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+1 vote
Good evening

We recently held our APM - the council incurred some costs teas, coffees biscuits etc.
What power do we use to refund the councillor who purchased the items for the meeting

by (1.5k points)

3 Answers

0 votes
I'd also like advice on this.
Our Chairman used more than £55 of his 'Chairman's allowance' to pay for 'refreshments' including alcohol, for the APM which is not a parish council meeting - and is expecting the council to reimburse this sum at our next meeting (it's one of the financial agenda items), despite the draft minutes of the AP meeting show that those attending the meeting (fewer than 20 out of 680-odd residents) gave a vote of thanks to the Chairman's wife for the refreshments provided!
The public notice for the APM announced that there would be refreshments available at the meeting, seemingly as an inducement to get electors to attend. It didn't seem to work as so few people were present on the night, and there is no record of who they were ie were they electors of our parish or people who turned up to take advantage of some free wine and food. It was interesting to note from the draft minutes that no questions were forthcoming from anyone attending the meeting despite that being the raison d'etre of an Annual Parish Meeting.

The use of the Chairman's allowance for the above purpose was not an agenda item to be addressed, discussed or resolved by the council at the last meeting, so I cannot see how or why it should be paid to the Chairman at our next meeting. I was under the impression that the Chairman's allowance was to be used only for travel costs incurred on council business, so is the Chairman's claim appropriate or proper - as the APM is not a council meeting, and the PC's annual precept is only around £13,000.
APM's are a bit weird really. As far as I understand it, if present at the APM the PC chair (or vice chair) must chair the APM and they can also call the meeting (and if they didn't let's be honest in most communities they would probably never happen)-  so there is some inferred obligation on the PC even though it isn't a PC meeting.

I think what you allow the chairman to use his allowance for is basically up to individual councils - lists in NALC publications say duties, travelling, subsistence, hospitality at events etc so it's pretty vague.
By the way around 20 is a great turnout - we've got major developments all around the parish and massive change going on and never get that many!
0 votes
As far as I know there isn't really one - presume you don't have the GPC?

These issues come up sometimes and can be quite frustrating  - as an example I've had my council wanting to pay for a bunch of flowers for someone to say thank you for helping with recruitment  - there isn't a power to cover it even though everyone agreed it was a good thing to do. I advised them that there was no power to do that - they voted to do it anyway and claim the money back - as clerk I just minuted that I had advised they should not do it.

I think it's common sense sometimes -  the expenses were for the community so is anyone going to challenge it or make a fuss?
by (660 points)
0 votes

The annual parish meeting is an expense that the Parish Council are required to meet from their precept. They must pay for the cost of venue, advertising including printing costs involved and any admin costs involved in hosting the meeting ( including the clerk if they take the minutes). This does not only happen for the annual parish meeting but any and ALL Parish Meetings called during the year. Only registered voters are allowed to vote on motions before the meeting and as have seen on several PC sites councillors attending are named and apologies given as if it were a PC meeting. They are just members of the public at this meeting.

Whether the PC give inducements to attend is between them and the explanation of use of taxpayers money to the electorate and conscience. Much better to spend the money explaining fully what is available to the community at Annual Parish Meeting and stop tagging it on as a half hour before the PC meeting as people not in the know who see no point in attending a PC meeting will confuse their free forum opportunity as a PC meeting

by (27.4k points)

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