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0 votes
This question relates to a very small parish where the previous clerk left suddenly due to ill health.  An acting clerk was found quickly but doesn't want to continue.  Despite advertising, asking around, trying to persuade clerks from nearby parishes to do a few extra hours and so on,  nobody has applied for the vacancy so the poor acting clerk is soldiering on very unwillingly. There are quite a few clerk vacancies around at the moment but they are being filled often again by public spirited locals on a temp basis to allow business to continue. Fortunately nothing much happens in the parish but without a clerk I can't see how it can continue anyway.

Can anyone offer any advice?   Thanks, Liz.
by (160 points)

5 Answers

0 votes
This answer may not help you, but there needs to be a better understanding of the role of the Clerk. In my experience being a Clerk is often a thankless and lonely experience. Too often it is pitched as essentially a secretarial role, completely overlooking the financial responsibilities and (as the questions on here often demonstrate) the need to have a good grasp of some antiquated and complex legislation. The payscale are low and the expectations of what can be achieved in the stated hours are unrealistic. Only when some of these issues are fixed, will the supply start to meet the demand.
by (2.9k points)
+1 vote
If you haven't already done so, cast your net wider. Technology makes it easier for clerks to work further from home now and I clerk a council nearly 20 miles from where I live. The neighbouring parish has a clerk living almost 40 miles away.
by (54.1k points)
0 votes
If you're a member of your local county office, they may offer a recruitment service.
by (20.2k points)
0 votes
Your local Association of Local Councils will probably have a list of locum clerks you can appoint to get you through the mandatory processes.

If you get one you like (and likes your council) ask them if them if they would consider a permanent position.
by (490 points)
+1 vote
We had similar a while ago-sadly, we found we had to increase the pay considerably. We did so, and now have the most fantastic clerk who is really switched on. It's tricky work, very specialist, so you do need to me paying the going rate for it.
by (990 points)
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.   They are not members of the local association but could ask anyway, I'll suggest it.  Will also suggest they cast the net wider though I'm not sure about 40miles!!  With a precept of £600 I don't think paying the mileage is justified.  And how do you get to know the area?  When I was a clerk I was always being told about a pothole by the gate 'where Bert keeps his cows'.  Thank goodness for google streetview.  I also still found I'd have to visit - councillors would tell me the pothole was 2ft wide but it was never as big as they said - it was me who lost credibility with the highways authority, so I could never trust them!

Am no longer a clerk anywhere - I really don't see the point in PCs any more and you're right, the work of a clerk is hugely undervalued.

Thanks again all, will follow up.  Liz
Can I ask how many properties are in your parish?  A precept of £600 buys you less than an hour a week at minimum wage.  No wonder you can't find a clerk!
Thank you, yes you're quite right, the work is about 3 hours  month.  Less than 100 people are on the electoral roll, not sure how many properties there are.

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