Annual Meeting of the Council or Annual Parish Meeting
What are the meetings that must be held in spring of each year?
There are two quite different meetings that must be held at this time.
Firstly, like any other organisation or company, the Council needs to hold an annual meeting to carry out those things that only need doing once a year. These include:
* Electing a Chairman
* Electing a Vice-Chairman
* Appointing committees
* Appointing representatives to other bodies (e.g. the Village Hall Committee, or School Governing Body)
* Reviewing policy documents such as risk assessment, Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, etc.
Secondly, there is the Annual Parish Meeting *.
* This is, in legal terms, a quite separate body from the Council, but it is invariably the Council that arranges it. Its decisions are not binding on the Council.
The Annual Parish Meeting is open to all electors of Town or Parish, who have the right not only to attend but also to speak on any matter of local interest. This is in contrast to a Council meeting, where electors who are not Councillors have no automatic right to speak (though many councils do, of course, have a set time before or after the Council meeting when electors can raise matters of concern to them).
This meeting has its own minutes, which should be kept separately from the Council minutes, and these minutes can only be approved by the next Annual Parish Meeting which will, of course, not be held until the following year.
What are the timetables for these two Meetings?
* In an election year, the “old Council” retires on the Monday following the day of elections, when the new Council comes into being. The new Council must hold its Annual (and first) Meeting within a fortnight from that Monday.
* In any other year, the Council must hold its Annual Meeting on any day in May.
* The Annual Parish Meeting must be held each year between March 1st and June 1st. Because this is a meeting of a body separate from the Parish Council the date is not affected by the Parish Council election cycle, though practical considerations may mean that you arrange it on a different date in an election year.
Who chairs the Annual Parish Meeting?
In a parish with a Local Council, the Chairman of the Council must, if s/he is present, take the chair – even if s/he is not an elector for the parish. If the Chairman is not present, the Vice-chairman of the Council must preside. If the Vice-Chairman is not present, then the Meeting must elect a Chairman, for this meeting only, from amongst the local electors present.