Annual Meeting of the Parish Council v Annual Parish Assembly
There are two quite different meetings that must be held in the spring of each year, and they are often confused.
Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
Firstly, like any other organisation or company, the Council needs to hold an annual meeting to carry out those things that only need doing once a year. These include:
- Electing a Chairman
- Electing a Vice-Chairman
- Appointing committees
- Appointing representatives to other bodies (e.g. the Sports Committee, or Hauxton Tennis)
- Agreeing to subscribe to such bodies as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC), Cambridgeshire Action with Communities in Rural England (Cambs ACRE), etc.
- Reviewing policy documents such as risk assessment, Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, etc.
Annual Parish Assembly (aka Annual Parish Meeting)
Secondly, there is the Annual Parish Assembly or Meeting, which is, in legal terms, a quite separate body from the Council, but it is invariably the Council that arranges it, and it is the Chair of the Parish Council who must chair the meeting (or Vice-Chair if no Chair is present). Its decisions are not binding on the Council, although votes taken will be considered at the subsequent Parish Council meeting. The Annual Parish Meeting is open to all electors of the parish, who have the right not only to attend but also to speak on any matter of local interest, and vote on any motions. This is in contrast to a Council meeting, where electors who are not Councillors have no automatic right to speak.
This annual meeting, usually held in April or May, is a chance for Hauxton residents to hear what the Parish Council and other groups have been doing in the past 12 months, and to ask questions. The minutes of the meeting are usually made up of the basic minutes plus individual reports from each of the village organisations.