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What is the precise role of the clerk?  Often when issues are brought up at a meeting it seems the clerk is often left to investigate, rather than the Chairman nominating an individual Councillor . Also when is he/she allowed to speak at meetings  is it at the Chairman's invite?  I appreciate that an experienced clerk is essential to any PC but some can tend to dominate and I would be interested to understand their exact role in the grand scheme of things . PS I understand their role a RFO
asked by (930 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
The role should be laid out in his/her job description, but in the broadest sense it is to provide guidance and advice, manage administrative processes, function as responsible financial officer, and data controller and act as overall supervisor for other Council staff.  All comments are made through the chair at full meetings, so the clerk should, like other Councillors raise his or her hand or use whatever agreed protocol  to draw attention to the chair that they want to speak.
answered by (10.6k points)
0 votes
It is normal for the Clerk to be the person to investigate as they are the Proper Officer of the council and therefore have delegated authority to do so.  Councillors doing the work independently could lead to possible problems with unauthorised orders being placed and instructions given to third parties without approval of the council.

As Graeme states, the Clerk should speak when invited by the Chair, as should everyone else - that allows for clear discussions to take place.  However, I have had to, in the past, speak without invitation if I can see a councillor heading towards a legal minefield...  councillors do look to Clerks for guidance and advice on such matters and to not speak at all would be a dereliction of duty.
answered by (9.5k points)

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