Chairman and Clerk working policy

This policy relates to both Council and Committee

Introduction

All Councils and Committees, no matter what size, rely on a successful working relationship between the Chairman and the Clerk.

The Chairman’s role
The Chairman provides direction and gets everyone working together. It is a council's purpose to address community issues and reach, without unreasonable delay, intelligible and lawful decisions for the right reasons. The Chairman's duty is to ensure this end is achieved with harmony all round. Allowing all points of view a fair hearing, ensuring relevant information is available, checking councillors are clear about the issues for decision, screening out irrelevant matters, protecting the council from outside interference, creating a friendly atmosphere and ensuring business is conducted with reasonable speed. Importantly, the Chairman needs to work in harmony with the clerk; drawing up agendas and supporting the clerk, as appropriate, in the implementation of council decisions.

The Clerks role
The role of the clerk is to administer the council's business and to take action on the council's decisions. The clerk acts as an impartial advisor to the council and this role should be respected and supported by councillors.

Prior to the meeting
• The Clerk will draw up an agenda which will be sent given to the Chairman for information.
• The Chairman will confirm the agenda and arrange to discuss any issues on the agenda and confirm the actual decisions needed.
• The Clerk will provide all background papers with options if required and will go through these in detail with the Chairman.


At the meeting
• The Chairman will work with the Clerk to ensure that Members have all the relevant facts and understand the issue and decision to be made.
• The Chairman will confirm with the Clerk that decisions taken and any resolutions are clear and precise.
• The Clerk will advise the Chairman if there are any uncertainties around the decision or recommendation.


After the Meeting
• The Clerk will produce the minutes and forward these to the Chairman for information.
• The Chairman will acknowledge the receipt of the minutes and confirmation of content; any discrepancies, anomalies or concerns to be raised with the Clerk. [The minutes of the meeting are the Clerks minutes and the Clerk can choose whether to accept the Chairman’s comments].
• The Clerk will keep the Chairman informed of all agreed actions taken and responses received arising from the minutes in preparation for the next meeting.

AT all times the Clerk will act as an independent advisor.