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0 votes

In a year which is a year of ordinary elections of parish councillors, the annual meeting of a parish council in England shall be held on, or within fourteen days after, the day on which the councillors elected at that election take office.

What are the consequences of not holding the annual meeting within the stipulated timeframe please?

by (4.1k points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
You don't say if an AGM has been held ( notwithstanding the quoted 14 days). Until an AGM is held then parish councillors cannot continue with the business of the council until  AGM business is completed ( elections of chair committees declarations and signing up of new councillors etc.). Now if you are asking is there some "punishment " to a council for not acting within the stipulated time frame I will leave that to the legal eagles on the site. It is as far as I know a statutory requirement and I cannot se under what circumstances a council would purposely fail to meet it.
by (26.4k points)
Thanks Mentorman. The PC held an extraordinary meeting some 6 weeks after the elections to elect a chairman etc., and have since had one ordinary meeting.
You say you held an EO meeting. How can you when the ordinary meetings schedule for the year are decided at the AGM( which is a legal requirement). You seem to be laying an ever extending minefield for yourselves by not holding an AGM ASAP after the designated timescale. Decisions made at a council meeting could be challenged on being illegal because the laid down procedure was not followed or deemed by higher authority ab being acceptable. Simple things like codes of conduct and policies of council need to be adopted at an AGM.
Thanks for your reply Mentorman. I am a local elector and not a member. Is this matter something that I could object to and raise with external auditor?
The not meeting the laid down period after election is not (as per delboy's wife) and earth shattering imprisonment offence and pragmatically extending the period should be acceptable. Check out the PC website for their codes of conduct and if what they have done contravenes that code then your recourse is via the local Monitoring Officer at your local authority
The meeting within 14 days of an election is scheduled because councillors have to sign a declaration of acceptance of office within a period (can't instantly recall the period without checking), in the absence of which the elected councillors cease to be elected and a new election must be held.  If too few councillors were elected for a meeting to be quorate, it is usual for those that are elected to sign their declaration of acceptance of office anyway (it has to be done in front of the clerk as Proper Officer but not necessarily in a meeting) whilst arrangements are made for appointments by the county council to enable the parish council to function (they have the power to fill vacancies until such time as a fresh election or co-options can be made).  So, whilst your parish council hasn't had a meeting within the 14 day period, it's not necessarily an issue and certainly not one the external auditor would comment on unless there are other circumstances at play here.
Not all parishes meeting monthly or indeed even bi-monthly and I am aware of very small parishes that meet quarterly to meet the requirement for a minimum number of meetings each year.
+1 vote
By AGM I am assuming you mean the Annual Parish Council Meeting as oppose to the Annual Parish Meeting which is a meeting of electors?
Where I am based we had full elections in May this year and a small council I was clerking for at the time were unable to hold their APCM within the 14 days as, although quorate following the elections, one councillor was on holiday on the original date set for the APCM.  The meeting was declared inquorate at the time and a revised date set for two weeks later which went ahead.  No penalties or complaints.
Not sure what would have happened if the decision on the date had been a deliberate one, however.
by (18.4k points)
Thanks Delboy'swife.  Yes, I mean a APCM - sorry for any confusion.
+1 vote
The consequences of not holding the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council (It isn't called an "AGM") within the stipulated 14 days are in reality nothing.  Even though they have been in breach of the Local Government Act 1972   The external auditor might issue a public interest report about it but no function of local or national government exists to investigate, fine, surcharge or serve any kind of notice on Town or Parish Councils who behave in this way.
by (34.9k points)
Thanks Graeme_r. When can I report this matter to the external auditor?
The best time is when the Council submits it's AGAR (Annual Goverance & Accounts Report usually in July of each year.  The AGAR contains an Annual Governance section which has a number of declarations to be completed.  One begins We took all reasonable steps .... there are no matters of actual or potential non compliances with laws regulations & proper practice ...
The Council might just tick the box "Yes" in which case you could complain to the auditor that this was a false declaration.  They may admit to it, but still issue a statement that was inaccurate, which you could also complain about.  The consequences for the council would be trivial but the auditors report may raise concerns & advise corrective actions must be available for the public to read.
Much appreciated Graeme_r!!

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