Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

+1 vote
I'm a fair newly-elected councillor on my local Parish Council.  I knew there were issues before I stood, but I've been shocked at just how much the relationship between the Clerk and the members has broken down.  There are years of perceived injustices on both sides.  The first council meeting I attended it was obvious to see in the way the Clerk interacted with members.  I'm not suggesting this is all one-sided but we're now at the point the council cannot function because of this.  
The Clerk has a bee in their bonnet about a simple matter which is really not at all contentious.  The Clerk then took to various local social media platforms to label the council as corrupt.  This is after they had reported the matter to the Monitoring Officer who didn't see there was anything to investigate.   The Clerk has posted some pretty abusive messages and threats to disclose information about one member in particular.
I'm surprised just how little support there is out there for councillors.  We have literally nowhere to turn!
Has anyone else come across this kind of behaviour, and what did you do about it?
by (130 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Employment law not only provides protection for employees but gives employers a route for addressing poor behaviour of their employees. I'd suggest abusive messages about councillors and the council should be grounds for a disciplinary process if not dismissal (depending upon your disciplinary policy, which hopefully you have) so why has this not been followed?   The ACAS website gives lots of advice on dealing with poor behaviour from employees and following their advice will support any subsequent action to an employment tribunal if your staff member goes down this route.
by (19.4k points)
+1 vote
Its obviously a bit difficult to understand the true dynamics of this but I would say before trying to take any action that the council needs to make sure its house is in order.  In other words, grievance and disciplinary procedures are in place and understood by all, grievance and disciplinary panels are in place and members understand how they operate - you may need some professional HR assistance to achieve this.  Then, it is a case of addressing inappropriate behaviour (eg. describing the council as corrupt [assuming it isn't!] in accordance with this procedures.
by (10.3k points)
And the person that should be responsible for ensuring those policies and procedures are drawn up, accurate, lawful and fit for purpose to be presented to the council for endorsement is the paid, supposedly professional employee that is likely to be exploiting the very administrative void that they have created to wield nefarious influence over a body of volunteers that (possibly) are willing but poorly equipped to deal with such exploitative and manipulative behaviour from the clerk.
It’s no good saying “check your policies” when the person PAID to keep them valid will directly benefit from such policies NOT being valid.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

2,976 questions
5,823 answers
10,121 users
Google Analytics Alternative