The Annual Parish Meeting – how is it different to the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council?

The Parish Council re-issues this guidance every year in the run-up to the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council, both to remind villagers of its existence and to help newcomers  to the village understand what these meetings are all about.

These are two completely different meetings with very different purposes, though they are also frequently confused.  Both meetings are open to the press and public but what is said and done at each meeting is fundamentally different.  One is formal whilst the other should be relatively informal.  There are specific legal requirements as to when each meeting must be held.

The Annual Parish Meeting can be held at any time between 1 March and 30 June each year.  This is the meeting where the Parish Council invite the public and press to hear reports from the Chairman, District and County Councillors and any other Parish or local organisations, whether they have benefitted from Parish Council funding or not.  In Claxton’s case this normally means the Church, the Pits Trust, the Village Hall and Social Club, as well as, on occasion, the Police, and from 2016 onwards, the Community Café.

Any votes taken at this meeting are not binding on the Parish Council though they should consider them at their next meeting.  Only those on the Electoral Roll may vote at such meetings.

The record of the previous year’s meeting is considered and adopted at each meeting, having been issued in draft shortly after the meeting in the previous year.

Essentially this is the Village’s meeting rather than the Parish Council’s, and it stands to reason that any villager with issues to raise about the village should do so at this meeting.  The 2018 meeting will take place on Wednesday 16 May beginning at 7.30pm.

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council must be held during the month of May, and in an election year (eg 2015, 2019) must be held between 4 and 14 days after polling day.  This is the meeting of the Parish Council where they elect their Chairman and make any other appointments.  Once this has been done the meeting continues like any other Parish Council meeting with a formal agenda etc.  The 2018 meeting follows this guidance and will elect/re-elect the Chairman for the following 12 months.  It will take place immediately after the Annual Parish Meeting on 16 May.

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