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3 Answers

0 votes
I’m not sure if there is a specific reference - there may be.
I can offer what might be considered a “reverse” reference in that, as part of a code of conduct potential failure a Cllr might be found to have “…failed to give due consideration to the advice of the proper officer…”

So it can be seen that FAILURE TO GIVE CONSIDERATION (ie to listen) to the advice of the proper officer could be a breach of CoC. But that is not to say, after having given it a damn good considering, there is any requirement to give it anything more than a damn good ignoring - especially in some of the crack-pot examples of poor “advice” which seem to abound on these pages.
A Cllr should take account of many different factors in the decision making process but ultimately the decision, and the responsibility for it, lies with the individual Cllr alone.
You have to take a view on the dynamic of a typical (if such a thing exists) town or parish council.
Cllrs are likely to be retired / semi retired professionals with a broad range of qualification and experience.
Clerks are £12-15 per hr part time, often unqualified admin staff
Obviously there will be exceptions but I would suggest my assessment is pretty accurate
by (19.7k points)
0 votes

The clerk is employed by the council to carry out the duties as defined by their employer. Part of that employment ( biggest pert) is to advise the council on the legal requirements and procedures of the council. The second part is to facilitate the wishes and instructions of the council. Should the council not take such advice offered ( having checked its validity) then they proceed under that decision and accept any consequences. The council decides, the clerk advises.

The clerk has no power to order any councillor or the council itself to do anything despite whatever propaganda regarding their powers they have been fed

by (26.4k points)
0 votes
Within the context of the original post, the point I think that was made is that a councillor cannot act without the authority of the council, so in the absence of a resolution of the council to authorise that councillor to act on the councils behalf the clerk ADVISES the councillor that he/she should not attend a working group with a third party, assuming of course that the reason for the councillor attending is to, on the face of it, represent the council.  If the attendance at a meeting of the working party is solely as an individual, then I'd suggest that advice was not appropriate but then the councillor may have to consider declaring an interest in the subject if subsequently the business of that working party comes to the council for consideration.
S101 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that a council may delegate authority to "a committee, sub-committee or an officer of the authority" so delegation to an individual councillor does not fall within powers of the council.
by (18.4k points)

If a Cllr wants to meet and discuss "issues" with a 3rd party, it is perfectly proper for them to do so - as an individual Cllr or as a group of Cllrs.

So long as they are are not setting themselves out to be formally representing the council, then it is perfectly reasonable, nay, necessary, for Cllrs to have discussions with other parties in order to be properly informed.

Recommendations are formed after such discussions and are placed before council or properly delegated committee for resolution.
A Cllr may talk to whomsoever they wish in the preparation of their own fact finding.

There may be some confusion created by the terminology being used - working group - as opposed to just having a casual conversation although even a working group can operate without direction...  It is "working" towards the presentation of a report or recommendation.

Cllrs need to get on and talk to people.

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