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How do I get an item on the Agenda.

+1 vote
I find that my items are blocked by either not being seconded by another Councillor or just refused by the Clerk
asked by (320 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
Can I ask what are you asking to be considered by Council? Does your Council have any process to be followed to request agenda items to the Clerk?
answered by (760 points)
+1 vote
We passed a motion that all Agenda items are to be e-mailed to the clerk to ensure accuracy and have a name attached to an item- this is done after the meeting and up to a week before the next agenda is issued. The only reason for refusal are if the item was discussed within 6 months and there has been no change to the original item.

I reply to each e-mail request and confirm it will be in the next agenda - also a chance for the Proposer to change some wording or for me ask for a more accurate agenda item so that the public know what is going to be discussed - ie Discuss projects . Changed to Discuss the Recreation Ground Refurbishment project - Cllr Anon
answered by (1.4k points)
0 votes
The process for submitting items is included in your standing orders. It is important to note that whilst the clerk has the final say regarding what is included on the agenda, they are required to retain a written record of items rejected, with a reason for the rejection. I suggest you ask to see a copy of this record for any valid items you have submitted.
answered by (32.8k points)
Thank you for your answers.  I will now keep a record of all items I and others put forward and compare how these are dealt with.  At this stage I feel asking to see the record would result in me being ostracized even more.
Ossy Lass no councillor should be "ostracised" or attacked for carrying out their required duty they were elected to carry out on behalf of the council. It is written into the code of conduct and standing orders what conduct is expected of councillors to the public and one another. The legal aspects of such conduct are under the guidance of the clerk and at meetings the chair has the responsibility to ensure that codes of conduct and standing orders are fully observed by all (including the clerk!).
Tie this to a dedicated and clearly defined complaints procedure for community and councillors should pave the way for a truly democratic and fully functional council. What needs challenging is ill informed people making decisions without full information or knowledge. As I have said before in this box ticking world councillors who are not fully trained to the duties they decide to burden themselves with will always flounder or worse still step back from doing what is needed. Professionalism is what is needed ........and enforced.
The clerk should COMPILE the agenda but (and I accept that many forms of Standing Orders actually do state the Clerk has final say on agenda) it is NOT for the clerk to dictate to council what business should be transacted.  By all means, a check for appropriateness, validity, accuracy of the proposed motion and that it is properly formatted etc....  But NOT to decide / dictate the order of business.  People are too easily convinced that the clerk is in 'authority' rather than an employee tasked with SUPPORTING the elected body.
This is interesting.  Our Clerk has constantly said it is her agenda and that what goes in it is down to her and her decision is final. Thanks to your comment I have now realised that this is not any form of legislation but something included in the model standing orders by NALC.
Just take it back to basics.
Councillors are the elected representatives of the community.
Clerks are advisors to councillors.
There are ‘some’ statutory actions for Clerks but they are not in AUTHORITY over councillors.
Councillors would be wise to ‘take account’ of counsel provided by a clerk - but they are perfectly entitled to completely dismiss counsel which is patently inaccurate, inappropriate or incorrect.
The council is the employer of the clerk - NOT the other way round.
A clerk that refuses an appropriate, valid, properly formatted and submitted request for agenda item from a councillor without a comprehensive explanation and empirical evidence of unsuitability should be the subject of serious disciplinary examination.
A great summary by letsbehonest.
Thank you.  Items now on Agenda ready for meeting.
Reply to Jann -
“...something included in the model standing orders by NALC...”

National & regional associations (in my interpretation) are comprised of (one would like to think) the ‘better’ clerks - but still clerks.
They have a very narrow focus.
0 votes
This is not an unusual issue.  To get round it councillors initially raised the issue as 'from the public' at the start of a meeting, and then followed it though at the next meeting.  The introduction of an action log (fought against tooth and nail) was of great benefit, and certainly aids the transition of issues though from raising them to resolution IMHO.    However, if you do not have other councillor support the chair may push back if the agenda is full (in which case it becomes an issue of priority I guess).
answered by (370 points)

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