Modernising the Role of Clerk

Great Shelford Parish Council (the Council) is keen to continually evolve to be a leader in the sector, supporting both its community and its staff.   With this in mind, we have taken the decision to demonstrate this by recognising the role of ‘Parish Clerk’ with a job title which is more reflective of the modern role undertaken.

Historically, the ‘Clerk to the Council’ included the statutory role called Proper Officer – an officer appointed for a particular purpose with certain statutory obligations including serving summons on councillors; convening a meeting of the council if a vacancy in the office of Chair arises; receiving and holding documents on behalf of the council to name but a few.

In addition to the role of Proper Officer, we ask our Clerk to also be the Responsible Financial Officer – again a statutory role where the job holder is responsible for signing the annual accounts; maintaining the accounts and supporting records in accordance with the legislation; advising councillors on prudence and providing the information required for councillors to ensure that the financial management is (both timely) and effective.

On top of these two statutory roles, the job holder is the most senior member of staff with other staff reporting to them;  they will have overall responsibility of conducting the business of the council; be responsible for health & safety concerns, some elements of project management, managing contractors, communications/PR, event management, etc.

With the above in mind, the Council has agreed to call our Parish Clerk ‘Executive Officer’ which we hope reflects the breadth and depth of the role undertaken on behalf of the community.