It’s that time of year again – when we electors have our big day!
Yes, all over the country, in each different district, it’s the time for the so-called Annual Parish Assembly, the event when electors from an area are invited to come together as a community and talk.
The Parish Assembly here in Draycott-in-the-Moors has been set for Monday April 29th, at 7.30pm. It takes place at the Draycott Church & Community Hall in Church Lane.
(This is a re-arranged date; and is considerably earlier in the season than last year’s meeting, which was in late May).
A Parish Assembly is a different kind of meeting, because electors can raise any matter they want.
(In fact parish assemblies are very unusual format in Britain, because they are a form of direct democracy. Here, in the United Kingdom, representative democracy is the usual way of doing things.)
The meeting is chaired by the parish council, but electors can raise any matter they think the council should have addressed over the last year, or want to have the council look into.
It is also the main annual opportunity to find out what the Council has been up to, and what it is planning to do.
Often at such meetings, electors can question how the parish council has been spending council-tax money.
If you want to be sure of getting something on the agenda, contact the parish clerk. (See the Rules of A Parish Assembly below)
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Fancy being a councillor?
By coincidence, April 29th (which is next Monday) is also your last day to say you’d like to be considered for the vacant seat on the parish council (for more details, see our recent post).
If you would indeed like to be considered for the post of parish councillor on Draycott Parish Council, simply contact the parish clerk as soon as possible, by phoning 01782 394807 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incidentally, we’ve heard that there are at least two people who are seriously thinking of putting themselves forward.
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RULES of an Annual Parish Assembly
The Annual Parish Assembly is a feature unique to parish and town councils as it must be held by law each year. See: Local Government Act (LGA) 1972 Schedule (Sch.) 12 section 14 (1)
Who is entitled to attend? Anyone is entitled to attend, but only the voters on the Electoral Register for the parish are entitled to speak and vote. It is NOT classified as a Parish or Council meeting, although it may well be that the council has organised it.
Normally, the quorum for an Annual Parish Assembly is two.
What power does the Annual Parish Assembly have? Generally, resolutions passed at this meeting are not binding upon the Council, but clearly if there is a large majority of those attending in favour of some action, it would be wrong for the Council to ignore the views of the electorate.
However, if there is a particularly contentious matter then a poll of the whole village can be claimed; and this must be called for before the end of the meeting.
Village organisations (e.g. WI, sports clubs) may be invited to send a representative to speak and give an account of their activities during the preceding year.