Chicheley Parish Meeting 17th April

Parish Meetings are quite distinct from meetings of the Parish Council, although the two are often confused.

Meeting for result.jpg

The confusion arises for several reasons:

  • if present, the Chairman of the Parish Council must chair the Parish Meeting;
  • the Clerk to the Parish Council organises and takes the minutes of the Parish Meeting;
  • the Annual Parish Meeting often takes place on the same evening as the AGM of the Parish Council.

Some of the differences are as follows.

  • Any person on the Electoral Register of the Parish is entitled to speak at a Parish Meeting, at a meeting of the Parish Council members of the Public may speak only at the Chairman’s discretion.
  • With the exception of the Chairman, Councillors rank the same as other members of the Electorate.
  • Agendas for Parish Council meetings must be published three days ahead of the meeting, for Parish Meetings a skeleton Agenda is usually published ahead of the meeting, but often items are added up to and even during the meeting.
  • Only Councillors may request items to be placed on the Agenda of a Parish Council Meeting whereas any member of the Electorate may do so at a Parish Meeting.
  • 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 those matter on which the Council has the power to act (conferred by various Acts of Parliament).
  • The Press and general public have a right to attend Parish Meetings, but anyone not on the Electoral Register of the Parish is “stranger” and does not have the right to vote.

In summary:

A Parish Meeting is a meeting of the people of the parish.

A Parish Council Meeting is a meeting of the Parish Councillors.