Conveners leaving the chair

63. A convener can hand the chair over to a deputy (or temporary) convener during a meeting and either leave the room for part of the meeting or still remain at the table and participate in the meeting as an ordinary member. The deputy, while in the chair, exercises all the functions of the convener including use of the casting vote.

64. Where a convener knows in advance that he or she wishes to hand over the chair for part of the meeting, this should be discussed with the clerks and deputy convener prior to the meeting so that, if necessary, the deputy can be clear about the arrangements for the convener leaving and resuming the chair. Ideally, if the convener wishes to leave or resume the chair this should be done between agenda items. If this cannot be pre arranged, the convener should advise the clerk when he or she wishes to leave or resume the chair. This will allow the clerk to alert the deputy and a smooth transfer can be arranged. In the unlikely event of a deputy refusing to give up the chair, the clerk will arrange for the convener's microphone to be switched on so that the convener can resume the role of chair. It is not necessary for the convener to occupy any particular seat at the table.