Changing the date of a parish council meeting

+1 vote
Can a parish council change the date of a parish council meeting (in this case specifically the May meeting) between meetings? i.e. shouldn't they hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss and decide this. It begs the question what else they decide outside of a properly constituted meeting!
asked by (920 points)
edited by

3 Answers

0 votes
The Calendar of Full Council meetings is usually decided at the beginning of the Council year (at the AGM in May). That date will have been fixed for the past year and it is the time to elect new Mayors/Chair and Committee members.  To my knowledge Committees decide on their own meeting dates. This is indeed extra-ordinary (what reason has been given and discussed if any).
answered by (2.5k points)
No reason, no discussion just announced on the parish council website on Tue, 24 Apr 2018 23:20. The clerk works late!

The meeting dates were agreed at the January 2018 parish council meeting when they decided to go from monthly meetings to every other month.

Any thoughts on the legality of the now changed meeting date as it hasn't been formally agreed at a parish council meeting?
To my knowledge it is permissible to cancel a meeting. In election years the Annual Meeting of the Council must take place within 14 days of the election. The setting of meeting dates as you described is not normal and should have been set at the start of the Mayoral/Chairman year in May. However it is not the role of the Clerk to set meeting dates: on that basis Councillors should decide. The laws are confusing as they also get confused with Annual Parish Meetings.
I believe that all the councillors were consulted about the change of meeting date it's just that it was discussed and agreed outside of a parish council meeting, which just seems wrong to me.
+1 vote
It sounds to me like bad practice, but it may not be unlawful. Decision making can be delegated to the clerk, and the clerk also has a duty to avoid the council falling into unlawful or damaging situations. It seems to follow from this that, if the clerk realised that it was not going to be possible to publish proper notice of the meeting, or to hold it with a quorum, at the originally agreed time, then it would be right for the clerk to fix an alternative date so as to avoid failing to hold the annual meeting within the prescribed period. That would not be a decision by the council, even if the clerk had spoken to councillors, it would be a decision by the clerk. As you're doubtless aware, nothing can be decided by the council outside a properly constituted formal meeting, and all decisions must be minuted. The clerk should report any decisions they have made to the council at the first opportunity.

However, this sort of thing should not need to happen. The council is entitled to ask the clerk to give an explanation, and if not satisfied, to say so.
answered by (27.1k points)
0 votes
Well, my parish council seems to have answered this question for me. I pointd out to them that I thought they should have an extraordinary meeting to move an already agreed meeting date and they have now done just that.

"Extra Ordinary Meeting of XXXXXXXXX Parish Council on Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 6.30 PM in the Parish Church

AGENDA

424. Resolution to reschedule the date of the May 2018 Parish Council meeting"

No acknowledgement or response to my email but at least they've done the right thing!
answered by (920 points)

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