-

Full Council Meetings

The Parish Council Meetings

Meetings of Stanstead St Margarets Parish Council usually take place monthly, on a Tuesday, at 7.30pm in the Nigel Copping Community Building on Hoddesdon Road.

The press and the public are invited to attend these.

Dates of future meetings can be found on the Meeting Calendar section of the Home Page.

Annual Council Meetings

What is the Annual Council meeting?

Like any other organisation or company, the Parish Council needs to hold an annual meeting to carry out things which only need doing once a year, which include:

  • Electing a Chairman
  • Electing a Vice-Chairman
  • Appointing Committees
  • Appointing representatives to other bodies

Some Councils call their Annual Meeting the Annual General Meeting but this can cause confusion with the Annual Parish Meeting, more typically it is called the ‘Annual Meeting of the Council’.

This meeting has to be held in May or directly after an election.

Annual Parish Meetings

All Parish and Town Councils throughout England are required by law to hold an Annual Parish Meeting between the dates of 1st March and 1st June (inclusive). This is not a Council meeting but a meeting of registered electors.

Who can convene or call a meeting?

  • The Chairman (of the Parish Council)

or

  • Two Councillors

or

  • Six local government electors

There is no legal penalty for not calling a meeting (likewise for the electors if they took no action).

The Council shall pay for the reasonable expenses of the meeting (LGA 1972 Section 150).

Parish Councils tend to take the lead because, if they didn’t, then it could be that no-one else would. An Annual Parish Meeting can embrace and showcase all parts of the community if it wishes. The agenda should be issued and displayed on a website and on the noticeboard(s) at least 7 clear days before the meeting.

There is no obligation for the Clerk to the Council to attend and take minutes but may attend as the Clerk or Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) to provide an update to the electorate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Parish Meeting the same as a Council meeting?

No. Although a Parish meeting is convened, chaired and minuted by the Parish (or possibly the Council Clerk), it is not a Parish Council meeting but a meeting of registered electors (including those councillors who are registered electors).

What is the purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting?

The purpose is to enable the registered electors to discuss parish affairs and to pass resolutions thereon. This meeting is also an opportunity for the Parish Council (and higher tiers of local government) and community group leaders to explain their activities over the last year.

Who can attend the meeting?

Anyone may attend but only registered electors in the parish may speak and vote.

Will I be able to ask questions and make resolutions?

Yes, any registered elector may ask questions of the Council. These will usually be answered by the Chairman or a member of the Council if present. An elector may also make suggestions and comment on local issues and propose resolutions. Resolutions relating to allotments are legally binding, but all others are persuasive only, but should be considered by the Parish Council at their meetings.

If no one from the Council is present, they should contact the Council with their questions.

Who will chair the meeting?

The Chairman of the Parish Council shall chair the meeting if present. In his absence the vice chairman shall preside if present. If neither can attend, then the meeting will elect a chairman from those electors present.

Will Parish Councillors be there?

Councillors can attend as members of the public (electors) and have no special role. They will speak if requested, but the purpose of the meeting is to enable the ordinary electors to have their say. Electors have the opportunity to raise questions and make comments if they wish.

Will notes be taken of the meeting?

Yes, a written record of the meeting could be taken (this might be the Council Clerk, but they are not required to attend). The rules on the signature and admissibility of minutes are the same as those for Parish Council meetings and approved at the next meeting of the Parish.

How long will the meeting last?

As long as it needs to be and within reason. It really depends on those present and the number of questions and the discussion that is raised.