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Annual parish Meeting Agenda queries

0 votes
The PC has issued an agenda for the annual parish meeting, the chair having called one.  There is no agenda in the councils SOs.   I query a number of agenda items.  1.  Apologies for absence - as its not a council meeting, no one is required to attend, it is all voluntary.   2.  Declarations of interest.  As it is not a council meeting, then why is this required and who does the declaring?  Members of the public would struggle I guess.  3.  Reports from village organisations - these are welcome, but if no representative is there, they are read out.  This seems pointless, as how can you question them at the meeting?   4. The council will note the minutes of the meeting - I understand the chair of the last meeting a year before can sign them, and all present who were at the last one can vote them through - but as it is not a council meeting, the council cannot convene to note them at that meeting (probably better to note the draft minutes after the meeting if the council is going to take any actions from the meeting)?  Just some thoughts, as happy the council has organised it, but those agenda items are a bit 'councilly'
by (1.5k points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Logically you would expect the minutes of the previous annual parish meeting approval to be on the agenda along with matters arising, if the previous meeting was organised and hosted by the parish council. Apologies is illogical. Introduction and a report from the parish council should be there though.
by (30.3k points)
Thanks - the report from the PC is the key thing for me along with the questions from the public and any proposals.
+1 vote

The retention of Annual Assemblies (Parish/Town Meetings) something of quirk in law that they have remained required in areas where a Parish/Town Council has emerged. Your correct that nobody receives a "summons" to attend but many preparing the agendas opt to include apologies (instead of voting on them simply "note" them) in part anyone who planned to come and wanted it noted has chance to. Those assembled at the next annual parish meeting will vote on the minutes of the previous year for accuracy purposes only. For practical purposes the Clerk usually hold onto the minutes (as its them who has usually created them in the first place). Your right that the agendas do tend to feel a little "Council Like" like the example below but you can really set the tone as a chair and make it feel very different to council meeting.  

  1. Welcome
  2. To Note Apologies 
  3. To approve the the minutes from the Previous Annual Assembly held DD.MM.YYYY
  4. Parish Council Reports
  5. Other Councils (eg. County / District)
  6. Community Groups / Organisations  
  7. Any Questions / Points
Many have tried to move away from formal. Opting for displays / cake / food etc before hand then a very very quick formal approval of minutes and not much else "meeting". I see some of the Town Councils turned there assemblies into things like awards nights / music / meal out type thing.   
by (4.0k points)
The whole "annual" meeting is a bit of a nonsense these days and one can be held whenever there is a topic of interest or concern so I tend to support the "turn it into a village event" that so many have adopted, although sadly not my own.  The agenda you suggest is common in my experience and some, if a limited, opportunity for voluntary organisations within the village to showcase their activities through their report whether written or delivered in person.  I agree that whilst apologies seem daft under the circumstances, there are often those who would have attended so wish to register that they are unable to do so.  Declarations of interest however is another matter and I agree have no place on the annual parish meeting agenda.  This year we are having an "awards" type section to celebrate those who went that extra mile during the pandemic and set up voluntary support for those unable to get out for shopping, medicine collection etc.  About time too!
+1 vote
The Parish meeting( whether annual or called) is as stated NOT a PC meeting in any form. The main matter of business is a report submitted by the PC to the community on their activities and the ability for the community to question ( and receive answers) the council.
The report should include a summary of the PC's actions during the period and should also include, by definition, their responses to questions/matters raised by the public at the previous parish meeting. A parish meeting is there to enable the community to hold their PC to account for their actions( or non action). It is not a social event. It has a specific purpose and considering the inaction and secrecy of many PC's these days needs to be used more frequently by communities to hold them to account.
by (15.5k points)
Is it appropriate for alcohol be provided by Chairoerson (paid for out of their expenses) for public consumption at the end of annual parish meeting held in a village hall run by a charity?
The Chairman's allowance should be used for the expenses of being a chair so stationery, possibly costs of attending civic events etc.and most often used for things like the cost of the wreath for remembrance day etc. so I'd suggest it shouldn't be used for alcohol but not sure if there's any legislation specifically banning it.  No doubt someone will correct me.
Aha! the old catch all modern day undefined totally politically correct subjective word " appropriate". As stated the annual Parish Meeting is not a social event but a legally required meeting, although I know of PC's who put on refreshments and guest speakers to presumably attract people to the meeting.
Thanks all for answers.  There will be a fair few villagers turn up this year, given the various issues bugging the public.  Hopefully the discussion will not be just to the council, but to all present, given there are but 10 councillors, but over 120 people volunteering for other activities in the village (pop 4500) - so most things get done by other organisations.

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