Guide to Council Meetings
PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS
During the current pandemic, face-to-face council meetings held in public have been suspended.
The Parish Council will instead hold remote video meetings using the ZOOM platform. Where
possible, the schedule of meetings listed below will be followed. Dates of meetings, with agenda,
will be posted as latest news items available to view from the News page of this website.
The public and press are welcome to 'attend' video meetings. To access meetings members of the public
will need to download the ZOOM App. A simple and useful video on how to access ZOOM meetings can be
viewed by clicking here.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOU WILL NEED A LINK AND A UNIQUE REFERENCE NUMBER TO JOIN THE
ZOOM MEETING. THIS INFORMATION WILL BE ADDED TO THE NEWS PAGE ARTICLE THREE DAYS BEFORE
THE SCHEDULED DATE OF THE MEETING.
If video meetings are not for you, you can still ask a question about items on the meeting agenda,
or raise an issue, by using the contact page of this website. But please ensure that you let the Parish
Council have details at least three days prior to the meeting.
THE NEXT SCHEDULED ZOOM MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL IS ON THURSDAY,
14TH MAY 2020, COMMENCING AT 7.30PM.
Meetings of the full parish council take place in the main hall of the Village Hall, Romsey Road and commence at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated. Meetings of the Planning Committee take place in the committee room at the Village Hall and commence at 8.00pm unless otherwise stated. Meetings may be postponed or cancelled at short notice.
Parishioners, and members of the Press, are welcome at the meetings and time is allocated for comments and questions. It may be necessary, however, to ask the public to leave a meeting if a confidential matter is to be discussed.
2nd April 2020
14th May 2020 (Annual Parish Council Meeting)
25th June 2020
6th August 2020
17th September 2020
29th October 2020
3 December 2020
These will convene on an adhoc basis when planning applications are received outside
the schedule of meetings of the full council.
Planning meetings are open to members of the public and planning applicants
are welcomed to attend.
A GUIDE TO PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS
NOTICE OF MEETINGS
Council must give at least 3 clear days notice
Agenda must specify time and place and the business to be transacted. Agenda may be sent by email. However, If requested, the Clerk must send agenda by post to the councillor's usual place of residence.
Notice must be posted in a conspicuous place in the parish
FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS
Council must have an annual meeting on any day in May but in an election year must be held within 14 days of being elected.
N.B. Councillors do not take up office until 4 days after the election
Council must meet on at least 3 other occasions in the year
The Clerk convenes ordinary (and on occasion extraordinary) meetings
The Chairman may convene an extraordinary meeting at any time
If 2 members sign a requisition that an extraordinary meeting be convened, the Chairman must convene it within 7 days.
If he/she fails to do so, the members may convene it.
The quorum is 3, or one third of the total membership, whichever is the greater
Where more than one third of the total membership is disqualified, the quorum is 3 or one third of those qualified
CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN
The election of Chairman must be the first business at the Annual General Meeting of the Council
If the Chairman is not present at a meeting and there is no Vice Chairman, the election of Chairman must be the first business of the meeting.
The Council may appoint a Vice Chairman.
A retiring Chairman who is no longer a member has only a casting vote in the election for a new Chairman. Otherwise, the Chairman may vote initially and have a casting vote and can vote for him/herself
The Chairman, or in the Chairman's absence the Vice Chairman, must preside if present
DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE
Councillors cannot act until they have signed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office
The Chairman must sign a Declaration as Chairman at the meeting at which he/she is elected
The Vice Chairman is not required to make a Declaration in respect of office as Vice Chairman
Councillors make the Declaration at or before the first meeting after they have been elected, unless the council at that first meeting allows the Declaration to be made at or before a later meeting
APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES
The council can appoint such committees as the council wishes
Committees can appoint sub-committees
All members of the Finance Committee must be councillors
Any function can be delegated to a committee except the power to borrow money, issue a precept or approve end-of-year accounts
Committees can delegate any functions to a sub-committee
APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS
Councils can appoint such officers as they think fit
Councils must appoint a Responsible Finance Officer
A Councillor may be appointed as an acting officer (temporary) and cannot be paid
Minutes must be entered in a Minute Book
Minutes must be signed at the same or the next following meeting by the person presiding
The Minute Book can be loose-leaf so long as each leaf is numbered sequentially and each is initialled by the person presiding
The vacancy must be publicly notified and the Returning Officer also informed.
If a poll is claimed by at least 10 electors within 14 days excluding weekends and certain public holidays, then one must be held within 60 days of the notice.
A poll cannot be claimed if the vacancy arose within 6 months of the day when councillor whose office is declared vacant would ordinarily have retired.
If no poll is claimed, or one cannot be claimed (as above), then the councillors must try to fill the vacancy by co-option
To be co-opted, the successful candidate must receive an absolute majority of those present and voting
FAILURE OF A COUNCILLOR TO ATTEND MEETINGS
If a councillor fails for 6 consecutive months to attend any meetings of the council, then he/she ceases to be a councillor unless either his/her absence is due to employment in the armed forces during war or emergency, or the council approve the reason for non-attendance before the 6 months period expired.
Because of these rules, and for other reasons, the clerk must keep an attendance record for all meetings
RIGHTS OF PUBLIC TO ATTEND MEETINGS
The public has the right to attend meetings of the council and its committees.
The council may, by passing a resolution, exclude them either if the publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest because of the confidential nature of the business, or for other special reasons stated in the resolution and arising from the nature of the business.
RIGHTS OF PUBLIC TO PARTICIPATE IN MEETINGS
The public do not have a legal right to participate in meetings of the council or its committees. Awbridge Parish Council does, however, set aside a period at its meetings during which members of the public may comment or ask questions about items on the agenda.
A member must declare an interest if there is a pecuniary (i.e. financial) interest in any contract, proposed contract or other matter and is present at a meeting at which the contract or matter is considered
He/she must disclose the interest at the meeting and as soon as practicable after its commencement. He/she must not speak nor vote on any question with respect to the matter. Standing orders may require the member to leave the meeting as well.
It is possible to obtain a dispensation from the District Council allowing a member to speak or vote or both if this is considered appropriate
A member may give a general notice of an interest which must be recorded in a book kept for this purpose
To view details of Awbridge Parish Councillors' declarations of interest click here