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Whilst under Emergency Powers (no virtual or physical meetings held) who is responsible on the AGAR

+1 vote
Our Parish Council has been under Emergency Powers - Clerk, Chairman and Vice Chairman.  Who is responsible on the AGAR, and Internal Audit should any errors arise.  The whole Parish Council (who have had very little if any input) or the Chairman and Vice Chairman.
asked by (320 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
answered by (4.9k points)
Thanks letsbehonest, not Mellor PC but yes we are very similar.
+1 vote
Although the Chair countersigns it, the whole Council is responsible.   Legislation was enacted under Emergency Powers to allow all types of council to discharge as many as their functions as possible by permitting virtual meetings etc,  It is curious that you say they have "been under emergency powers" which suggests to me that the Clerk, Chair and Vice chair might have assumed powers to which they are not entitled to, in the name of Corona Virus.
answered by (22.4k points)
It will be interesting to see what the auditors have to say about these emergency powers enacted by a number of parish councils, as they have no basis in law. The temporary legislation provided a workable solution for all councils to continue to conduct essential business during the pandemic, so the auditor should highlight a legislative breach.

In the case of Mellor PC and others like it, most, if not all, of the members should be disqualified under section 85, leaving the council inquorate.
Thank you Graeme_r, my thoughts are the same and I have let all my PC members and the Clerk know.

DavetheClerk, yes it looks like the Internal Audit is not picking anything up.  Can I as an individual Parish Councillor request another Internal Audit?
No, only the council can resolve to have another audit. You can raise specific issues with the auditors during the process though.

When will your emergency powers come to an end?
They will come to an end in a couple of weeks when the Annual Meeting is held and the AGAR agreed.    I have had no say or choice in Internal Auditor.
It's good pracice to confirm the appointment of the internal auditor at the annual meeting, so you could suggest to your clerk that this be included on the agenda.
If full council has not resolved to approve the AGAR, You should report that situation to the external auditor (EA) .  The EA should (if they so their job properly) then should approach the Council  (probably the Clerk initially)  and investigate.  A competent EA should ask for the minutes of the Council meeting that the AGAR was approved at.  If that meeting was not quorate, the approval of the AGAR should be deemed invalid by the EA.

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