What is the purpose of an Annual Parish Meeting?
Annual Parish Meetings are quite distinct from meetings of the Parish Council and should not be confused.
The purpose of the APM is to enable the registered electors to discuss parish affairs and to have a say on anything they consider valuable to the people of the parish. This meeting is also an opportunity for the Parish Council (and higher tiers of local government) and community group leaders to engage with residents, and to inform them of what the Council has been doing over the past year.
Differences between the Annual Parish Meeting and a Parish Council Meeting
Any person on the electoral register of the parish is entitled to speak at a Parish Meeting, at Parish Council meetings, members of the public may only speak at the Chairman's discretion.
Any matter pertinent to the parish may be discussed at a Parish Meeting, whereas at a Parish Council meeting subjects for discussion should be limited to matters on which the council has the power to act.
Who has the right to convene an Annual Parish Meeting?
The Annual Parish Meeting may be convened by the Chairman of the Parish Council, or any two Parish Councillors, or by six electors of the Parish for which it is to be held.
Will Parish Councillors be at the meeting?
All Parish Councillors will be invited to attend the meeting and at the discretion of the Chair, Councillors will also have an opportunity to raise questions and make comments. However, the purpose of the meeting is to enable the electors to have their say.
Who can attend the meeting?
Parish Meeting is for all electors of the Parish. It is not a meeting of the
Parish Council. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting however, only
registered electors of the parish may speak and vote during the meeting.
Who will Chair the meeting?
The Chair of the Parish Council may attend (whether they are an elector or not) and must preside if present. The Vice-Chair (if any) must preside in the absence of the Chair of the Parish Council. If both are absent, the meeting elects someone to preside.
The relationship between the Parish Meeting and the Parish Council
Though a Parish Meeting may discuss parish affairs, its resolutions differ considerably in their legal consequences. In few cases is a decision legally binding. Most decisions are persuasive only and the Parish Council may legally disregard them.