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'Ownership' of Agenda

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It is understandable that the Agenda is prepared by the officer of the Council (Clerk) and I believe that it's the 'Clerks Agenda', but can anyone point to legislation that verifies 'ownership' of the Agenda ie can a Clerk refuse to add or take off an item on the Agenda at the request of the Chair
asked by (1.2k points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Section 9 of the model Standing Orders covers the preparation of the agenda and sets out the respective roles of the Proper Officer and the Chair. If a motion is deemed improper, the Proper Officer should consult with the Chair to determine whether or not to include it in the agenda, but it is the Proper Officer who makes the final decision.

So in answer to your question, the power lies with the Clerk, but differences of opinion between Clerk and Chair should ideally be resolved by negotiation, rather than by reference to the rulebook.
answered by (19.4k points)
Our Chair claims it is entirely up to the Clerk as to what goes on the Agenda so she has carte blanche to refuse any motion I try to put forward even though they are not “ improper “ and there is nothing anyone can do about it apart from calling an EGM every time
No wonder there’s a lack of people willing to stand
What would an example of an 'improper motion be'? I know the obvious, such as the item does not actually need a resolution but is for discussion only. Is an 'improper motion' the only time that the Clerk can refuse an item?
In practice if your Parish Council is anything like mine anything the Clerk or the Chair don’t like won’t go on the Agenda and the only way around it is to get another Councillor to join with you and request an EGM for that item
In a properly functioning Parish Council if the Clerk is unhappy with an item they should discuss it with you to see if it needs rewording
If it is still “improper” as an elected official you should then expect a full written explanation hopefully backed up by law / statute
The term improper is not defined in statute, but I have always taken it to mean a motion that falls outside the remit of a parish council. Anything beyond this would require a detailed explanation from the Clerk.
Thank you both for your replies.

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