Weekly message from Peter Savage, Company Secretary

This is going to be a long introduction, but I hope to keep it interesting and relevant so please be patient and stick with it to the end!

UK democracy has probably never been so passionate and controversial with terms like “constitutional crisis”, “abuse of power” and the clash of executive and parliament” being bandied about.  An extended prorogation of parliament may or may not happen and is being challenged in the courts, instantaneous mass removal of the whip from MPs has occurred, other MPs have crossed the floor, the Johnson family has split politically and there is still no certainty as to a date for Brexit or the type of Brexit.  Not least because there may, or may not, be another general election despite a commitment to so called fixed term parliaments!  It makes the occasional turmoil that ADSO members have endured over the years seem very straightforward!  As I’m writing this an election has not been agreed but by the time you read this we may all be working towards participating in a general election in one role or another.  In my last bulletin I reported on actions that the Cabinet Office were taking to encourage voter registration.  According to news reports this current dilemma has encouraged 200,000 additional people (mostly “hard to reach” younger people) to register already – so it turns out that all they needed to do was to have a constitutional crisis!

ADSO has its own constitutional matters to address at the AGM in November.  I’m not expecting that to develop into a constitutional crisis – it would be ironic if the organisation with responsibility for helping to manage democracy and governance in local government suffered a crisis of that sort!  But, at the AGM members will need to consider and adopt the articles of association, scrutinise the budget and accounts and appoint the directors.

There are six directors and the timetable for their election is contained in section 7 of ADSO’s articles of association and can be summarised as follows:



5 September 2019: commencement

Company Secretary report in newsletter setting out process and inviting nominations to all posts.


9 October 2019: Deadline for nominations

Chair and Vice Chair

Deadline for nominations to Company Secretary. Includes:

·       completed nomination form signed by the candidate, proposer, seconder and 8 other Association members

·       Written endorsement of their candidacy from their employer

·       Recent photo for the newsletter and website

·       200-word biography detailing the candidate’s qualifications, work experience and what they expect to bring to the role

Director of Finance, Director of Training, Director of Communications and Company Secretary

Deadline for nominations to Company Secretary:

Candidates must be nominated by two members of the Association.


10 October to 7 November 2019: Potential ballot period

If more than one candidate for any position Company Secretary to organise postal ballot or electronic ballot

21 November 2019: 4.20 pm ADSO AGM

Company Secretary reports names of successful candidates.  Resolutions of the AGM to confirm. Elected postholders take office until next AGM.


The role profiles and nomination form can be found on the ADSO website: https://www.adso.co.uk/adso-governance/

If any of you are interested in seeking nomination for any of these positions, please don’t hesitate to contact any one of the current directors and we will happily talk through what the roles involve and elaborate on the process if the above table isn’t clear.


The election of Directors will take place at the Annual General Meeting during the Conference in November. I also wanted to let you know that the early bird has been extended to the 15 September, details can be found here.


Finally, as we say in Dibley, some notices:

  • venues have been confirmed for South East Employers (SEE) Advanced Democratic and Committee Administration Programme which will be held at the London Borough of Wandsworth and Richmond Upon Thames. ADSO Members receive a £50 discount. Details here https://seemp.co.uk/event-directory/
  • The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC): the link to the new IIMC website here is https://www.iimc.com and well worth a visit. The most relevant region for us is IIMC Region 11, and the Newsletter, of which we are all Members, is here https://ca-iimc2.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/608

I hope you made it through to the end of this introduction.  I am due to write my next one on 17 October – the chances are that that may be yet another momentous week in UK democracy!


Best wishes to you all.

Peter Savage

ADSO Company Secretary

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