Role Of The Parish Clerk
The Clerk to the Council is the Proper Officer of the Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all the functions, and in particular to serve or issue all the notifications required by law of a local Authority’s Proper Officer.
The Clerk is responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Local Authority are carried out.
The Clerk is the Responsible Financial Officer and responsible for all financial records of the Council and the careful administration of its finances.
The Clerk is expected to advise the Council on, and assist in the formation of, overall policies to be followed in respect of the Authority’s activities and in particular to produce all the information required for making effective decisions and to implement constructively all decisions.
The Clerk must recognise that the Council is responsible for all decisions and that she takes instructions from the Council as a body. The Clerk is not answerable to any individual Councillor – not even the Chairman.
The Council must be confident that the Clerk is, at all times, independent, objective and professional.
Proper Officer is a title used in statute. It refers to the appropriate officer for the relevant function. In town and parish councils, the Proper Officer is normally the Clerk. In financial matters, the Proper Officer is known as the Responsible Financial Officer.
To ensure that statutory and other provisions governing or affecting the running of the Council are observed.
To monitor and balance the Council’s accounts and prepare records for audit purposes and VAT.
To ensure that the Council’s obligations for Risk Assessment are properly met.
To prepare, in consultation with appropriate members, agendas for meetings of the Council and Committees. To attend such meetings and prepare minutes for approval.
To attend all meetings of the Council and all meetings of its committees and sub-committees.
To receive correspondence and documents on behalf of the Council and to deal with the correspondence or documents or bring such items to the attention of the Council. To issue correspondence as a result of instructions of, or the known policy of the Council.
To receive and report on invoices for goods and services to be paid for by the Council and to ensure such accounts are met. To issue invoices on behalf of the Council for goods and services and to ensure payment is received.
To study reports and other data on activities of the Council and on matters bearing on those activities. Where appropriate, to discuss such matters with administrators and specialists in particular fields and to produce reports for circulation and discussion by the Council.
To draw up both on own initiative and as a result of suggestions by Councillors proposals for consideration by the Council and to advise on practicability and likely effects of specific courses of action.
To prepare, in consultation with the Chairman, press releases about the activities of, or decisions of, the Council.