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A council is entitled to exclude the public when justified. When this happens, does the clerk have a right to remain, or can the council direct them to leave if it deems it appropriate? How is the answer justified by legislation?
by (32.7k points)

1 Answer

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Yes the clerk has the right to remain as they are not a member of the public.  I would suggest that this is covered by the LGA1972 s101 and s112.  If the person appointed as Proper Officer (ie the Clerk) cannot attend meetings when it goes into private session, then how could they properly discharge the work of the council?

Or are you talking about employment matters relating to the Clerk directly?
by (23.5k points)
I'm talking about a matter where the clerk has a personal interest. The LGA 1972 sections cited tell us what the council may do to implement its functions. I'm not clear that there is any legislation that prevents the council excluding the clerk in a situation where the council considers that appropriate. So far as I can see, no individual person is required to be present at a council meeting, merely a quorum of councillors.
As the clerk is not involved in decision making then you could argue that they should remain in order to ensure that correct procedure is followed, that the decision is formally taken etc etc.  However, the council could decide to ask the clerk to leave - they are the employer after all and the clerk must follow the instruction of the council.  If I was clerking, I would offer to step outside as a matter of transparency and professionalism.

However, as you say, I cannot think of any legislation that requires the clerk to leave as legislation related to elected members rather than employees.

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