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I have been advised that the chairman has to attend the PCAM “in order to sign certain documents.”

Is this the case, or could the document (not specified) be signed later, after re-election in absentia?
by (120 points)

1 Answer

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At the annual meeting, the person elected as chair does have to be present. They should normally sign a declaration of acceptance of office at the meeting. An exception can be made if the council, at that meeting, passes a clear resolution stating that the person elected may sign at another specific time. If the signature is not made either at the meeting or at the specified alternative time, the election is not valid and the post of chair becomes vacant again. See https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/70/section/83. [Edited to take account of comments from RoundAgainCoxn and John1706].
by (33.0k points)
edited by
Must be present at the meeting in order to be elected - yes.
Must deliver acceptance of office declaration at that meeting - that is not actually what the reference states....

The definitive answer is in the reference.
Yes, the legislation does state what I said. "(4)A person elected to the office of chairman of a parish or community council or parish or community councillor shall—
(a)in the case of the chairman, at the meeting at which he is elected; ....make in the presence of a member of the council or of the proper officer of the council and deliver to the council a declaration of acceptance of office in a form prescribed by [an order made by the Secretary of State], and if he fails to do so his office shall thereupon become vacant."
Well, if you read on to sub para (c) it actually says “...at that meeting so permit, before or at a later meeting fixed by the council...”

What this means therefore is, yes, the person elected to be the chair must be present at the meeting where the election takes place, but no, the declaration of acceptance of office does NOT have to occur at the same time. It ‘can’ perhaps one might even say ‘should’ (where practicable) but it doesn’t HAVE to.
It is simply NOT the case that the election is voided if acceptance of office is not affirmed at the same time / place as the election itself.
The context of the whole of the reference, rather than an small part of it in isolation is the key here.
Its worth re-inforcing the point made by roundagaincoxn (with which I agree) that it is crucial the council passes a clear resolution allowing the chairman to sign o a future occasion.
Sorry, you are right. I will amend my answer.
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