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What is the role of the Chairman at Parish Council meetings?


Plans the meeting with the clerk and ensure that everything on the agenda is legal.

Briefs themselves and prepares fully for the meeting – that includes studying all of the relevant information and anticipates the needs and interests of the members. This enables the Chairman to answer questions or deal with requests for information.

Is always punctual – the Chairman should set a good example by arriving early to check the arrangements and welcome members, the public and any visiting speakers.

Clearly defines all actions and makes sure the decision is clear for the Parish Clerk to act upon


At every Parish Council meeting, they will:

  1. Check there is a quorum (minimum number of members needed to make the meeting legal)
  2. Call the meeting to order and declare it open
  3. Welcome members, the public and visiting speakers to the meeting
  4. Introduce the standard items on the agenda – apologies; declarations of interest; confirmation of minutes of previous meeting
  5. Introduce the agenda items and ensure that all members know what they have to achieve and how they might do it encourage participation
  6. Stimulate an exchange of ideas and experience
  7. Ensure that all have a chance to express their views freely
  8. Keep the members aware of objectives
  9. Maintain focus
  10. Guide and progress discussion towards achieving the objectives
  11. Manage conflict
  12. Be fair and balanced
  13. Preserve order
  14. Enforce rules of procedure
  15. Rule on disputed matters


The Chairman on his own has no power to make decisions without full resolution of the Council

The Chairman is elected annually at the Annual Parish Meeting held in May