Annual Parish Meetings/Assembly
Hampshire Association of Local Councils (HALC) issued guidance in 2014 on 'The Annual Parish Meeting'. The Parish Council considered this guidance in April 2016, and agreed, by email correspondence, to facilitate the first Hannington Annual Parish Meeting 2016. This public meeting was held on 24th May 2016, at which 18 members of the public attended. A copy of an email circulated to residents on 4th May 2016 informing them of the purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting, the Notice of the Meeting issued 18th May 2016 and a copy of the DRAFT Minutes circulated to residents on 3rd June, are all available below. The DRAFT Minutes will be circulated again, in advance of the Annual Parish Meeting 2017, due to be held on Thursday 20th April 2017 for their formal approval and adoption.
The Annual Parish Assembly of a Parish Council is often referred to as the Annual Parish Meeting. It is a feature unique to Parish Councils as it must be held by law each year. Local Government Act (LGA) 1972 Schedule (Sch.) 12 section 14 (1)
The Annual Parish Meeting (APM) should not be confused with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of a Parish. The AGM is a Council Meeting and the occasion when the Parish and only the members of the Parish Council, elect their Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and representatives to Sub-Committees and outside bodies (such as School Governors, Village Hall Committees) for the year ahead.
Using the term Annual Parish Assembly does help to avoid confusion.
It is common practice to hold these two meetings on the same evening but they MAY NOT BE HELD AS THE SAME MEETING. [Hannington Parish Council has opted to hold the two meetings on separate days, in order to remove any confusion. This approach may be reviewed in the light of experience.]
When must the Annual Parish Assembly be held?
It must be held between 1st March and 1st June (both dates inclusive) every year. It must not start before 18.00 hours to allow people to attend after work. LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 14 (1), (4).
Who may convene the Annual Parish Assembly?
The meeting is usually called by the Parish Council, but it does not have to be. If the Council does not call the Assembly, then any two councillors may. In addition, any six electors may call the annual Parish Assembly whether there is a Council or not. LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 15 (1) (a-d).
Who is entitled to attend?
Anyone is entitled to attend, but only the voters on the Electoral Register for the Parish are entitled to speak and vote. It is NOT a Parish Council meeting, although it may well be that the Parish Council has organised it.
Normally, the quorum for an Annual Parish Meeting is two.
It is the custom for all the Parish Councillors and the Clerk to attend giving the public accountability for all the actions of the Council over the past twelve months. The Clerk does not have to take the minutes but normally does as someone must be appointed to keep a record. LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 19 (1).
If the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council is present at the Annual Parish Meeting, then s/he must take the Chair.
LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 16 (3).
What notice must be given?
At least seven clear days must be given and a Notice and Agenda prominently displayed. If the meeting is also to discuss the grouping of the Parish Council with another, then fourteen days notice is required. LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 15 (2), (3).
What power does the Annual Parish Meeting have?
The meeting acts as a sounding board for the Parish Council. It gives the electors an opportunity to speak and discuss matters of importance or concern to the community. Generally, Resolutions passed at this meeting are not binding upon the Council, but clearly if there is a large majority of those attending in favour of some action, it would be wrong for the Council to ignore the views of the electorate. LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 18 (2).
The following Resolutions must be acted upon by the Council:
One requiring the Council to provide allotments;
One requiring the action of the Council as Trustee (e.g. for the Village Hall)
What can be discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting?
Anything that concerns the Parish may be discussed at the meeting. Obviously, notice must be given to enable preparation of the agenda and to make relevant information available at the meeting. It is usual for the Parish Council to give a summary of its work during the year and it is good practice to invite County and District Councillors to do the same.
One of the main objectives is to achieve a large turnout for the meeting. It is an opportunity to hear from representatives of the community and there is a chance to promote new ideas. In order to achieve a high attendance, a speaker on a topic of interest can be organised and the event publicised. A speaker’s expenses can be met by the Parish Council under the Chairman’s Allowance. [Hannington Parish Council has not allocated a Chairman's Allowance.]
Village organisations (e.g. WI, sports clubs) may be invited to send a representative to speak and give an account of their activities during the preceding year. This is often the only opportunity some people have to hear this information. Some Parish Councils regularly invite displays from village organisations such as the cricket club, the tennis club, the WI and the Mothers Union. This is a social occasion and cheese and wine can be served in the interval. The Chairman’s Allowance may be used to offset the costs of refreshments at the Annual Parish Meeting.
The meeting can be used to find out residents’ views on such issues as traffic calming, preparation of a Parish Map, crime, the production of a Village Design Statement or a Village Appraisal. It is also an opportunity to support local facilities of the Village such as the Post Office, the school, the pub or the garage. [The pub is the only one of these four facilities currently remaining within Hannington Village!] If people can see that they are in danger of losing these services it could make all the difference to their survival.
How can we ensure the views of the Village are known?
There is no set procedure for voting at the meeting so any convenient method may be used. However, if there is a particularly contentious matter then a poll of the whole village can be claimed and this must be done before the end of the meeting. Such occurrences are rare and are very costly for the parish and town council. LGA 1972 Sch. 12 section 18 (4).
How can we encourage people to attend the Annual Parish Assembly?
The meetings should be given as much publicity as possible by advertising in the Village Newsletter, putting up posters in the local shops/post office and sending a special invitation to village organisations. Invite the press and provide facilities for them. Good publicity will encourage people to attend.
Any contentious item featured in the local press a few weeks beforehand will guarantee a good attendance. It can be made into a social occasion by organising tea and biscuits or wine and cheese (see advice about the use of Chairman’s Allowance). Refreshments may be served at the start or midway through the meeting as this encourages people to stay.
The Chairman of the Annual Parish Assembly should make a point of welcoming any special groups, visitors or guests by name. A display could be organised showing the village history or plans of any major scheme that are about to happen in the area. Arrange the seating in a large horseshoe or rectangular shape so that a least some of the audience can see each other.
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF HANNINGTON PARISH COUNCIL-9TH JULY 2019, 7PM.
ALL RESIDENTS WELCOME TO ATTEND AND MEET THEIR NEW COUNCILLORS!
- Annual Parish Meeting Agenda for the meeting to be held on the 9th July 2019
- Draft Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting 10th April 2018 - to be considered at the meeting and amended/agreed.
- 'What did the Hannington Parish Council Do 2015/19 ?'
- Map of 'priority' snowplough routes in areas 9 and 10 - Hannington Parish
- Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap 2018 - See Part B 'Deciding whether to produce a neighbourhood plan' , 5 pages
- Hannington Parish Council's Aims and Objectives 2016
- Summary of 'Pros and Cons' of developing a Neighbourhood Plan *
* The BDBC presenter for the Neighbourhood Plan topic is not available to attend this APM, however, has submitted a very, very short summary of the development process and the related 'Pros and Cons'.
Further papers or attachments for the meeting as necessary.