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0 votes
Are there any consequences to a clerk failing (for two years running) to inform councillors of a public interest report under section 7 (due to not having submitted AGAR for two years running) and also failing to hold the required public meeting in either of those two years?
Clerk has recently resigned without notice, probably before being pushed (there are other issues also), and this is now coming to light. Clerk was related to the Chair and close friends with Vice Chair, who have also resigned. I appreciate that councillors should have been aware that something was amiss when AGAR was not presented to them, etc, but most of those remaining have not been in post very long and have received no training.
The most recent letter from the auditors, dated October 19, is in the public domain, but currently the community has no idea what has gone on and why the clerk and various councillors have resigned. Questions are being asked. Would some of the remaining councillors be acting appropriately by drawing attention to the letter, which can be found online? Given that the community should legally have been informed at the time, is there merit in informing them now or would you deem that unnecessarily inflammatory, since the culprits are no longer in post?
by (120 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
If you haven’t already done so I’d suggest you contact your Monitoring Officer as it’s public funds that are involved
by (11.5k points)
+1 vote
This is a classic example of Cllrs failing to take the responsibility for Council operations and actions on the basis that they didn't know they needed to.  The AGAR is meant to be countersigned by the Chair after the whole Council have seen the return and agreed to what is entered on it.  The remaining Cllrs most certainly should draw attention to the letter to the Principal Authority Monitoring Officer.
by (34.6k points)
+1 vote
I would be tempted to add these issues to the agenda for the next meeting of the Council and to hold a public discussion to identify the steps that are needed to rectify the shortcomings. This will need to be led carefully by the new Chair, as it must not become a back-stabbing exercise. The concept of collective responsibility makes you all equally responsible, however unpalatable that may feel. List the things that haven't been done. Decide what must now be done, when and by whom. Keep it completely matter of fact and resist the temptation to point the finger.

By holding this discussion in public and publishing minutes for circulation and display on boards and websites, you will be giving the community the opportunity to see that mistakes have been made and the new team are dealing with the situation in a calm and professional manner.
by (52.8k points)

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