As part of local government with powers to tax their communities there are legal controls over how town or parish council decisions can be made.

  • To make legally valid decisions a council meeting must be quorate.

 

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The quorum and Council meetings

Who decides how many Councillors are on a Town or Parish Council?

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The role of the Clerk

Calculating the Quorum

 

The quorum and Council meetings

  • A specific number of councillors must be physically present at council meetings
  • Voting by proxy is illegal for all councils
  • Without a quorum a parish council can do nothing
  • If a parish council meeting continues without a quorum any decisions are illegal and invalid
  • Councillor vacancies do not affect the calculation of the quorum

 

What happens next depends upon why the parish council meeting was not quorate.

  • Meetings that are inquorate due to parish councillor absence will of course happen occasionally
  • Where a council is permanently inquorate the principal authority has the power to intervene and appoint temporary “councillors” whilst elections are organised

 

Who decides how many Councillors are on a Town or Parish Council?

  • This is decided by the principal authority with regard to the population of the parish
  • Changes are normally only made either after a long term decline in the population of the parish
  • Or an influx of new residents after or part of a major new housing project
  • These changes are usually made as part of a community governance review
  • The minimum number of councillors for any parish is 5

 

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