The Role of the Chairman
The Chairman is a member of the council and is elected annually, in law a Chairman must be appointed (LGA 1972 S15).
At meetings the chairman has the authority and must be obeyed; he/she is responsible for ensuring that effective and lawful decisions are taken and that the meetings run smoothly keeping discussions to the point and letting every member have the opportunity to contribute. The Chairman summarises the debate and facilitates the making of clear resolutions that the Clerk can carry out. Should votes on an issue be equal, the Chairman has a casting vote.
By law the Chairman is unable to make a formal decision in their own on behalf of the Council.
The Chairman is the 'face' of the council in his civic role and at meetings makes visitors and speakers welcome creating an atmosphere to encourage participation.
A good working relationship with the Clerk is vital and the Chairman should have input on agenda's though leaving the final decision to the Clerk as legal signatory.