The Parish [Town] Meeting
The Local Government Act 1972 states that every parish in England must have an annual Parish [Town] Meeting, which must take place between 1st March and 1st June each year. In Crowborough we call this the ‘Town Conference’.
Parish [Town] Meetings are not to be confused with the Town Council meetings, or the Annual Statutory Meeting of the Council.
Parish [Town] Meetings – A Quick Summary
- Any person on the electoral register of the parish is entitled to speak at a Parish Meeting – at a meeting of the Town Council members of the public may speak only at the Chairman’s discretion.
- If present, the Chairman of the Town Council (in Crowborough this is the Mayor) must chair the Parish Meeting.
- With the exception of the Chairman, councillors rank the same as other members of the electorate.
- Agendas for Town Council meetings must be published three days ahead of the meeting – for Parish [Town] Meetings a skeleton agenda is usually published ahead of the meeting but further items are often included on the night of the meeting.
- Only Councillors may request items to be placed on the agenda of a Town Council meeting whereas any member of the electorate may do so at a Parish Meeting.
- Any matter pertinent to the parish [Town] may be discussed at a Parish Meeting, whereas at a Town Council meeting subjects for discussion should be limited to those matter on which the council has the power to act (conferred by various Acts of Parliament).
- The press and general public have a right to attend Parish [Town] Meetings, but anyone not on the electoral register of the parish is ‘stranger’ and does not have the right to vote.
Finally – In essence…
A Parish Meeting is a meeting of the people of the parish [Town].
A Town Council meeting is a meeting of the Council [made up of the elected town councillors].
2020 Town Conference did not take place.