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What is the Role of a Chairman

 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  –

  1. Check there is a quorum (minimum number of members needed to make the meeting legal)
  2. Call the meeting to order and declare it open
  3. Welcome members, the public and visiting speakers to the meeting
  4. Introduce the standard items on the agenda – apologies; declarations of interest; confirmation of minutes of previous meeting
  5. Introduce the agenda items and ensure that all members know what they have to achieve and how they might do it encourage participation
  6. Stimulate an exchange of ideas and experience
  7. Ensure that all have a chance to express their views freely
  8. Keep the members aware of objectives
  9. Maintain focus
  10. Guide and progress discussion towards achieving the objectives
  11. Manage conflict
  12. Be fair and balanced
  13. Preserve order
  14. Enforce rules of procedure
  15. Rule on disputed matters