Draft Guidelines for the Operation of Farlington Parish Meeting

1. Definition

1.1 A Parish Meeting is the lowest tier of Local Government Body for a number of statutory purposes. They are subject to the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

1.2 The local government electors in a parish are the Parish Meeting and, as such, it is a meeting of the people of the Parish on the electoral role to discuss parish affairs and exercise any statutory functions conferred upon them e.g. allotments, charities, lighting, rights of way and village greens.

2. Farlington Parish Meeting Terms of Reference

2.1 All the electors in the parish of Farlington comprise Farlington Parish Meeting and have an equal input on matters affecting the village and its environs.

2.2 The Parish Meeting will precept the billing authority (Hambleton District Council) for the expenditure incurred in the performance of its functions. The Chairman is responsible for the issue of the precept to the billing authority following approval with electors at the AGM.

2.3 An elector may assist the Chairman with maintaining the Parish Meeting accounts and this person will be known as the Treasurer and approved at the AGM. A Parish Meeting may appoint, where appropriate, committees of electors for the parish to discharge any of its functions.

3. Farlington Parish Meeting Representatives

3.1 Voluntary representation must only come from those on the electoral role and include:
A Chairman (currently John Wills, Sunnyside House)
A Secretary (currently S. Scotter, Blackthorn House)
A Treasurer (if requested by the Chairman) to oversee parish account (currently D. Waring, Spexard)

3.2 The Chairman is approved at each AGM and is expected to be in post for 1 year. In the case of Farlington Parish Meeting, the same is true for the post of the Treasurer for reasons of continuity and banking mandates.

3.3 The Chairman must preside at an assembly. Where he is absent, the Parish Meeting may appoint an elector to take the chair for the purpose of that assembly and this elector will have the same powers and authority of the Chairman.

3.4 Where the Chairman resigns, the Parish Meeting must convene specifically to appoint a replacement.

4. Frequency of meetings & decision making

4.1 A Parish Meeting must assemble annually (AGM) between 1 March and 1 June and on at least one other occasion. At its annual assembly, the Parish Meeting must elect a Chairman who continues in office until a successor is appointed or he resigns. Parish Meetings will be advertised on the parish website and parish noticeboards, ideally giving 2 weeks’ notice to electors.

4.2 The Parish Meeting may not assemble in licensed premises.

4.3 Where a decision is required on a parish matter, the outcome will be decided on a majority basis from those in attendance at an assembly. When the Chairman considers the number of attendees too small to be democratic, the views of electors will be sought by other means before any decision is taken.

4.4 The agenda for the Parish Meeting assembly is prepared by the secretary in liaison with the Chairman. Any elector may raise any issue relevant to the parish at a Parish Meeting, preferably by alerting the secretary in advance of the meeting but otherwise under AOB.

4.5 Outside of normal meeting times (twice per year), 6 electors may call for a Parish Meeting to discuss any matter but a Chairman and Secretary must be present to oversee and record such a meeting. The electors wishing to hold such a meeting must advise the parish of their intention to do so by informing the parish meeting secretary, advertising the meeting date and reason for the meeting on the parish website and village noticeboards giving 2 weeks notice of their intentions. The meeting will be open to all electors.

4.6 The press and general public have a right to attend any Parish Meeting but only those on the electoral register of the parish have the right to vote.

5. Minutes

5.1 A record of matters discussed at a Parish Meeting will be kept by the Secretary and posted on the village website and village noticeboards. They will be considered as a draft and subject to approval at the next appropriate meeting of the electors.

6. Books of Account

6.1 The accounts of a Parish Meeting are subject to audit in the same way as those of a Parish Council. The Chairman is responsible for the accounts as prescribed in the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011/817 but he/she may be assisted by an approved elector if desired and agreed by electors.

6.2 A record of expenditure and financial transactions and will be available for scrutiny by any electors. The accounts will be published annually after being audited at financial year end (31st March) by a nominated person (currently T. G. Thomas, Rosebeck, Farlington).

7. Expenditure

7.1 Authorising expenditure
All expenditure from the parish meeting account will require the agreement of the electors.

7.2 Signatories
Cheques issued from the Parish account will only be valid if signed by two of the nominated signatories from the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. If the beneficiary of the cheque is one of the nominated signatories, then, ideally, that signatory should not be one of those signing the cheque.

These Guidelines are intended to assist electors in the management of Parish affairs and are not legally binding on any member of the Parish. They may be updated as necessary by the Secretary with the consultation and approval of the electors of the parish.

John Wills (Chairman, Farlington, Parish Meeting)
19th September 2018

Ref: National Association of Local Councils LTN 3 Sept 2014

First Governing Instrument: Historical records refer to a date of December 31st, 1949.
Inaugural Meeting of Farlington Parish Meeting December 4th, 1894

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