WESTLEIGH PARISH

PROCEDURE AS TO PARISH MEETINGS

BUSINESS OF FIRST MEETING

(WHERE NO PARISH COUNCIL TO BE ELECTED.)


Election of Chairman for the Year.

The meeting, which must consist of at least two parochial electors, after having appointed a chairman of the meeting should proceed to choose a chairman for the year, who must be a parochial elector. The temporary chairman should not be a candidate for the office of chairman for the year. If more than one candidate is proposed and seconded for the office, the chairman of the meeting should put separately to the meeting the names of the several candidates and take the votes by show of hands in favour only of each candidate. The chairman may vote. A can­didate may vote for himself. After counting the votes, the chairman should declare to be elected that candidate who has obtained the largest number of votes. In the ease of an equal division of votes the chairman of the meeting may give a second or casting vote. The decision of the chairman is final unless a poll is demanded. One parochial elector way demand a poll. It must be taken by ballot in accordance with rules to be framed by the Local Government Board.

If no poll has been demanded, the candidate elected chairman for the year should in the event of his being present at the meeting take the chair.

Other Business.

Any other business for which due notice had been given should then be proceeded with by the meeting. If there is no other business, the chairman should declare the meeting closed and leave the chair.


BUSINESS OF FIRST MEETING (WHERE PARISH COUNCILLORS TO BE ELECTED.)

Election of Chairman.


A chairman of the meeting who must not be a candidate for election should first be appointed.

The chairman having taken the chair, it will be his duty at the meeting to receive the nominations of candidates for the office of parish councillor, to decide as to the validity of every nomination paper, and to take the votes by show of hands in favour only of each candidate. Subject to a poll being demanded he will declare the candidates elected to be parish councillors. In these proceedings he should carefully follow the directions laid down by Rules 4 to 14 of the Parish Councillors Election Order, 1894, which are as follows:­

Nomination of Candidates.

4.-(1.) Each candidate for election as a parish councillor shall be nominated in writing.

(2.) The nomination paper shall state the surname and the other name or names in full of the candidate and his place of abode vi d description, and whether he is qualified as a parochial elector or by residence. It shall be signed by two parochial electors of the parish, or, if the parish is divided into wards, of the ward, as proposer and seconder,

and no more, and shall state their respective places of abode. It shall be in the Form set out in the notice in Form No. 1 in the First Schedule to this Order, or in a form to the like effect.

(3.) The name of more than one candidate shall not be inserted in any one nomination paper.,

(4.) Any parochial elector of the parish may sign as many nomination papers as the number of parish Councillors to be elected, but no more, except that if the parish is divided into wards for the election of parish councillors, a parochial elector shall not sign nomination papers for more than one ward, and shall not sign a larger number of nomination papers than the number of parish councillors to be elected for the ward.

(5.) If any parochial elector shall sign a larger number of nomination papers – than the number of parish councillors to be elected for the parish or ward, such of the nomination papers signed by him as are first received by the chairman of the parish meeting, up to the number of parish councillors to be so elected, shall alone be valid.

Nomination Papers to be handed to Chairman at Meeting.

5. The chairman of the parish meeting shall ask at the meeting that nomination papers be handed in to him, and they shall be handed in accordingly. He shall number them in the order in which they are received by him ; and the first valid nomination paper received by him for a candidate shall be deemed to be the nomination of that candidate.


PROCEDURE AS TO PARISH MEETINGS­

Business of First Meeting Where Parish Councillors to be Elected-contd.­


Dealing with Nomination Papers by Chairman.


7.-(1.) When it shall appear to the chairman that all the nomination papers have been handed in, and not less. thanfifteen minutes shall have elapsed since he took the chair, he shall state to the meeting the names of the candidates in the alphabetical order of their surnames, and also their places of abode and description-;, and the


names and places of abode of their proposers and seconders.   Before making such statement, the chairman shall, as


regards each candidate, decide whether he has been nominated by a valid nomination paper. After such statement lx as


been made, no other nomination papers shall be received, except as provided by Rule 9.         The decision of the chairman that a nomination paper is valid, that is to say, that it has been properly filled up and signed by two parochial electors, shall be final and shall not be questioned in any proceeding whatever.


(2.) If the chairman shall decide that a nomination paper is invalid, he shall forthwith put a note on the nomination paper to this effect, stating the grounds of his decision, and shall sign such note and state the effect of it to the meeting.


Questions to Candidates.


After making the statement referred to in Rule 7, the chairman shall give opportunity for putting questions, to such of the candidates as have been duly nominated and are present at the meeting, and for receiving explanations from them.

Withdrawal of Candidates.


9.-(1.) Before the names of, the candidates are put to the meeting, or if, under Rule 10, the names are not required to be put to the meeting, before the chairman declares the names of the candidates elected, any candidate may withdraw his candidature.   Any such withdrawal shall be in writing signed by tile candidate, and shall be


handed to the chairman ; or if the candidate is present at the meeting, he may by word of mouth declare that he withdraws his candidature, and the chairman shall thereupon write ” Candidature withdrawn ” on the back of the nomination paper, and the candidate shall sign his name or his initials thereto. Except as aforesaid, no candidature shall be withdrawn at the meeting.


(2.) Provided that if by such withdrawals the number of candidates is reduced below the number of persons to be elected, the chairman shall, if desired by any parochial elector present at the meeting allow a reasonable time at the meeting during which further nomination papers may be handed in to him.


(3.) If any such further nomination papers are handed in to the chairman, he shall make a statement to the meeting with regard to them, and shall decide as to their validity, as provided by Rule 7 with reference to the nomination papers first received ; and if any of the candidates so nominated are decided by him to have been duly


nominated, he shall give opportunity for putting questions to such of them as are present at the meeting and for receiving explanations from them.                The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Rule shall also apply to such candidates.


If Number of Candidates does not exceed Number of Persons to be elected.


If the candidates (including those whose nominations are handed in under paragraphs (2) and (3) of Rule 9) whose nominations respectively the chairman decides to be valid, and whose respective candidatures are not withdrawn, are not more in number than the persons to be elected, such candidates shall be deemed to be duly elected, and shall be declared by the chairman to be elected.

If Number of Candidates exceeds Number of Persons to be elected.


If the candidates (including those whose nominations are handed in under paragraphs (2) and (3) of Rule 9) whose nominations respectively the chairman decides to be valid, and whose respective candidatures are not withdrawn, are more in number than the persons to be elected, the chairman shall put separately to the meeting the names of the several candidates in the alphabetical order of their surnames, and shall take the votes by show of hands in favour only of each candidate.

The chairman shall count the votes given in favour only o£ each candidate, and when the names of all the candidates have been put to the meeting arrive the votes in their favour have been taken and counted, he shall state to the meeting the number of votes ‘given for each candidate, and that, subject to a poll being demanded,

and the demand not being withdrawn, he declares to be elected the candidates (up to the total number to be elected) whom he names and who have obtained the largest number of votes.


Poll may be demanded,


The chairman shall then state to the meeting that a poll may be demanded at any time before the close of the meeting by any parochial elector present thereat, and shall ask whether a poll is demanded. , 14.-(1.) After the chairman has made such statement as is mentioned in Rule 13, he shall allow at least ten minutes to elapse before the meeting is closed, and at any time before the close of the meeting, any parochial elector may demand that a poll shall be taken as to which of the persons whose names have been put to the meeting by the chairman shall be elected, and, subject to Rule 24, a poll shall be taken accordingly, unless the demand for a poll is withdrawn at any time before the close of the meeting.

(2.) The business of the meeting shall be completed without adjournment, and when the ten minutes or such, longer time after the statement mentioned in Rule 13 as shall he allowed for a demand of a poll to be made has,.. elapsed, and the business relating to the election has been completed, the meeting shall be closed.


PROCEDURE AS TO PARISH MEETINGS-continued, 3

SUBSEQUENT PARISH MEETINGS.


Conveners of Parish Meeting.


Where a parish has a parish council the chairman of the parish council or any two parish councillors may at any timeconvene a parish meeting,


In a parish not having a parish council the meeting may be convened by the chairman of the parish meeting.


Whether there is a parish council or not, any six parochial electors may at any time convene a parish meeting.


Times and Place of Meetings.


The parish meeting are required to assemble at least once in every year, on the 25th of March, or within seven days before or after that day, and the proceedings of every parish meeting must not begin before six o’clock in the evening, Greenwich mean time. Where a parish has no separate parish council, the patish meeting must assemble not less than twice a year.


Subject to these provisions, the days, times, and places for holding parish meetings will be fixed by the parish council, or, if there is no parish council, by the chairman of the parish meeting.


A parish meeting should not, where it can be avoided, be convened to meet on a bank holiday.


Vestry Room or Church.


The parish meeting of a parish without a parish council is entitled to meet in the vestry room of the parish church or in the church itself where there is no – room or the room is insufficiently large; but if either of the Vestries Acts, 1831 and 1850, is in force, the meeting cannot be held in the church, and if the latter Act is in force it cannot be held in the vestry room, except in case of urgency and with the previous approval of the Local Government Board.


School and other Rooms.


In a parish in which there is no suitable public room vested in the parish council or in the chairman of a parish meeting and the overseers, the parish meeting (whether there is a parish council or not) may meet free of charge at all reasonable times and after reasonable notice in any suitable room in the schoolhouse of any public elementary school receiving a parliamentary grant and in any suitable room maintained out of any local rate, but the room in either case must not be used as part of a private dwelling-house.           When any such room is required, a resolution directing notice to be given to the persons having control of the room should be passed by the parish meeting.            In practiceit might be convenient that a standing resolution should be passed at each parish meeting empowering a committee to take the necessary steps in preparation for the next meeting.


Public Baths.


Any portion of any public baths provided under the Baths and Washhouses Acts, when not required by the Commissioners or parish council, as the case may be, may be permitted by them to be used for parish meetings.


Licensed Premises.


The parish meeting are prohibited from meeting in premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor, except in cases, where no other suitable room is available either free of charge or at a reasonable cost,


Notice of Meeting.


Not less than seven clear days before any parish meeting, public notice must be given specifying the time and place of the intended meeting and the business to be transacted, and signed by the chairman of the parish council or other conveners of the meeting.                                  When the business relates to the establishment or dissolution of a parish council, or


the grouping of a parish, or the adoption of any of the adoptive Acts, not less than fourteen days’ notice must be given. In reckoning the seven or fourteen days, as the case may be, both the day when the notice is given and the day fixed for the meeting must be excluded.


Copies of the notice must be affixed on or near to the principal door of each church and chapel of the Church of England within the parish, and be posted in some conspicuous place or- places within the parish. Notice may also be given in such other manner (if any) as appears to the persons convening the meeting desirable for giving publicity to the notice.


Adjourned Meeting.


Where a parish meeting is adjourned, no further notice of the adjourned meeting is necessary if no new business is transacted at the adjourned meeting.


Who constitute Meeting.


Only parochial electors registered in the parish or in part of the parish are entitled to attend and vote at a parish meeting held for the whole parish or part of the parish. At least two parochial electors must be present to form a parish meeting.


Chairman.


Usual Chairman.


The chairman of the parish council if a parochial elector entitled to attend, and if he is present at, a parish meeting, will be the chairman of the meeting‘. A parish meeting in a rural parish not having a separate parish council are required at their annual assembly to choose. a chairman for the year.


Chairman of Meeting.


In the absence of the chairman of the parish council or the chairman for the year, as the case may be, the parish meeting should choose a chairman for the meeting.


Duties of Chairman.


The chairman should conduct the meeting in accordance with any standing orders which may have been made by


 


Election of Chairman and of Overseers at Annual Meeting.


The first business of the annual meeting is to elect a chairman and to appoint the overseers.       The chairman must


either be a councillor or a person qualified to be a councillor.   Unless he resigns or ceases to be qualified, or becomes


disqualified, he is to continue in office until his successor is elected.           A retiring chairman will preside at the annual


meeting at which his successor is elected.   He is himself eligible for re-election at the annual meeting, but some other


member of the council should take the chair if the retiring chairman is a candidate for re-election. The first annual tmeeting at which an election of chairman will take place, will be in April, 1896, as the first elected chairman holds office until that date.


Vice-Chairman.


The parish council may, if they think fit, appoint one of their number to be vice-chairman, and the vice-chairman will, in the absence or during the inability of the chairman, have the powers and authority of the chairman.


Candidate may Vote.


A candidate for the office of chairman or vice-chairman may vote for himself.


Acceptance of Office by Councillors.


Every parish councillor must, at the first meeting after his election, or if the council at the first meeting so permit, then at a later meeting fixed by the council, sign, in the presence of some member of the council, a declaration that he accepts the office, and if lie does not sign such a declaration his office will be void.                                     The chairman of the parish council, if elected from outside the council, is not required to make any declaration of acceptance of office.          If he is


elected from the council lie will make the declaration as a parish councillor. A chairman once elected continues in office until he resigns, or ceases to be qualified or becomes disqualified, or until his successor is appointed. His simple non-acceptance of office does not vacate the chairmanship.


Minute Book.


Minutes of the proceedings of every parish council and of any committee of the council must be kept in a book. The minutes must be signed at the same or the next ensuing meeting by the chairman.


Standing Orders.


Subject to the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1894, a parish council may make, vary, and revoke standing orders for the regulation of their proceedings.


Quorum.


No business can be transacted at any meeting of a Parish Council unless at least one-third of the full number of members are present, but in no case is the quorum to be less than three.


Record of Votes, &c.


The names of the members present at any meeting of the parish council, as well as of those voting on each question on which a division is taken, must be recorded, so as to show whether each vote given was for or against thethe question.         The voting must not be by ballot.


Majority to Decide.


Every question at a meeting of a parish council is to be decided by a majority of votes of the members present, and voting on that question. The majority required is not a majority of members present, but a majority of those who being– present, vote on the question.


Casting Vote.


In case of an equal division of votes, the chairman of the meeting has a second or casting vote.             The casting


vote is in addition to any vote which the chairman may give as a member of the council.    He has an original vote, whether elected from within or without the council, as when elected chairman lie becomes a member of the council.


Execution of Instruments.


Any act of the parish council may be signified by an instrument executed at a meeting of the council and under the hands or, if an instrument under seal is required, under the hands and seals of the chairman presiding at the meeting, and two other members of the council.


Cheques.


Every cheque or other order for payment of money by a parish council must be signed by two members of the council.


Meeting to fill Casual Vacancy.


”    A casual vacancy among parish councillors or in the office of chairman of the council will be filled by the parish council and the council are required to be forthwith convened, as soon as a casual vacancy occurs in their body, for the purpose of filling the vacancy; but the proceedings of a parish council are not to be invalidated by any vacancy among


their members or by any defect in the election or qualification of any members.     The persons elected to fill casual


vacancies must be qualified to be parish councillors.           A quorum of the council must be formed before they proceed to the business of election.