What is the Role of a Chairman
- Is a member of the Council and is elected annually
- Has the authority at meetings and must be obeyed
- Is the interface between the public and the Council
- The one to welcome speakers and make them ‘feel at home’
- Is to make sure the decision is clear for the clerk to act upon
Note: The Chairman on his own has no power to make decisions without the Resolution of the Council
What does a good chairman do?
Plan the meeting with the clerk and ensure that everything on the agenda is legal.
Brief themselves and prepare fully – study all relevant information and anticipate the needs and interests of the members. The Chairman can then answer questions or deal with requests for information.
Be punctual – the Chairman should set a good example by arriving early to check the arrangements and welcome members, the public and any visiting speakers.
Conduct the meeting –
- Check there is a quorum (minimum number of members needed to make the meeting legal)
- Call the meeting to order and declare it open
- Welcome members, the public and visiting speakers to the meeting
- Introduce the standard items on the agenda – apologies; declarations of interest; confirmation of minutes of previous meeting
- Introduce the agenda items and ensure that all members know what they have to achieve and how they might do it encourage participation
- Stimulate an exchange of ideas and experience
- Ensure that all have a chance to express their views freely
- Keep the members aware of objectives
- Maintain focus
- Guide and progress discussion towards achieving the objectives
- Manage conflict
- Be fair and balanced
- Preserve order
- Enforce rules of procedure
- Rule on disputed matters