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Leader of the Town Council

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We have a Mayor, Deputy Mayor and also a leader of the Town Council. The person who is putting their name forward for becoming the leader of the Town Council also sits on the borough council as part of the ruling coalition. Some of the other councillors are concerned that he will be pushing the borough's agenda, which sometimes is not in the best interest of the Town.

Is there anything we can do? Surely this must be a conflict of interests of some sort if they are part of the decision making at the borough.
asked by (230 points)

2 Answers

0 votes

The role is not defined in statute (LGA 1972). There has to be a chairman, in town council's styled the Mayor. The council can choose to appoint a Vice-Chairman, styled Deputy Mayor (in a town council). 

The only way to make someone the leader (that would have no statutory basis, and no basis for them running the council in law) would be if the role was included in the council's bye-laws. If it isn't, then they can't be. - Can you see if the role is in the bye-laws, if not, you can cry foul.

answered by (6.9k points)
0 votes

Who do these people think they are leading? A Mayor, Deputy Mayor and also a leader of the Town Council is more akin to a district, unitary or Borough Council structure.  Who elects them as leader? Cllrs from their own political parties? They do not have supervisory or disciplinary powers over other Cllrs and should not be holding secret "inner circle" meetings with each other either. What do your Standing orders say about this?

None of these people have any elevated powers over and above any other Town Councillors. Only the Chair  (and it isn't clear who fulfills that role) can call Extraordinary General Meetings and Chair meetings of the full Council.  A mayor is traditionally a Town Council chair.  

answered by (14.7k points)
edited by
Thank you for your reply.
These are the only references to the leader that I can find in the standing orders.

1. The majority group leader will become the Leader of the Council unless otherwise decided.
2.The Leader of the Town Council together with the Chair of the Planning and Environment Committee and the Town Clerk be authorised to comment on minor planning applications and that such applications are then reported to the first available meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee for Members information.

I worry they think they have the power to control all aspects of the Town Council and it's about taking credit for all the work the Council is doing when a lot of us are putting in the work.
What reference does the SO make (if any)  to the Chair of the Town Council?  Well a few concerns there: The statement quoted looks like a typical constitution article from a Principle Authority, not a standing order from a Town or Parish Council.  If the Council comment on any kind of Planning application, it must be resolved as a response from the whole Council.  If these three "inner circle" buddies support an application but the other Cllrs oppose it, then they cannot provide a  three person response on behalf of the Town Council.  Another huge concern is that this S.O. does not clarify if the leader of the Council acts as the Chair, a role which is subject to annual elections by all members at the Annual Meeting of the Town Council.

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