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Does a Parish Council need a minimum of 5 members?

0 votes
Hi there

The Internet can be a wonderful thing but also very misleading.
My local PC has a total of nine seats. After a series of resignations, they now only have four members.
I always thought you needed five members as a minimum but only need one-third or 3 in this case at a meeting. Is that correct?

Thank you in advance.
by (120 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
The wonderful world of town and parish councils can be confusing at times.  In order to meet, a town or parish council needs a minimum number of councillors in attendance at a meeting.  Standing orders can vary the number but it is usually set at one third so with a total of 9 seats, you are quite correct that you need three members present at a meeting for that meeting to be valid.
The number of seats on a parish council similarly varies according (usually) to the number of electors in the parish and is set by a governance review.  Even the smallest parishes will tend to have five members as a minimum so the quorum would also be three as you round up rather than down to find the quorum.
by (13.9k points)
Thank you. That makes a lot of sense. So the five member posts do not have to be filled, just available. So, in my case:
9 seats in total.
4 seats have been filled, five are vacant.
The PC can continue as more than 3 seats have been filled and there needs to be three members at a meeting.
Thank you
But you’d be running by the seat of your pants as you could end up with the embarrassment of inquorate meetings

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