The Secretary and Meetings

How should the Secretary go about the job?

 1. In a structured and planned manner. 2. Remember the importance of working as part of a team. 3. Importance to keep up to date list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of Council members and also other Organisations and officials that you will be dealing with. 4. Keep a diary of future events, and a good record of previous activities  


The preparation and attendance at meetings is probably the single most important and time consuming aspect of the Secretary’s job.
The Secretary must plan meetings to ensure the success of the meetings.

Duties before the Meeting 

1. Draw up agenda for meeting in consultation with Chairperson. 2. Book venue for meeting. 3. Notify all members of the time, date and venue of the meeting well in advance. 4. If there are guest speakers to be invited, ensure this is done well in advance of the meeting. Also arrange food/accommodation for guests, if required. 5. Ensure that any reports or information requested at previous meetings is available. 6. Read through all correspondence and summarize any lengthy pieces of correspondence. 7. Most importantly be punctual for the meeting; it can not start without you.


What is an agenda? Basically an agenda is a list of topics to be covered at the meeting. - The main purpose of the agenda is to make sure that the meeting can be carried out in an orderly fashion and that the business of the meeting is dealt with in an efficient manner.
- The agenda is drawn up by the Secretary in consultation with the Chairperson. They decide the order of the items to be discussed. - If the order of the agenda is to be changed, then this must be stated at the beginning of the meeting.
Many groups use a standard which is the same for every meeting. ‘New’ items that arise are discussed under the ‘Any other business’ heading. This means they are dealt with at the end of the meeting. People are tired and time constraints usually come into play and result in important issues being rushed. Therefore, it may be more effective to outline the actual issues to be discussed on the agenda so that the members can plan their contributions to the meeting.
When planning the agenda it is important to keep a few matters in mind. You must categorize items depending on whether they are urgent or if the matter is of major importance to the group. Does the decision need to be taken         NOW? SOON? LATER?
Urgent issues should be dealt with first. But it is also crucial to remember more time should be allocated to what is important than what is urgent. This is necessary so that the discussion on important issues is not rushed.
It is a good idea to allocate time limits to each individual topic as a guideline for the Chairperson during the meeting.  

Duties at Meetings

 1. Arrive in time with minute book, relevant correspondence and business matters for the meetings. 2. Read the minutes out and when adopted get them signed by the Chairperson. 3. Read summarized correspondence. 4. Record names of those present and apologies received from those absent. 5. Ensure the Chairperson is supplied with all the information for items on the agenda, and bring his/her attention to any matter overlooked. 6. Take concise notes from meetings for minutes, ensuring that all proposals and decisions are recorded, as well as the name of the person responsible for carrying them out.

Sample Notice of Meeting: 

Dear Member, A meeting of Dunore Community Council will be held on Tuesday October 10th at 8:30 p.m in Dunore Community Centre.
The agenda is as follows:  a) Apologies
b) Minutes
c) Matters arising from minutes
d) Correspondence
e) Reports:  Chairperson Secretary Treasurer. Sub Committees
 f) Main Items:  Senior Citizens Party        FAS scheme         Christmas Draw
 g) A.O.B h) Date of next meeting
Yours sincerely,
A. Nolan Hon.Secretary