The Role of the Town Clerk
The Town Clerk 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 totally responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Local Authority are carried out.
It is illegal for a Town or Parish Council to operate without a Town or Parish Clerk.
There is no legal requirement for the Clerk to live within the parish and statutory functions cannot be carried out by one or more of the Members of the Council.
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 to produce all the information required for making effective decisions and to implement constructively all decisions.
The person will be accountable to the Council for the effective management of all its resources and will report to them as and when required.
The Clerk is the Responsible Financial Officer and responsible for all financial records of the Council and the careful administration of its finances unless delegated to another 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 prepare a draft annual precept within the remit of budgetary controls for approval by full Council.
- To manage all banking arrangements.
- To ensure that all the Council’s obligations for health and safety and 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. Other than where such duties have been delegated to the Assistant Town Clerk.
- To attend all meetings of the Council and all meetings of its committees and sub- committees. Other than where such duties have been delegated to the Assistant Town Clerk.
- 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 his/her own initiative and as a result of suggestions by Councillor’s proposals for consideration by the Council and to advise on practicability and likely effects of specific courses of action.
- To supervise any other members of staff as their line manager in keeping with the policies
of the Council and to undertake all necessary activities in connection with the management of
salaries, conditions of employment and work of other staff.
- To monitor the implemented policies of the Council to ensure they are achieving the desired result and where appropriate suggest modifications.
- To act as the representative of the Council as required.
- To issue notices and prepare agendas and minutes for the Town Meeting: to attend the assemblies of the Town Meeting and to implement the decisions made at the assemblies that are agreed by the Council.
- To prepare, in consultation with the Chairman, press releases about the activities of, or decisions of, the Council.
- To attend training courses or seminars on the work and role of the Clerk as required by the Council.