Conduct of meetings—chairing, quorum and voting
Conduct of meetings—chairing, quorum and voting

The following Local Government practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conduct of meetings—chairing, quorum and voting
  • Chairing meetings
  • Quorum
  • Voting at meetings
  • Executive Arrangements

Chairing meetings

If the chairman of a local authority meeting (also referred to as the mayor or maer in a city or borough council where there is no directly elected mayor) is present at that meeting, they must preside.

If the chairman is absent from a meeting of the full council, the vice-chairman shall preside or, if they are not present, another member of the council chosen by the members present shall preside. A member of the Cabinet cannot be chosen to preside at the meeting in these circumstances.

In parish and community councils, the chairman or vice chairman must preside at a meeting of the council and, in both their absences, any councillor as the members present choose.

In parish meetings, where the parish has a separate council, the chairman of that council must preside at a parish meeting or, in their absence, the vice-chairman of that council. If there is no separate parish council for the parish, the chairman of the parish meeting chosen for the year, if present, must preside. If all of these people are not present at a parish meeting, then the meeting can appoint any person present to take the chair.

There is little statutory regulation of the roles and responsibilities of the chair of local authority meetings. The chairman has power to add urgent business to the agenda if they think

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