What is a Parish Clerk?
A parish clerk (also called "Proper Officer") is a person who assists with the administrative and clerical duties of a parish council, which is a local government body that serves a specific geographic area, such as a village, town, or neighbourhood. The duties of a parish clerk can vary significantly depending on the size and needs of the parish.
Parish Clerk Responsibilities
As a vital member of the local government team, the parish clerk wears many hats and fulfills a wide range of responsibilities. Here's a closer look at some of the key duties that a parish clerk might be responsible for:
- Maintaining records and documents: The parish clerk is responsible for keeping track of important documents and records related to the council's meetings and decisions. This might include agendas, minutes, financial records, and correspondence.
- Assisting with the preparation of agendas and minutes: Before each council meeting, the parish clerk works with council members to prepare an agenda outlining the topics that will be discussed. During the meeting, the clerk takes thorough minutes to ensure that a record of the proceedings is kept.
- Providing administrative support: The parish clerk is often the first point of contact for council members and committees, and is responsible for providing administrative support to help them accomplish their tasks. This might involve scheduling meetings, organising materials, and coordinating with other staff members or outside organisations.
- Responding to inquiries: The parish clerk is often the primary point of contact for residents and other organisations who have questions or concerns about the council or community services. It is the clerk's responsibility to provide timely and accurate information and assistance.
- Managing finances: The parish clerk is responsible for managing the council's budget and financial records. This includes preparing financial reports, tracking expenses, and processing payments.
- Organising events: The parish clerk may be responsible for organising events and activities sponsored by the council, such as community festivals, workshops, or educational programs.
As you can see, the role of a parish clerk is diverse and multifaceted. It requires a wide range of skills, including organisational abilities, attention to detail, and excellent communication and customer service. Without the dedicated efforts of parish clerks, the smooth functioning of local government would be impossible.
How much do Parish Clerks get paid?
Salaries for Parish Clerks are based on the national agreed pay-scale. The latest figures for 2022 will give most Parish Clerks a pay scale of £14.21 and £15.67 per hour LC2 (18-23) or £27,344 to £30,151 per annum, but they can be as high as £42.14 per LC4 (55-62), which is £81,069 per annum for Town Clerks / Chief Execs.
The salary for a parish clerk can vary widely depending on the size of the parish and the specific duties of the role and the qualifications and experience of the candidate. Some parish clerks may be paid an hourly wage, while others may receive a salary. In general, the salary for a parish clerk is modest, as this is often a part-time or volunteer position. It is important to note that the duties of a parish clerk can vary significantly from one parish to another, so it is difficult to provide a general estimate of what a parish clerk might be paid. It would be best to contact the specific parish where you are considering working as a clerk to find out more about the salary and benefits offered for this position.
What qualification's are required to be a parish clerk?
One of the most important qualifications for a parish clerk is experience in administrative or clerical work. This could include experience in an office setting, where you have gained skills in organisation, attention to detail, and communication. Proficiency with computer programs and software, such as Microsoft Office, is also important, as you will likely be using these tools on a daily basis.
In addition to technical skills, it is important for a parish clerk to have excellent communication and customer service skills. You will be interacting with council members, committees, and members of the public on a regular basis, so the ability to clearly and effectively convey information and address concerns is crucial.
A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum education requirement for a parish clerk. However, some parishes may prefer or require a degree in a field such as public administration, business, or a related field.
A big bonus would be CiLCA Qualifications, which gives you General Power of Competence.
Finally, it is helpful for a parish clerk to have a good understanding of local government processes and procedures. This will enable you to navigate the administrative and regulatory aspects of the job more easily, and help you to better serve the needs of the council and the community.
In summary, the qualifications required for a parish clerk may vary depending on the specific needs of the parish, but some common requirements include experience in administrative or clerical work, strong organisational skills, excellent communication and customer service skills, proficiency with computer programs and software, and a high school diploma or equivalent.