There are two meetings which the parish must hold annually – the Annual Parish Council Meeting and the Annual Parish Meeting.
What is the Annual Parish Council Meeting?
The Annual Parish Council Meeting must be held in the month of May and in an election year the meeting must be held between 4 and 14 days after polling day. This is the meeting of the Parish Council where they elect the chairman for the coming year and make other annual appointments.
What is the Annual Parish Meeting?
The Annual Parish Meeting is a meeting of the parishioners. The Annual Parish Meeting is not a Parish Council Meeting therefore the parish councillors who attend are attending as parishioners. The Parish Council are likely to be the facilitators of the Annual Parish Meeting and if the Chairman of the Parish Council attends the meeting he/she is required to Chair the meeting. If the Chairman of the Parish Council is not in attendance then the parishioners present should take a vote to choose who shall Chair the meeting – this can be anyone present who is on the electoral roll for the parish.
The Annual Parish Meeting should be a relatively informal event for the community whereas the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council is a formal council meeting.
When must the Annual Parish Meeting be held?
The Annual Parish Meeting must be held between 1st March and the 1st June (inclusive) each year on a date decided by the Parish Council. The Annual Parish Meeting may not start earlier than 6:00pm. It is recommended that in an election year the Annual Parish Meeting should be held after the elections to prevent the meeting being used as hustings for potential District and County Councillors.
How should the Annual Parish Meeting be conducted?
There should be an opportunity for the public and press to express their opinions on anything they wish to talk about in relation to the parish. Many Town and Parish Councils make this meeting a community event by providing refreshments, presentations from community groups and providing an informal atmosphere.