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Is there a way for the public to remove a Parish Clerk?

0 votes
The parish clerk is continually manipulating the council rules for the benefit of a small group of councillors. Rules are continually side stepped and questions answers in an ambiguous way to the point of having no substance. The clerk has now threatened a member of the public, who is a former councillor with whom he disagreed on procedure, with eviction from the allotment site without stating which rules she has broken.
There are a group of residents, mostly former councillors, who have grown somewhat tired of this charade. Is there anyway we can remove said clerk and or councillors? Or are there any Laws that we should be made aware of that govern public official behaviour?
P.S. we did submit a formal complaint about the clerk, however the council rejected all evidence.
asked by (310 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
The public cannot "remove" a clerk to the council as they are an employee of the council. The council should have a complaints policy in place which should lay down how to deal with complaints against members of the council and their employees. The council should, as with any employer, have robust procedures in place for investigation and action on  such complaints
answered by (11.1k points)
Hi thanks for your reply. Unfortunately submitting a complaint won't do any good. During a previous complaint procedure strong evidence was presented, however the committee investigating the complaint just defended the Clerk with very ambiguous answers. The complainants didn't even get to observe the committee.
Yes the public can remove the Clerk all they need to do is elect Councillors who won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour
In my experience the problem is quite common and I’ve been shown examples where behaviour that in any other sphere would result in instant suspension or dismissal is shrugged off
Accurately document and submit (to the PC) public complaints about the clerk.
If councillors involved in the investigation of public complaints fail to properly and diligently investigate (and communicate the result of that investigation) then the Cllr’s may become the subject of code of conduct complaint.
It’s all a fairly pointless Merry-go-round of administrative faff, but that’s about the sum total of what can be done.
Just keep banging the complaints in and attend meetings to voice concerns.
Letsbehonest I’ve seen that approach taken without any success as the Independent Person claimed it was a staff issue and not the responsibility of their manager
Because Clerks are employees they have far more “rights” than elected Councillors so as long as their managers are weak or complicit they can basically take the Council over
Agreed! It’s got it’s limitations, but if it can be demonstrated that Cllr’s have failed or been negligent in their responsibilities to properly investigate complaints, then Cllr’s might think twice before providing ‘top cover’ for the continuation of employee incompetence.
The greater deficiency is the pointlessness and ineffectiveness of whatever the monitoring officer might ultimately find - whatever their finding, it is meaningless and irrelevant anyway!
0 votes
The public could set up a Parish meeting and call for a referendum on having the Clerk dismissed. It wouldn't be binding but would send a clear message and the PC would have to pay for the referendum.
answered by (24.5k points)
The problem is that the power of Councillors is absolute and often abused by selected Councillors . Often Clerks become part of the inner sanctum so you simply play the game utilising the tools you have , public participation, code of conduct, standards board , auditors and social media., Parish meeting and referendums A councillor recently wrote to me saying  that I missed his point and commented "A point everyone who deals with you at every level of Government and other organisations makes about you." .  I congratulated him on his passion a sent him a copy of the Nolan principles. The one thing they hate is publicity
0 votes
The clerk is an employee and as such has employment rights. My questions would be the following
1. How long has the clerk been in post?

2. Has they been subject to appraisals and objectives set?

3. Are are the complaints submitted via the complaints policy and if so are they fully investigated, documented and  if there are failings discussed with the clerk.

A clerk has to be treated as an employee under employment law and if they have been in post over 2 years can take the parish council to a tribunal if process is not followed correctly or  less if its discrimination.

Seek advice from ACAS as an employer you can ring the up and discuss the situation
answered by (5.5k points)
Should a Complaints Committee have a TOR or can they be setup ad hoc, this might appear as a self proclamation but on balance of mediocrity in the details of managing to bring a complaint and it result in action, it would be appropriate for the Council to follow correct procedures.

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