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Parish Council Meetings 

The Parish Council meets monthly at Highclere Village Hall or Westridge Studio with the exception of August and usually on the second Tuesday each month. Meetings are open to the public, so residents are welcome to attend and address the council on any matter of concern or interest. 


New matters for the agenda and requests to speak at a meeting should be sent in writing by emailing the clerk here.

Please click here to see the rules on public participation should you wish to address the Council: 

Meeting Dates April 2022-March 2023

  • 11 January Westridge Studio 7:30pm

  • 08 February Westridge Studio 7:30pm

  • 08 March Highclere Village Hall 7:30pm

  • 19 April Highclere Village Hall 7:30pm (rescheduled from 12 April)

  • 10 May Highclere Village Hall 6:30pm for Annual Meeting, 7:30pm for Annual Parish Meeting

  • 14 June Highclere Village Hall 7:30pm

  • 12 July Highclere Village Hall 7:30pm

  • 13 September Highclere Village Hall 7:30pm

  • 11 October Highclere Village Hall 7:30pm

  • 08 November Westridge Studio 7:30pm

  • 13 December Westridge Studio 7:30pm

  • 10 January (2023) Westridge Studio 7:30pm

  • 14 February Westridge Studio 7:30pm

  • 14 March Westridge Studio 7:30pm

 

Please note minutes of meetings should be considered to be draft until approved at the subsequent meeting.

 

Annual Meetings

The Council needs to hold an annual meeting to carry out those things that only need doing once a year. These include:

  • Electing a Chairman

  • Electing a Vice-Chairman (if the council wants to have one)

  • Appointing committees

  • Appointing representatives to other bodies (e.g. the Village Hall Committee)

  • Reviewing policy documents such as risk assessment, Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, etc.

​Annual Parish Meetings

  • This is, in legal terms, a quite separate body from the Council, but it is invariably the Council that arranges it (simply because it is unlikely that anyone else will do so). Its decisions are not binding on the Council, though a wise Council will normally want to take heed of what is said at the meeting.

  • The Annual Parish Meeting is a legacy from the Middle Ages, when Local Councils did not exist, and all local decision making was carried out by meetings of the whole community, taking place in the church vestry.

  • The Annual Parish Meeting is open to all electors of the Parish, who have the right not only to attend but also to speak on any matter of local interest. This is in contrast to a Council meeting, where electors who are not Councillors have no automatic right to speak.

  • This meeting has its own minutes, which should be kept separately from the Council minutes, and these minutes can only be approved by the next Annual Parish Meeting which will, of course, not be held until the following year. It is however, good practice to bring the draft minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting to the next convenient meeting of the Local Council, since otherwise matters are unlikely to get progressed. But it is important that the Council does not actually approve these minutes, as they do not belong to the Council.

What are the timetables for these two Meetings?

  • In an election year, the “old Council” retires on the Monday following the day of elections, when the new Council comes into being. The new Council must hold its Annual (and first) Meeting within a fortnight from that Monday.

  • In any other year, the Council must hold its Annual Meeting on any day in May.

The Annual Parish Meeting must be held each year between March 1st and June 1st.
Because this is a meeting of a body separate from the Parish Council (see above) the date is not affected by the Parish Council election cycle, though practical considerations may mean that you arrange it on a different date in an election year.

In legal terms the two meetings are quite separate and are accountable to two separate bodies – the Annual Meeting of the Council is accountable to the Council, and the Annual Parish Meeting is accountable to the electors as a whole. Some councils hold both on the same night, and whilst not best practice, so long as there is a clear distinction between the two, and each meeting is formally opened and closed so that everyone present knows which meeting is taking place at any given time, this is acceptable. 

  • We will make it clear to any non-councillors that they can take part in the Annual Parish Meeting but not in the Annual Meeting of the Council.

To view minutes pre April 2020, please contact the Clerk by clicking here.