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Roles and responsibilities

The secretary of a community council is generally responsible for:

  • the agenda; 
  • the minutes of the meeting;
  • answering all correspondence;
  • writing any letters;
  • circulating information to community council members;
  • public relations, dealing with the press, TV and radio;
  • looking after visitors;
  • arranging the venue for meetings;
  • Liaising with officials of the local authority; and
  • supporting the Chair and providing (or obtaining) legal and other specialist advice.

To be successful, a community council must have an energetic and conscientious secretary prepared to put in the necessary time and effort. Community council members in general, and the Chair in particular, should try to spread the secretary's load. For instance, by delegating some of his or her responsibilities to others, either individually or to small sub-committees, the secretary's time can be freed up.  The duties may of course be allocated to more than one person- examples include appointing a dedicated minute taker for meetings, assigning a member of the community council to liaise with the press and media, or setting up sub-groups to deal with grant applications or newsletter production.

Given the responsibilities listed above, it is recommended that the community council secretary should have access to email facilities.