The draft minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting are now on-line.
Members of the Public are asked to especially note that the Parish Meeting is NOT a Parish Council meeting.
The Annual Parish or Town Meeting is not a Parish Council meeting. It is a meeting of the parish or town electors and could involve local organisations such as the Women’s Institute and the drama group. Strictly speaking electors can set the agenda, and in practice these meetings often celebrate local activities and debate current issues in the community. The chairman of the Parish Council calls the Annual Parish or Town Meeting and, if present, will chair it. It is best practice to hold the Annual Meeting of the Council and the Annual Parish Meeting on different occasions to avoid confusion. [The Good Councillors Guide]
A parish meeting, in England, is a meeting to which all the electors in a civil parish are entitled to attend. In some cases, where a parish or group of parishes has fewer than 200 electors, the parish meeting can take on the role of the parish council itself, with statutory powers, and electing a chairman and clerk to act on the meeting’s behalf.
In England, the annual parish meeting of a parish with a parish council must take place between 1 March and 1 June, both dates inclusive, and must take place no earlier than 6pm.
Parish meetings are a form of direct democracy, which is uncommon in the United Kingdom, which primarily uses representative democracy.
Section 39(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1972 provides that a parish meeting is a precepting authority. This means that where there is no parish council the parish meeting must meets its own expenses, usually by precepting on the district council.
A parish meeting may only precept for expenditure relating to specific functions, powers and rights which have been conferred on it by legislation.
Parish meetings do not have the power to appoint staff.
Clayden, Paul (January 2007). The Parish Councillor’s Guide 19th edition. Shaw & Sons. p. 156 et seq