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We recently had to call a Parish Meeting we followed the correct procedures and had the required voters sign.
The meeting was scheduled for the other evening.

In the original letter to the Parish clerk it stated that.

The meeting was to discuss the conduct of the Parish Chairman and the Councils complicity in that conduct. During that meeting a vote of no confidence may be called and if necessary a call for a parish poll"

The meeting date was published in our newsletter and asked if any one wanted to raise any relevant subject to contact the meeting organiser.

Several people came forward to have items included. Haveing check the local government act and various associations its clear that only a skeleton agenda need be published  and items are often added up to and included during a parish meeting.

The clerk was informed several weeks before the meeting that additional items would be added. The final agenda I agree was published late i.e. the day before but as this was not a parish council meeting there seemed nothing wrong with this.

1 hour before the meeting I received an email stating. That  the chair and the clerk won't allow anything other than the vote of no confidence to be discussed and will not allow anything else to be added to the agenda. They found some obscure rule on a NALC document which that said as we raised the meeting on a specific point that's all they would allow. This was emphasised by the Chair when opening the meeting.

An objection was raised but they refused to change that view.

Is this correct?
Is this right?
by (180 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
While parish meetings are often conducted quite informally and discussion ranges freely, the legislation does support the actions of the chair and clerk. A NALC document isn't really needed to establish the rules, but may have provided helpful advice.

Where the parish meeting is called by six electors of the parish, the Local Government Act 1972 Schedule 12 section 15 (2) states that not less than six clear days (days excluding Sundays or public holidays) before the date of the meeting, public notice must be given, specifying the time and place of the meeting and the business to be transacted. It must be placed prominently in one or more public places, and signed by the electors calling the meeting. (The position is similar if the meeting was called differently, apart from the signatories).

From what you say, the additional items were not included in the public agenda, and so the chairman was entitled to exclude them. If they were important or contentious matters, it is reasonable that the correct notice should be required so that all electors have an opportunity to know what is about to be discussed, and to make arrangements to attend if they wish. If there are still outstanding matters, I'm afraid you will need to call another meeting! The parish council has to pay for the meeting room.
by (33.5k points)
If electors call a Parish meeting, can't one of them chair it? It is not the same as a Parish Council meeting.
Your right, it's not the same. Despite that, I'm afraid the answer is no, not just like that. The chair of the parish council, if there is one, has the right to attend a parish meeting, even if not an elector. If the chair of the PC is present, they must chair the meeting. If not, and the vice chair is present, they must preside. If neither are present, the meeting elects a chair as the first item of business. It's covered by the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12, para 17.
I don't think the answer is always no - at least in theory. If the Parish Council choose not to organise one, six local government electors of the parish can convene a Parish Meeting.  Public notice of the meeting must be given at least  7 clear days beforehand. The notice must: specify the time and place of the intended meeting; specify the business to be transacted at the meeting; and be signed by the person or persons convening the meeting. If the six electors convene the meeting it is likely that they might specify the business to be transacted at the meeting.  If nobody from the Parish Council chooses to attend however, the conveners are free to run and chair the meeting as they see fit.
The conveners signature must be given against the business to be transacted at the meeting on such a notice.
If the Parish Council Chair or deputy Chair turns up and tries to modify or remove their proposed business transactions, the conveners and  other Parish voters could walk out and render the meeting inquorate, (if none of the other Cllrs turn up) & complain to the local media about the Parish Council trying to censor or undermine them.  It could lead to a Parish Poll calling for a motion of no confidence in the Parish Council by virtue of them trying to act as a dictatorship.

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