The Chairman is elected by the members of the Council at the Annual Council meeting and serves for twelve months under Section 15 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972.
The Chairman’s main role is to run council meetings.
The Chairman is responsible for ensuring that effective and lawful decisions are taken at meetings of the council and, assisted by the clerk, guides activities by managing the meetings of the council. The Chairman is responsible for involving all councillors in discussion and controlling the debate. The Chairman summarises the issues, facilitates the making of clear resolutions and is responsible for keeping discussions moving so that the meeting is not too long. The Chairman has a casting vote. His/her first vote is a personal vote as a member of the council. If there is a tied vote, the Chairman can have a second, casting vote.
The Chairman will often be the public face of the council and will represent the council at official events. He/she may be asked to speak on behalf of the council and in such circumstances should only express the agreed views of the council and not his/her personal views. The Chairman cannot legally make a decision on behalf of the council.