26 October, 2014

Parish Meeting

Welcome to the section on Broughton Parish Meeting.

As well as topics specific to our Parish Meeting, such as Agendas, Minutes,  and Officers, this section also contains general information about parish meetings and some of the legislation by which they are governed.

Data  from Broughton Parish Meeting will be uploaded when  provided by the parish clerk.

North Yorkshire has the two-tier system for local government with a county council and a district council.  Although not formally classed as local authorities, parishes are the grass roots level of local government.   Broughton lies within Ryedale District Council which is within the North Yorkshire County Council area.

Parish meetings

Every parish in England must have a parish meeting under the law which is the Local Government Act 1972, s9(1).    There are 3 “varieties”.

Parish councils/town councils which stand alone have to have an annual parish meeting for anyone on the electoral roll to attend.  All have the right to speak and vote at this meeting.

Where a parish is  “attached” to a parish council, then the individual parishes have their own parish meetings.  For example, if  Broughton were to become attached to Swinton, then each village would continue to have its own parish meeting. Likewise if  Swinton and Broughton were to merge into one parish council, each village would continue to have its own parish meeting.   Most of these parishes would  have a parish councillor(s) representing their residents.  Again there must be an annual meeting.  But the separate parishes could also call parish meetings to deal with items purely local to themselves, eg a planning application.  Again, anyone on the electoral roll has the right to attend, speak and vote at the parish meeting.

Broughton Parish Meeting is a parish meeting that is not attached to a parish council.    To have a form of direct democracy like this is uncommon in this country.  On a Parish Meeting  there are no councillors: only the “officers” are elected which happens at the Annual General Meeting.   

 The powers and functions of such a parish meeting can be found on a Legal Topic Note on the website of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).  This  link is via Google.  Another version can also be found via Google.   The powers and functions of a Parish Council are much broader.  Another way of comparing them is in NALC’s Toolkit… the easiest way to access this is via a search engine such as Google.  

So every meeting that is held in Broughton is a parish meeting, provided it is correctly convened and there is a forum. Business must be conducted in an open way with properly organised meetings and agendas, and proper records of decisions, the minutes.

Parish meeting or parish council?

There are different rules about whether or not a parish council must be created for the parish or whether it is discretionary (The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007).  The aim of the thresholds is to “extend the more direct participatory form of governance provided by Parish Meetings to a larger numbers of electors.”

Where there are more than 1,000 electors the principal council is under a duty to create a parish council (Section 94 of the 2007 Act). Councillors on a parish council are either elected where sufficient candidates stand or co-opted where there is no “rival”.

In parishes with 151 to 999 electors the principal council may recommend the creation of either a parish council or a parish meeting.

In parishes with 150 or fewer electors principal councils are unable to create a parish council and therefore parish meetings must be created.

Remember

Everyone living in the parish who is on the electoral role has the right to speak and vote at parish meetings: in Broughton every resident can have a real say in how the parish is run.

To see details of how a parish meeting should be run and its functions please click here.

A list of all parish councils and parish meetings which are not attached to a parish council can be found on the Index of English Parish Councils.

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