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Good evening, yet another question.  We currently elected new chair.  One councillor who was not present  did a verbal proxy vote to our clerk the day before the meeting to put forward a chair person and would vote for that person.   To be honest nobody second this nomination.  But it does seem strange this can be done verbally to a clerk to nominate a chair if you do not actually attend meeting.

Its not in our standing orders
Can this be done?
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3 Answers

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How was the cllr able to give their verbal proxy vote to the clerk? By telephone?  What was the cllrs explanation for their absence? If the cllr chose not to attend they should not have a proxy vote. If they were unable to attend a virtual meeting because they didn't have a pc with web cam or tablet, it could be argued they might have a case to submit a proxy vote, but it would be stretching interpretation of the Corona virus 2020 regs somewhat.
by (35.4k points)
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It was a verbal conversation.    The councillor concerned does have a lap top and has attended all other virtual meetings but had a work commitment that specific evening.  Also, I should ask the other two councillors who did not attended that night if they would like a proxy vote.....
Providing that the council accepts the use of a proxy vote and a written (email, letter stating clearly what subject the proxy applies ) is received by the clerk and able to be provided to councillors if requested then I don't see a problem.
0 votes

NALC Legal Topic Note LTN5 published in Nov 2016 says "Each councillor has one vote and must vote in person; he cannot do so by post or proxy, teleconference or skype, or in advance of a meeting"   That applied before Covid 19 restrictions.  I would argue that there is no case to argue at the present time for waiving the ruling that a person cannot vote by proxy or in advance of the meeting.

by (35.4k points)
+2 votes
The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 redefines the nature of attendance to include remote attendance, but requires each person to be able to hear and be heard, so they must be a live participant in the meeting, even if they are not physically present. There is no special provision to change the procedure for voting, so a vote must still be cast in person.
by (53.7k points)
Good Evening
The clerk was a asked about this Vote at our meeting.  Its transpires that the other councillor who was unable to attend was not contacted.
Clerk also clarified that in fact it was not a VOTE per say but the absent councillor had nominated a person who she wished to be chair. Apparently this is acceptable   It is certainly not in our standing orders.  I am totally confused along side a few other councillors.    Comments would be appreciated
Thank you
I haven't found any specific legislation on this, however, a nomination submitted verbally by an absent party should not be accepted, as it cannot be evidenced. It is part of the process of the meeting and therefore governed by the above legislation. Had the absent councillor submitted a nomination in writing, the council could have debated whether or not to accept it. In effect, you've allowed the clerk to nominate somebody for chair.
Thank you.  You clearly are very knowledgeable  I appreciate your advice.

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