Minutes from a Parish AGM

0 votes
I'm looking for clarification as to the treatment of minutes following an AGM.

Am I right in thinking that any minutes taken are written up, made available to the members of the Parish and then approved at the following AGM? and not at the next subsequent meeting?!

If this is correct or incorrect and you are able, could you pint me towards the Council guidelines or legislation please.
asked by (280 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Firstly, you have repeated the mistake made by many Clerks who should know better. It is not called an AGM, it is the Annual meeting of the Parish Council . I don't see any reason why the minutes can not be agreed at the next normal town or Parish Council meeting and published shortly afterwards. Will look into it further. I guess the excuse is being made that minutes of an Annual Parish meeting must be approved at the next Annual meeting of the Parish Council. But since the same people ought to attend the regular and annual meeting, why wait a year?
answered by (5.2k points)
Where to start? I guess firstly, to thank you for you reply. It's my first question on this forum. so was hoping for some solid advice that would guide me towards running a better Parish! Wasn't sure how it would go, so delighted to be pulled on symantics! It would appear, from my searches, that the majority of Parishes call it the AGM and operate in way that is both fit for purpose and in the best interests of its Parisheners!
So i will ignore your first few lines! Moving on to your further comments 'Excuse'... not sure what you mean. I have made no excuses and was simply seeking clarification on what was the correct protocol for dealing with them. I publish minutes as soon as is practicable after a meeting; but it appears that a lot of meetings approve their AGM minutes at the following AGM!
I simply need guidance on the rules or guidelines in relation to this.
And as a point of interest, very few turn out for subsequent meetings, with a large turn out for the AGM!
Hello Clockworkmouse. Firstly, you shouldn't ignore my first comment about the term "AGM" being inaccurate.  Just because many councils follow each other's  bad practice is doesn't make it correct.  Have a look at the Good Councillor's guide from NALC and tell me where it refers to an "Annual General Meeting"  http://parishes.lincolnshire.gov.uk/Files/Parish/94/GoodCouncillorGuideNALC2017.pdf
By "excuse" I mean a supposed "justification" for waiting a year to publish draft minutes of an Annual Meeting of the Parish Council.  I wasn't aiming the remark specifically at you!
The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014/...) and The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to Information)(England)
Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/2089).  state in plain english "24
Recording of decisions of public meetings

"The national rules require the parish and town councils to make a copy of the minutes available for inspection after a public meeting."  Therefore a membe of the public could ask to see at last the draft copy of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council just days after it took place.  See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/343182/140812_Openness_Guide.pdf
I think the Department for Communities and Local Government - Transparency code for smaller authorities implies you should be publishing draft minutes of your Annual Meetings of the Parish Council a month after they were held. If you don't a member of the Public could lodge a challenge with the Information Commissioner.
Minutes, agendas and papers of formal meetings
29.  Smaller authorities should publish the draft minutes from all formal meetings (i.e.
full council or board, committee and sub-committee meetings) not later than one month after the
meeting has taken place. These minutes should be signed either at the meeting they were taken or at the next meeting.

0 votes

Hi Clockworkmouse. Don’t beat yourself up about the AGM thing.  So many councils still do it.  Technically, an AGM is a meeting of members or shareholders, so it doesn’t apply to us.  We have two very different meetings, with confusingly similar titles.

The Annual Meeting of the council is the May meeting of the parish council, which must be held within 14 days of the election in an election year, at which important items such as the election of Chairman must be addressed.  In an election year, it’s also the meeting at which all of the statutory declarations must be signed.  Your standing orders should include a list of agenda items for this meeting in both an election year and each intervening year.

The other meeting has many titles, but is frequently referred to as the Annual Assembly or the Parish Meeting.  This must take place at any time between 1st March and 1st June.  It is not a parish council meeting, although it is usually called by the chairman of the parish council, chaired by him/her and recorded by the clerk.  It can also be called by any six electors of the parish, who will then assume responsibility for all aspects of the meeting.  There’s a good explanation of these two meetings in the Good Councillor’s Guide.

The format of this meeting is not prescribed, although the legislation does include provision for electors to demand a poll on a particular issue.  In practice, this meeting provides an opportunity for the parish council to present an annual summary of achievements and to invite other local organisations to do likewise.  The event can be celebratory rather than a formal affair.  The legislation permits parish councils to determine how they would like to conduct the meeting.  Specifically:-

Subject to the provisions of this Act, in a parish having a separate parish council the parish council may make, vary and revoke standing orders for the regulation of proceedings and business at parish meetings for the parish.”

On the specific question of minutes, the parish council has no role in approving them, as it is not a meeting of the council.  The legislation states:-

Minutes of the proceedings of a parish meeting, or a committee thereof, shall be drawn up and entered in a book provided for the purpose and shall be signed at the same or the next following assembly of the parish meeting, or, as the case may be, meeting of the committee, by the person presiding at the meeting.”

The full legislation is contained in the Local Government Act 1972, schedule 12, part 3.  Our friend Google will escort you to the appropriate location.

I hope I’ve addressed the issue on which you were seeking help.

answered by (4.4k points)
Many thanks for your reply and guidance. I've only been involved for 8 months and the hand over was less than enlightening!

I've a huge amount to learn and am determined to do it right, so your support and advice is very much appreciated.

I've walked in on the worst possible scenario, with a parishener that finds fault in all, hence my question.
Thank you again.
It seems to be a sad fact of life that every parish has one parishioner who sees it as his or her responsibility to keep the council on the straight and narrow.  It's like having a woodpecker sitting on your shoulder!

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