10 – 14 July 2023
The Town Clerk and officers work with your councillors to make sure that Edenbridge Town Council provides the services you need in your town. The Clerk is the proper officer of the council who implements the decisions of the council, ensuring that it acts within the law, and is skilled in a range of disciplines to make sure the council runs properly. Council meetings are facilitated by the Clerk and officers who prepare the agendas and papers which can often entail detailed research into a range of different subjects and areas of expertise; these meetings are held in public and residents are invited to attend.
The Clerk and officers will help make representation on a wide range of issues liaising with the district and county council about changes on highways matters, applying for funding grants for local projects, researching complex planning issues, running the council’s finances and managing community buildings and events. They will also make representation to the local MP. Clerks have to be adaptable, quick thinking and able to manage a wide range of issues as no two days are the same in Clerk World! They need to be good problem solvers, diplomatic, able to manage people and good in a crisis too, such as seen when they helped to coordinate community efforts during the pandemic, handling unexpected incursions or the consequences of extreme weather.
Clerks are professionals and serve around 10,000 local councils in England and Wales. These councils emerged in 1894 to give a democratic voice to local people and they’ve changed enormously in that time, particularly during the last 20 – 30 years. They are real place shapers and, today, many manage and maintain parks, sports facilities, skateparks and recreation grounds, play areas, allotments, community and youth centres, car parks, public toilets, cemeteries, street cleaning, run events and much more. Most of all clerks and councillors are advocates, the voice for their communities.
Whatever your local council is delivering for your community, your Clerk will be at the heart of getting it done. They provide the services that we all notice the most in our neighbourhoods but, disappointingly, they’re often not properly recognised for just how much they do.
Clerks are celebrated in other countries and Local Council Clerk Week aims to help raise the profile of this important profession here and explain the work clerks do on behalf of town, parish and community councils.