THE chief permanent official of the Corporation is the Town Clerk. He is its legal adviser, the head of the Corporation’s administration and he is responsible for the secretarial work of the Council and its committees, e.g. providing clerks to record committee minutes. He also has various other duties to perform like drawing up the electoral roll. Legally he is the servant of the Council, but his permanency in office and his professional expertise give him in practice a more powerful role.1 The potentialities of his office are great, since he surveys the work of the Council as a whole and is in touch with all departments and committees. But the use he makes of these potentialities depends on his personality, temperament and skill. If he so desires, he can become the leader of the Council, directing and energising all its activities, or he can be its servant in the background, confined strictly to his legal duties. Only the office of Treasurer has similar potentialities, since he, too, is concerned with the work of every committee; but his impingement on other committees is confined to one field, finance, and is thus not so extensive as the Town Clerk’s. If the Clerk is exceptionally retiring and the Treasurer exceptionally forward, then the latter may be more powerful than the former. In Wolverhampton this situation occurred only for a very few years, and for this reason this study concentrates on the Town Clerks2 without examining very deeply the role of the other officers.
KeywordsLegal Adviser Labour Group Town Centre Electoral Roll Legal Duty
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