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Can the chairman of a parish council meeting abandon the meeting without any good reason?

0 votes

At a recent Parish Council meeting, the chairman arrived late, refused to chair the meeting when asked to do so and walked out of the meeting hall leaving the vice chairman to continue to chair the meeting.  3 other councillors followed the chairman out of the hall.  

11 out of the 15 councillors remained present but the vice chairman announced that he was going to abandon the meeting without giving any reason. Despite a number of councillors protesting  that the council was still more than quorate and that the meeting should continue, the vice chairman walked out with all the relevent paperwork, thereby effectively abandoning the meeting which then broke up.  

Does the vice chairman have power to simply abandon a meeting without any justification and with 11 councillors still seated  around the meeting table, some of them asking to continue?  

Was the vice chairman's actions unlawful? If his actions were inanappropriate or unlawful, what can be done to censure him?

by (380 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
I should haveread this question before answering the other one. If your vice chair simply made the announcment got up and walked out, then it would amount to serious inapropriate behaviour and could be considered to have brought the council in to disrepute. That would likely to be a breach of the Code of Conduct.

As i mentioned in my other reply, the chairman (or vice-chairman) must take the chair if present. There are only two means by which he need not. The Chair can ask to be excused the responsibility (perhaps on the grounds that he needs to leave the meeting early for example) and the council can vote on the question. The other way is for the Chairman to resign as Chair with immediate effect.
by (3.9k points)

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