4. Guidelines for P.A. & Councillors

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Guidance On The Relationship Between the Parish Administrator & Councillors & Their Respective Roles December 2016
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o A Local Council only functions well through partnership working between the Chair, Parish Administrator, and the Councillors. The most effective councils are those where a climate of mutual respect has been achieved.
o Parish Administrator and Councillors work together for the benefits of the Community.
o The Parish Administrator and other officers are employees of the Council. No one Councillor may require the Parish Administrator, or other officers to carry out any duty or function within the scope of their employment that does not have the sanction of the full Council acting under a majority decision. It is usual practice that the Chair gives the necessary directions to the Parish Administrator, but has no right to give any directions other than those approved by the full Council, e.g. the Chair has no powers to dismiss Officers of the Council.
Position of the Parish Administrator to the Council
Parish Council’s operation consists of policy-making, decisions and administration. The Parish Administrator is head of the administration and therefore responsible for all the work that is carried out within that function. He/She is solely responsible for the administration.
Councillors should not take any responsibility for administration, managerial, or supervisory task, these are discharged by the Parish Administrator.
Roles of the Parish Administrator to the Council
The Parish Administrator is employed by the Council, under section 112 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972, to provide administrative support for the Council’s activities. Any other staff, although employed by the Council, are supervised by the Parish Administrator who is their manager and is responsible for their performance. The Parish Administrator is also the liaison for any Contractors used by the Council. The Parish Administrator’s primary responsibility is to advise the Council on whether its decisions are lawful and to recommend ways in which decisions can be implemented. To help with this, the Parish Administrator can be asked to research topics of concern to the Council and provide unbiased information to help the Council to make appropriate choices. The Parish Administrator has a wide range of other responsibilities which includes management of all Council owned property as well as the daily running of Council administration. A Parish Administrator must:- o ensure that the Council conducts its business lawfully o administer all the Council’s paperwork o ensure that meeting papers are properly prepared and the public is aware of meeting times o implements the Council’s decisions o oversees the implementation of projects o supervise staff & contractors as required o keep property registers and other legal documents o keep up to date by training /qualification
Guidance On The Relationship Between the Parish Administrator & Councillors & Their Respective Roles December 2016
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Roles of a Parish Councillor
Main purpose
o Representing the views of all residents within your Parish.
Secondary purpose
o As part of a local council you will have responsibility for running local services which may include: open spaces, play areas, village halls, community car schemes and potentially much more.
o Deciding on how much to raise through the council tax in order to deliver your council’s services.
o Influencing and shaping the long term development policy for the parish, and as part of the planning process, comment on planning applications in the parish.
o Improve the quality of life and the environment in their local area.
o Working to identify issues which are important to the lives of the residents you represent.
o Working to bring about improvements through local projects, lobbying other service providers and working in partnership with other parishes and agencies
Responsibilities of a Councillor
o Attend meetings when summoned to do so; the notice to attend a council meeting is, in law, a summons, because you have a duty to attend
o Consider, in advance of the meeting, the agenda and any related documents which were sent to you with the summons
o Take part in meetings and consider all the relevant facts and issues on matters which require a decision including the views of others expressed at the meeting
o Take part in voting and respect decisions made by the majority of those present and voting
o Ensure, with other councillors, that the council is properly managed
o Represent the whole electorate, and not just those who voted for you.
o Report to the Parish Office any verbal or written issues raised by Parishioners.
o Should NOT undertake any individual action that has not been authorised by the Council.
o Should NOT make contact with Contractors working for the Council they should report any problems to the Parish Office.
Councillors’ Conduct and Interests
There seven Nolan principles apply to the conduct of people in public life:
o Selflessness: you should act in the public interest
o Integrity: you should not put yourself under any obligations to others, allow them improperly to influence you or seek benefit for yourself, family, friends or close associates
o Objectivity: you should act impartially, fairly and on merit
o Accountability: you should be prepared to submit to public scrutiny necessary to ensure accountability
o Openness: you should be open and transparent in your actions and decisions unless there are clear and lawful reasons for non-disclosure
o Honesty: you should always be truthful
o Leadership: as a councillor, you should promote, support and exhibit high standards of conduct and be willing to challenge poor behaviour.