can't do without GPoC.  It's true that for many little parishes with few facilities GPoC won't make that much difference but only you can identify if that applies to your parish.

The criteria for GPoC includes an electoral mandate as well as a qualified clerk, as you have identified.  You've clearly not had sufficient candidates at the last election so have co-opted to fill those vacancies which means that calling for an election will require a number, if not the entire council, resigning and seeking re-election if that's how you want to go but bear in mind that you still might not have sufficient numbers elected (stranger things have been known) and even an uncontested election will incur costs for the parish.
Finally you've alluded to an unqualified clerk.  Has your clerk started the CiLCA qualification?  Is the council paying for this or are you expecting your clerk to do so (it's not cheap!).  Has the progress or lack of it been addressed during your clerk's appraisal?  Is more training or support required?  I completed CiLCA some years ago but did so reluctantly at the time, finding it time consuming at a time when I really didn't have much time to spare.  An unsupportive council at the time didn't help but I was very glad I did so when I did complete it.  Peer support helped greatly at the time.
by (20.2k points)
The council is in the middle of a (potentially) £2million project. The town has 10k population.
Not clear whether the clerk has started CiLCA. The staffing subcommittee refuses to publish agendas and minutes so impossible to tell whether they have addressed this. Items are called ‘staff matters’ or ‘a letter’.
Council is paying and facilitating as agreed at the time of appointment. We were lead to believe that the clerk was an experienced clerk of many years’ experience. Turned out that it was around 2 at a very very small parish.
The council has a terrible reputation locally. This is doing nothing to help.

But is it not the case that, if we had had sufficient ‘elected’ councillors, when the clerk passed their exam, the council could confirm GPoC at that time? Or at the following AGM? We need not wait til 2027.
Once you meet the criteria, you can pass the relevant resolution to work under GPoC.  You do not have to wait until the next full election.  You also need to re confirm that you meet the criteria after every full election once you have it but the resolution stands until you no longer meet the criteria after a full election.
You can agree to do GPOC at any time as long as you meet criteria, you don’t have to wait until the meeting after elections. So if you do it in year 2 it remains in force until the elections in year 4.
However I feel you are being a bit unfair to the Clerk as even if they did pass now, with 8 out of 15 Cllrs co-opted you don’t meet that criteria

 As to the staffing agenda, yes it should be published as normal, with only the apologies, and minutes open to the public, then the meeting closed to public. It’s perfectly acceptable in my view to have something like staff matters as a agenda point, that’s what goes on our agenda and minutes should be published but are very likely just to say it was resolve to agree to the Clerks request or some such as staff employment matters are not open to the public
+1 vote
Just to advise that to undertake CilCA, it is generally accepted that a clerk has to be in post for at least one year and many CALCs and the SLCC want to see proof of this fact.  There are other qualifications now that have come on board for clerks with less experience - ILCA being one of them.  So if you are using an old job description and / or contract then you might want to revisit it as it is not feasible these days.
by (24.6k points)
We were advised that our new clerk had gained many years experience as a clerk elsewhere prior to being offered this job. It turns out that that amounted to around 2 in reality, but no matter, still enough to be able to apply and undertake CiLCA, which is what was agreed at the time.
Fair enough and if they have not done it, then it is a breach of their contract.  That said, were they expected to pay for it or were the council?
The council were, of course, going to pay and facilitate.

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