Supporting Local Councils in Leicestershire & Rutland

Top tip – Election of Chairman and Annual Parish Council Meetings

By the end of this month every Parish Council should have held their Annual Parish Council Meeting, and the Chairman of the Parish Council should have called the Annual Parish Meeting (which must be held by 1st June each year).

LRALC is aware from some of the notices, minutes and agendas that we have seen that there is still confusion in some quarters about the requirements in relation to these meetings.

To summarise:

  • There is no such thing as an AGM in the world of Parish Meetings/Parish Council meetings, only the "Annual Parish Meeting" and "Annual Parish Council Meeting". It is recommended that the term "AGM" should be avoided as it causes confusion.
  • Some Councils are still holding an Annual Parish Council Meeting followed by a separately convened Parish Council Meeting on the same evening. If there is additional Council business to consider other than that required by law (i.e. election of Chairman) at an Annual Parish Council Meeting then these should be added to the agenda of that meeting. There is no need to convene an extra Parish Council Meeting to do so, unless the Standing Orders of your council require it.
  • The Annual Parish Council Meeting will also usually appoint members to any council committees (the term of office for committees should be 1 year).
  • The Annual Parish Council Meeting must by law be held in May. This is a statutory requirement.
  • The first business of the Annual Parish Council Meeting must be the election of the Chairman. This is a statutory requirement. If no Chairman can be elected the meeting cannot continue beyond this agenda item.
  • There is no statutory requirement for a Councillor to be present at the Annual Parish Council Meeting in order to be elected as Chairman.
  • The Clerk should not be in the chair during the election of Chairman; a common misunderstanding. A Clerk can never take the chair of a council meeting.
  • The current Chairman MUST by law use their casting vote in the case of a tie in the election of Chairman (see NALC Legal Topic Note 2 for full details).
  • The newly elected Chairman must sign a declaration of acceptance of office form before taking the Chair, which they should do immediately following their election.
  • There is no statutory process or requirement for nominations, etc. Your council's Standing Orders may provide for this, but if they do not then any councillor can stand for election as Chairman at the Annual Parish Council Meeting without notice or nomination by another.
  • The Annual Parish Meeting is not a Council meeting, but rather is a meeting of local government electors registered for the area for which it is held. It must be held between 1st March and 1st June. It is entirely separate from the Annual Parish Council Meeting, though is sometimes held on the same evening.
  • The minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting must be approved at the next Parish Council Meeting, and must not be held over until the following year's Annual Parish Council Meeting.

If any member council wishes to take advice on any of these matters then please contact the office.

Posted: Sun, 08 May 2022 16:05 by admin

Tags: Guidance, LRALC, annual meeting, chairman