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0 votes
I am making no aspersions but do most clerks work from home  a lot?  It seems that our clerk is seldom in the office and always very busy when asked to comment on anything, Then someone commented that she often works from home.  Just wondered how other Councils operate and what "their arrangements" are re clerk availability
by (5.0k points)
edited by

3 Answers

+1 vote
A large % of parish/community councils (often simply size dictates) do not haven an office. Some of these will make use of multi-purpose venues within the council estate when not in use (Village Hall Committee Room etc) which is clearly far from ideal.
I have to say I take the view that what works well for some does not for others. Some have opened parish officers seldom see anyone yet in contrast some flooded with people and as result never actually get anything actually done. I fully support hybrid working and have absolute confidence in officers. It works well here but totally accept that elsewhere it will not. I don't envisage the council ever having a "open door" office with access by appointment only (and that includes Cllrs). The issue with walk-ups & phone calls is its impossible to prioritise work against existing priorities and ongoing work. I have seen first hand the stop-start nature of open-door parish offices the poor staff never seemed to actually finish anything without another person wandering in basically for nothing more than a chat.
A comment on workload I think CALCs & NALC and national policy in terms of endless devolution (passing things down chain) contributed to incredible and frankly unsustainable workloads within sector. Until someone grasps that elephant in the room can't help but think staff retention and response rates will often not be where it ought to be. I honestly don't know how officers do it.
by (9.1k points)
+2 votes
In a previous and fairly long career as a clerk I've worked for parishes with an office and those without.  The office was problematic for the very reasons Progress has identified - casual visitors and constant interruptions making prioritising difficult.  For clerks without other staff, lone working in an office with unidentified visitors can be a risk too.  My current council has an office but our clerk, also a lone worker, lives some distance away from the office.  We have accepted visits to the office on an appointment basis only as this not only helps with work scheduling and of course lone working risks but also ensures a visit to the office is not a wasted trip for members of the public or councillors if the clerk is attending a meeting elsewhere (with a contractor for example).  Frankly the arrangement also means that our clerk works from home when there is no need to be in the office which works with our environmental policy too.  There's never been an issue with the clerk in attendance when required which is probably more to do with the character of the clerk and all tasks are always carried out effectively and efficiently too.  I accept this might not be the case for all.
by (20.2k points)
0 votes
We don't have an office, so yes, they work solely from home for both of their parishes. The tone of your email suggests you'd like them to be in the office; you might like to reflerct on why that is. Are they doing their job properly and in good time? If they are, I'd suggest leaving their working arrangements to them, or you may well find yourself without a clerk. If they aren't, then they won't do it in the office either, so you hav e a different problem.
by (990 points)

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