The Annual Residents Meeting or Annual Assembly of
Electors, in legal terms, is a quite separate body from the Parish Council, but it is invariably the Parish Council that arranges it. Its decisions are not binding on the Parish Council, although the Parish Council does take heed of what is said at the meeting.
The Annual Residents 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.
In Peasedown St John, this meeting is referred to as the Annual Village Meeting.
This 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 [in Peasedown this is done via questions submitted in advance of or at the meeting - see details below*]. This is in contrast to a Council meeting, where electors who are not Councillors have no automatic right to speak. Peasedown St John Parish Council does however, have a set time before every Council meeting when electors can raise matters of concern.
The Annual Village Meeting must be held each year between March 1st and June 1st.
The minutes of this meeting can only be approved by the next Annual Village 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 Village Meeting to the next convenient meeting of the Parish Council, since otherwise matters are unlikely to get progressed.