Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting is an open meeting for all residents of Burstow Parish and, although it is organised by the Parish Council, it is not a formal meeting of the Council.
The Annual Parish Meeting is a legacy from the Middle Ages and all local decision making was carried out by meetings of the whole community, taking place in the church vestry. Local parish councils did not exist until 1894.
[This should not be confused with the Annual Meeting of the Council, sometimes, wrongly, referred to as the Council AGM. This meeting, held in May, is a full council meeting in which the chairman, and other officers are elected each year.]
The law says the Annual Parish Meeting must be held between 1st March and 1st June – ours is usually in April. The meeting is chaired by the Parish Council Chairman, with the Clerk taking the minutes, but Councillors have no more standing than other electors of Burstow Parish.
The meeting is an opportunity for the Parish Council to explain what it has done over the last year and to share future aspirations. It is also an open forum allowing residents the opportunity to raise issues they feel are important to the community as a whole.
These could be:
- Suggesting ideas for the Parish Council to investigate
- Asking questions of the Parish Council
- Raising general issues affecting the parish as a whole
Any registered elector may ask questions of the Council, which will usually be answered by the Chairman, the Clerk to the Council, or a designated Councillor. Any registered elector of Burstow Parish has the right to speak at the meeting.
Our Neighbourhood Watch and Speedwatch teams will give their annual report. As usual we welcome any questions, ideas or offers of volunteers to get involved.
Although it is not mandatory for Councillors to attend, most will attend and will speak if need be. However, the purpose of the meeting is to enable the residents to have their say. Councillors will listen with interest and if they are residents themselves will have the opportunity to raise questions and make comments if they wish.
A written record of the meeting will be taken and any comments made by the residents will be presented at a future meeting of Council for consideration.
The first part of the formal meeting with speeches and presentations normally lasts about an hour depending on those present, the number of questions raised and the discussion that follows. After the formal session the meeting is open to groups such as to local clubs, societies and other voluntary and statutory organisations to provide an exhibition and / or a representative to speak about the work of their group. We particularly like to hear from those groups who have received a Burstow Parish Council community grant.
The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting can be found on the Minutes and Agendas page or by clicking the link below: