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Chair and Vice resigned - then retracted what now?

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Afternoon all,

Our chair and vice resigned from the council. Within a week (before any meetings) they retracted their resignations.

Clerk called an extraordinary meeting to vote new chair. Then cancelled and advised chair is resuming. Now another extraordinary meeting has been called to co-opt the chair and vice again, as a councillor.

After speaking to Nalc my understanding is that they are still councillors, the clerk can receive resignation but the council must accept this in a minuted meeting. To become chair/ vice again, a vote must be held on that only.

Clerk is adamant that this is not the case and nalc advised differently.
It seems quite unprecedented indeed and I am wondering if anyone has any legal text to shine light on the situation please.

asked by (120 points)

1 Answer

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Section 84 of the Local Government Act states:

84 Resignation.
(1) A person elected to any office under this Act may at any time resign his office by written notice delivered—
(a) except in a case falling within paragraph (b), (c) or (d) below, to the proper officer of the council;
(b) in the case of a person elected to a corporate office in a London borough, to the proper officer of the borough;
(c) in the case of a parish or community councillor, to the chairman of the parish or community council;
(d) in the case of a chairman of a parish or community council or of a parish meeting, to the council or the meeting, as the case may be;
and his resignation shall take effect upon the receipt of the notice by the person or body to whom it is required to be delivered.

In other words, the chairman of a parish council may resign by written notice delivered to the council (not the clerk), and it takes effect when received by the council, presumably at a meeting.

The above does not apply to the vice chair, whose resignation takes effect when received by the clerk, creating a vacancy which must be advertised in the usual way to allow those on the electoral roll to call a public election to fill the vacancy if they so choose.
answered by (33.1k points)
Not sure you are following your own reference there Dave.
A Cllr in the role of chair would resign the role of chair by notice to the council and then resign as a councillor by notice to the (new) chair.
A Cllr in the role of v chair would similarly resign the role to the council and the function of Cllr to the chair.
Obviously timings / sequence  might be tricky - but that’s what the reference states.
Vice chair doesn’t present resignation to clerk.
Clerk has no part in either resignation - according to the reference....

PS. If there is to be an EO meeting to co-opt the previously resigned Cllr’s back as (a) councillors (b) in a specific role, then the resignation must stand - otherwise they wouldn’t need co-opting back on to the council and, that being the case, they’d need a majority vote so don’t vote for them.
I agree - the vice chair (or any councillor) resigns by written notice to the chair.  It may well be addressed to the council FAO the chair, but then it needs to get to the chair prior to it taking effect.  The law seems to have been written in a specific way to ensure resignation is an issue between councillors,  and employees are not directly involved (other than to carry out councils instructions).

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