Role of the Parish Clerk

The parish council Clerk is the ‘engine’ of an effective parish council.   He or she is its principal executive and adviser and, for the majority of smaller parish councils, is the officer responsible for the administration of its financial affairs. 

The Clerk is sometimes a council’s only employee. 

The Clerk is required to give clear guidance to Councillors, including the Chair, before decisions are reached, even when that guidance may be unpalatable. 

The Clerk has a key role in advising the council, and Councillors, on governance, ethical and procedural matters.  They must also liaise with the Monitoring Officer at the district/unitary council on ethical issues and the Councillors’ Register of Interests.

The Clerk may also carry out the role of the Finance Officer.

The Clerk is an independent and objective servant of the council who takes instructions from the corporate body and must recognise that the council is responsible for all decisions.