Role of the Parish Clerk

Duties of the Clerk

The Clerk of the Council will be the ‘Proper Officer’ of the Parish Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all of the functions, and in particular to serve or issue all the notifications, required by law. The Clerk will be totally responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Local Authority are carried out. The Clerk is expected to advise the Council on, and assist in the formation of, overall policies to be followed in respect its activities and in particular to produce all of the information required for making effective decisions and to implement constructively all decisions. The Clerk 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 will be responsible for all the financial records of the Council and the careful administration of its finances.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. To ensure that legal, statutory and other provisions governing or affecting the running of the Council are observed.
  2. To maintain, monitor and balance the Council’s accounts and prepare records for audit, tax, NI and VAT purposes as necessary.
  3. To ensure the Council’s obligations to insure are properly met.
  4. To prepare, in consultation with appropriate members, agendas and locations for meetings of the Council and it Committees, and Annual Parish Meetings, to attend such meetings and prepare minutes for approval. To post notices of all meetings and other relevant documents on the notice boards and other depositories as necessary.
  5. If required, to prepare and present a report at the Annual Parish Meeting on the activities of the Council.
  6. To receive correspondence and documents on behalf of the Council and to deal promptly and appropriately with correspondence and documents or bring such items to the attention of the Council. To issue correspondence as a result of instructions, or known policy, of the Council.
  7. To receive and report on invoices for goods and services to be paid by the Council and ensure that the accounts are met promptly. To issue invoices on behalf of the Council and ensure payment is received.
  8. To maintain an awareness of all the activities of the Council and its Committees.
  9. To invite tenders for works to be carried out by the Council, let contracts and ensure that works are carried out in accordance with the specification.
  10. To maintain the Council’s records and filing systems, and to make provision for the safe-keeping in secure but accessible custody of all deeds, plans, records, letters, writings and other documents of or concerning the Council which shall come into the Clerk’s hands.
  11. To maintain a register of allotments together with the record plan, issue allotment agreements and collect rents.
  12. To administer the Parish Burial Ground, including processing applications for interment, maintaining the register of burials, record of grave spaces, and the plan of the burial ground. Issue certificates of exclusive right of burial. Authorise the erection of memorial stones. Liaise with Funeral Directors and grave diggers as necessary.
  13. To act as representative of the Council as necessary, including attending meetings and conferences as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the duties of Clerkship or as the Council may reasonably require, and to liaise with groups and organizations in the village including individual parishioners.
  14. To receive planning applications from North Somerset Council offices, advise North Somerset Council of the Parish Council recommendations for each planning application.
  15. To attend training courses and conferences as required by the Council and as appropriate to furthering the knowledge and experience of the Clerk, including becoming a member of the Society of Local Council Clerks.