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Roles and responsibilities

The chairperson  has the most important role to play in making sure that community council meetings run smoothly. Members can help by respecting the role of the chairperson.

The chairperson is elected in line with the rules set out in the community council's constitution. Your secretary should be able to provide you with a copy. The constitution is very important because it provides the framework of procedures that govern the work of your community council.

The chairperson's job is to make sure that decisions are taken on all of the items which are on the agenda. This usually means that they have to make judgements about how much time to allocate to each agenda item. It also means that he or she may occasionally have to bring speakers back to the agenda and encourage people to make their contributions brief and to the point.

The chairperson should:

  • Encourage fair play
  • Stay in charge
  • Remain neutral
  • Run through the agenda at the beginning to prepare the meeting for business
  • Arrange in advance for members to take ownership of some items
  • Control the agenda and time keeping
  • Introduce agenda items one at a time and
  • Be familiar with and introduce all agenda items
  • Have an overview of the task/goals of the meeting
  • Help to clarify goals
  • Help the group to carry out its tasks
  • Run through the agenda at the beginning to prepare the meeting for business
  • Arrange in advance for members to take ownership of some items and
  • Keep track of the time and evaluate/summarise how the meeting went at the end.