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+1 vote
Should you cover GPOC at the annual council meeting. i.e. Every 12 months.

I thought it was acquired at a meeting following an ordinary election at which the criteria for elected councillors and trained clerk must be met and then it is not the revisited until the next Annual Relevant Meeting which is the meeting after the next ordinary election - so usually in 4 (or 5) years time (Stautory Instrument 2012 No. 965). At that meeting after the next election you have to meet the criteria again but between the meeting where you first meet the criteria and the Relevant Annual Meeting after the next ordinary election, there is no need for it to be an agenda item. If this is incorrect can you advise where it says this please? Thanks
related to an answer for: GPoC adoption without a permanant Clerk
by (310 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

In the SI you mention, otherwise known as The Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012, Article 1 defines the meetings thus:

Citation, commencement and interpretation
1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012 and comes into force on the day after the day on which it is made.
(2) In this Order—
“annual meeting” means a meeting of a parish council held in pursuance of paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 12 to the Local Government Act 1972;
“relevant annual meeting” means an annual meeting that takes place in a year of ordinary elections of parish councillors.

The conditions of eligibility in the schedule to the SI are defined as:

Conditions of eligibility
1.  The council has resolved at a meeting of the council and each subsequent relevant annual meeting that it meets the conditions in paragraph 2 below.

So you are correct that eligibility is not revisited annually and the power is retained until the next ordinary election, regardless of changes of circumstances of the council.

by (53.3k points)
That's not good though as technically you can have an untrained clerk come on board but be perceived as having the GPOC
I feel that's misleading and dishonest as a Council.
I agree. The difficulty in drafting the legislation was to devise a system that is able to cope with the shifting sands of local councils and, I suspect, those involved were more familiar with district and county councils, where mid-term resignations might be less common. As an example, I'm working for a 12-seat parish council that saw 3 Clerks and 21 Councillors pass through its revolving door during the last financial year!

A shorter format of GPoC would also raise issues about decisions being made under GPoC then being delivered by a council that lacks the qualifications to operate GPoC. There are transitional arrangements built into the legislation to cope with the potential change of status in election years, but this could become immensely complicated with a possible annual change of status.

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