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Is it the Parish Clerks role to reprimand Cllrs (inc Chair) at a public meeting?

+1 vote
Our Chairman recently had to raise her voice to stop a Cllr from speaking, after politely asking them to stop 3 times.  The Parish Clerk has told the Chairman that in the future she would reprimand them for doing this.  Is it her role to reprimand any Cllr, including the Chairman, in a public meeting?
asked by (130 points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Absolutely not.   The Clerk is there to serve, advise and guide cllrs and has no powers to instruct or discipline any cllrs..  The  Chair controls the meeting, not the clerk and is within her right to ask for order during the proceedings.  If other Cllrs feel she is doing it in a threatening or vexatious manner, they should invoke a complaint under the Code of conduct remit.
answered by (9k points)
Quite correct to say that the chair has absolute rights to control the meeting. However, it's perhaps worth pointing out that the chair does not have the right to eject a council member (as opposed to a member of the public) from a council meeting. If the worst comes to the worst, the only solution is to adjourn the meeting, which the chair is entitled to do if it is evidently necessary.
0 votes
I would take a slightly different view but it depends on whether the Clerk spoke to the Chairman in public during the meeting or privately after.  It could be that the Clerk wanted to take the heat away from the Chair in order to support the Chair.  As an example, as a parent sometimes it helps your child if you are playing the bad cop as it means that they can get out of things that they feel pressure to do.  So maybe the Clerk was offering to be the bad cop and the chair, the good cop?

The assumption that the Clerk has overstepped her boundaries is a little premature I think and it is not clear from the original post.
answered by (7.7k points)
The Clerk never said anything at the meeting when it happened, but then informally complained to the Pers Comm afterwards, without speaking directly to the Chairman about it at all.  When the Chair raised the issue with the Clerk at a Pers Comm meeting, the Clerk said that in future she would reprimand her at a meeting if it happened again.
Well if that is the case, then Graeme is right.  The Clerk has no right to reprimand the Chair, or any councillors - they are the Clerk's employers.  Talking about it at a personnel committee is also not appropriate I think.

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