Parish Council Meetings
The Yetminster & Ryme Intrinseca Parish Council meetings are called by the Clerk and held in the St Andrew’s Church of England School in Stoneyacres, Yetminster on the first Wednesday of the month (excluding January and August). Please note that the meeting may be moved to the second Wednesday of the month, if the first Wednesday of the month is a Bank Holiday. The Parish Council represents all electors within the area.
Meetings will be held in the following months: February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October, November and December.
There are two annual meetings: –
Annual Meeting of the Council
This is the first meeting of the newly elected or uncontested Parish Council members to carry out those things that only need doing once a year – the chairman and vice-chairman are elected and committee members and representatives to other bodies appointed. Additionally, policy documents and procedures are reviewed including the Risk Assessment, Standing Orders and the Financial Regulations.
The Annual Meeting of the Council must be held in May and if in an election year, the “old Council” retires on the Monday following the day of the elections, when the new Parish Council comes into being. The new Parish Council must hold its Annual (and first) Meeting within a fortnight from that Monday.
The Annual Parish or Town Meeting
This is an additional meeting and is not a council meeting – it is a meeting of the parish or town electors called by the Parish Council Chairman and must take place between 1 March and 1 June. Electors can contribute to the agenda and in practice these meetings often celebrate local activities and debate current issues in the community. The Chairman, if present, will chair the meeting. The Annual Meeting of the Council and the Annual Parish Meeting are held on two different occasions to avoid confusion. It is not limited to just electors in Yetminster but includes the Ryme Intrinseca and Hamlet areas that encompass the whole parish.
Council meetings are formal events with a clear purpose – to make decisions. To ensure meetings run smoothly the Council operates by following set procedures known as Standing Orders. Parishioners are encouraged to attend the meetings and are given an opportunity to speak during the process.
The Y&RIPC meetings start at 7.30pm (Under the legislation a meeting of a Parish Council can’t commence earlier than 6 o’clock in the evening) and the Chairman of the Council must preside over the meeting. If the they are absent, the Vice-Chairman if present must preside. If both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are absent, the meeting will appoint a person to Chair the meeting. This appointed Chairman will have the usual powers and authority of the Chairman and has a casting vote in addition to his own vote.
The Parish Clerk, as Executive Officer of the Council, makes all the necessary arrangements necessary to hold the meetings and is responsible for making the Chairman and members aware of correspondence and urgent matters that need to be dealt with as “Late Items” on the Agenda . Proper notice of the meeting must be given and this must specify the time and place and the business to be transacted at the meeting, and it must be signed by the person(s) convening the meeting.
The meeting is opened by the Chairman (or Vice Chairman or person acting as the Chairman) and parishioners in attendance are invited, at the discretion of the Chairman, to speak to raise issues pertaining to matters and items listed on the Agenda. Issues outside of the proposed Council business may be brought to the members attention although this will be at the Chairman’s discretion. Whilst this part of the meeting is not time limited, discussions should not continue indefinitely and the Chairman has the right to draw the session to a close and to be able to refer or defer the matter under discussion, or those not dealt with, to another occasion.
Ideally, the parishioner wishing to speak should inform the Clerk that they wish to do this and provide their name and address and give some indication of the subject matter prior to the meeting in order to enable a better response to be made. If the Council is required to make a decision or to support a scheme that has been put forward, the matter must be included as a specific late Agenda item.
Closing the Public Open Session opens the Council Business part and apologies should then be made by the Clerk on behalf of those members unable to attend (members have a duty to inform the officer at the earliest opportunity if they will be unable to attend a meeting).
Members are required to declare if they have any interest in any of the matters that the Council is likely to discuss or has responsibility for. The Chairman will then seek approval of the minutes of the previous meeting (and deal with any matters arising that are not covered elsewhere) before proceeding with the items detailed in the Agenda.
All decisions relating to the Council’s actions and activities, and particularly those involving financial matters, must be approved by the members by resolution at the meeting of the Parish Council and must be deferred if agreement cannot be reached. Approval for actions and activities, including those of a financial nature, that are considered urgent, can be sought outside of a meeting by contacting the members and any agreement must subsequently be confirmed at the next available meeting.
Having completed the matters detailed in the Agenda the Chairman will bring the meeting to a close.
The Business of the Council shall be contracted in a calm and orderly manner and the Chairman has the right to close the meeting if there are concerns that this is not the case.
During the Council Business part of the meeting members of the Public may not speak to the Chairman or members unless at the Chairman’s invitation.
Local Government Act 1972 Schedule 12, Part III