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Speakers of 21st Century

Role and Function of the Speaker


(extracted from Bedford Borough Council Constitution - Article 5 Part 2 release 4)

The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council will have the titles Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Council respectively.

The Speaker of the Council and, in his/her absence, the Deputy Speaker, will have the following roles and functions:-

Ceremonial Role

To represent the Council on formal occasions and at external functions either in conjunction with the Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor and otherwise as the Mayor shall determine.

Chairing the Council Meeting

The Speaker will be elected by the Council annually. The Speaker will have the following responsibilities:-

1. to uphold and promote the purposes of the Constitution, and to interpret the Constitution when necessary;
2. to preside over meetings of the Council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of Councillors and the interests of the community;
3. to ensure that the Council meeting is a forum for the debate of matters of concern to the local community and the place at which Members who are not on the Executive are able to hold the Executive to account;
4. to promote public involvement in the Council's activities;
5. to be the conscience of the Council.

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