Photograph of Nicola Webster

Nicola Webster

Clerk, Proper Officer and Responsible Financial Officer to Hilton Parish Council

I have lived in Hilton since the age of 6, apart from a brief period in London for university. I am passionate about Hilton and its community and I am also involved in several community groups. I am currently Chair of the Hilton Feast Week Committee and serve on the Hilton Village Hall Committee as the Feast Week representative. I am also a Governor of Fenstanton and Hilton Primary School, which my children attend. I am the EYFS link governor covering both Reception and Preschool due to my previous experience as Chair of Fenstanton Preschool.

I have achieved the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) which is the industry specific foundation qualification.

Tel: 01480 830605


The Role of the Parish Clerk

The Parish Clerk provides the ‘engine’ of an effective Council.  The Clerk is the professional advisor to the Council on matters of policy, and the executor of Council policy, i.e. in carrying out the instructions of the Council.

The Clerk must always obey the lawful and proper instructions of the Parish Council

The Clerk must comply with all the standing orders and known policies of the Parish Council

The Clerk is expected to co-operate fully with the Chair of the Parish Council

The Clerk will obviously assist individual Parish Councillors but the Clerk must never place the interests of individual Councillors above duty to the Parish Council as a whole

The Clerk must not be instructed by any individual Parish Councillor and in particular the Clerk must not be induced to disregard statutory duties

The Clerk also acts as an Executive Officer and uses statutory executive powers to take any appropriate executive action required for routine council administration that requires no policy decision.  This power includes all urgent safety work.  The Clerk may seek information, draw up proposals, or present ideas or suggestions to the Parish Council or its Committees, Working Parties or the Chair.

As the official administrator the Clerk performs all routine administration without specific instructions from the Parish Council. This includes statutory duties such as service and issue of statutory notifications, attending meetings, and acting as a representative of the Parish Council. The Clerk will arrange insurance, keep and file records, record interests and standing orders, prepare and distribute agendas, prepare minutes and press reports, examine reports and other data, present information, deal with all routine correspondence, and perform all other office work.

The Clerk also takes on the administration of finance, working with auditors and providing annual accounts, and other routine financial matters without specific instructions from the Parish Council, to include preparing budgets and accounts, orders, receipts, invoices, cheques, VAT returns, and audit returns. The Clerk will monitor and balance accounts, present reports, make purchases and complete all other routine financial functions.  Many matters are delegated to the Clerk, who can make decisions on them working within established Council policies and lines of authority.  The day-to-day management of services is the responsibility of the Clerk.  Both Councillors and the Clerk must work within the law.

Within the framework of policies decided by Councillors, either at full Council or Committees level, the Clerk, often in consultation with the Chair, will take many decisions every working day.