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Is a summons to attend an extraordinary meeting valid if it is not certified and issued by a Proper Officer?

0 votes

Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) SCHEDULE 12 – Meetings and Proceedings of Local Authorities  Para 10 (2) (b)

(b) [ F29 a summons to attend the meeting, specifying the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting and certified by the proper officer of the council, shall be sent to every member of the council by an appropriate method.] [ F30(2A) 

The above is reflected in our Standing Orders.

Therefore, is a summons which has been signed and sent out by the Chairman, in the absence of the Proper Officer, valid?

by (390 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Providing that the proper specified time periods are met then normal meetings are summonsed by the clerk. In the case of an EO the chair or the clerk can call (summons councillors) to the meeting. As far as I know nothing in a summons requires a signature merely a written notice with the person calling it named..
by (16.1k points)
The Clerk/Proper Officer is currently on long-term sick leave and there isn't a locum in place yet.  The Chair, therefore, sent out the summons in the absence of a Proper Officer.  This seems to contradict  the 1972 legislation (i.e. "certified by the Proper Officer of the council").
You stated that it was a summons for an EO meeting which the chair can call. It would be prudent and proactive behaviour for your council to have in place contingencies (in standing orders) specifying where the duties of the clerk (PO) are covered in such cases of extended illness or incapacity. You can of course hold an EO meeting (called by the chair) and have the council decide what steps are to be taken to cover the duties of the clerk until they return to work.
Thank you for your response.  Two councillors can also call an EO meeting, if the chair doesn't do so if requested.  So I assume that the same would apply in that instance (i.e. they could send out a summons without it being certified by a Proper Officer).  It is a good point about having contingencies in place to cover a clerk's/PO's absence.
0 votes
An extraordinary meeting is normally called by the chair not the clerk and should be signed by the chair
by (5.9k points)
How are meetings 'certified by the proper officer of the council'?
Is the calling of a meeting by a chair, or 2 councillors, a separate action to it being 'certified by a proper officer of the council'?  If not, why is it written into LGA 1972, S12, Para 10 (2)(b)?

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