A good secretary must be reliable and efficient. He/she will pay strict attention to matters of detail and make sure incoming letters receive prompt replies.

It is important that the secretary’s name, address and telephone number are well publicised to landlords and organisations that want to make contact with the committee. The group should have headed notepaper printed. This can be done on a computer. If the group does not have access to a computer the tenant participation staff will be happy to help.

Before the meeting:

  • Arrangements and an agenda for the meeting should be prepared in consultation with the chairperson.
  • A suitable venue for the meeting should be arranged and speaker arranged if necessary.
  • A notice of the meeting and agenda should be sent to all committee members so that they will receive them at least a week before the meeting is arranged. Agendas should be sent out for all meetings even if they are held at the same time and place each week or month.
  • The secretary must keep a complete, approved and signed up to date set of minutes.  Ensure that all correspondence had been dealt with, and when necessary, obtain replies for the next meeting.  Keep an accurate filing system.

At the meeting:

  • Keep a record of everyone attending the meeting or collect their signatures on an attendance sheet. Apologies for absences should also be recorded.
  • Make sure that a quorum is present before any business is started.
  • Read the minutes of the previous meeting (unless already sent out) and obtain the chairperson’s signature for the official copy.
  • Read out all correspondence received and report any action taken since the last meeting.
  • Ensure that the chairperson is supplied with all the necessary papers and information relevant to the meeting.

The secretary should have:

  • A diary
  • Necessary paperwork for the meeting, eg. Agenda, minutes, report
  • Notebook and pen
  • Folder to keep all your paperwork
  • Headed notepaper
  • Stamps/Envelopes
  • Access to a computer