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Should all councillors be copied into emails sent on their behalf?

0 votes
A quick question for all the lovely clerks out there.

If you send a letter on behalf of the Council do you copy them in?  All our letters are sent via email so it is not a problem to do that. I am not referring to all emails sent out but only those we ask the clerk to send following discussion of an agenda item.
Thank you.
asked by (510 points)
edited by

5 Answers

0 votes
Be careful what you wish for - your inbox will fill up very quickly
There are better ways of managing this such as group email boxes that you can view at your leisure
answered by (3.7k points)
Thanks for reply. But with hindsight I don't think I explained myself properly. I don't mean all general emails/letters only letters we ask the Clerk to send on our behalf following discussion of an agenda item. There was 2 this month but then there could be none for some time. In all only a few over the course of a year
It would be good governance on the clerk's part to confirm the communication or action they have taken on the PC's instruction or request in full to confirm that they have carried out the instructions given and that it is fully recorded.
0 votes
if a task of writing a letter falls to the clerk at a meeting then it should appear as an action in the minutes and an update on that action be provided by the clerk at the next meeting.  The problem with copying in members to correspondence is that there is no guarantee that all will read it.
answered by (1.4k points)
Point taken on leading a horse to water.... but if a councillor does not read such documents then as with agendas and documents issued for meetings then one has to ask whether they are carrying out the requirements of office and ultimately whether they should review their position.
0 votes
I can’t see any reason why you can’t ask to see them I personally believe that all Councillors are entitled to see anything relating to their Council unless covered by GDPR

I know of a case where after a committee made a decision an email was issued that not inline with the committee’s decision

I also know of quite offensive emails and correspondence being issued of which the Councillors were blissfully unaware
answered by (2.7k points)
0 votes
I don't particularly disagree with anything that has been said by others here, however, my inclination would be to say no, for the simple reason that it is not necessary. If you ask ten people to write a letter on a particular topic, you will end up with ten completely different letters. The fact that they are different doesn't, in itself, make any of them incorrect. You employ a clerk as a professional officer of the council and must trust them to undertake the role in accordance with your wishes and to the best of their ability.

Micro-management is fraught with risk and may imply a lack of trust. It can snowball out of control very quickly. In an extreme case that I'm currently embroiled in, a retired councillor started popping into the office to see the Clerk from time to time, then made it a daily visit, then sat behind the Clerk for the whole of her working hours, then decided it would be beneficial to confiscate her laptop every Friday afternoon and take it home for the weekend to make sure she was doing what the council required. Needless to say, the employment tribunal isn't going well for the council!

So, returning to the original question, my advice would be that when your county councillors start reading every key item of correspondence issued on their behalf, you should do likewise, but until then, why not devote that time to creative thinking about the needs of your community?
answered by (24k points)
0 votes
Thank you to everyone for all your replies. There is quite a diverse opinion on this one. I fully understand the trust issue mentioned but also there is a comment about the letter not being as it should. So obviously a difficult question.
answered ago by (510 points)

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