In addition to it’s monthly Council meetings, the Parish Council acts as the organiser of the Annual Parish Meeting (“APM”). The APM has traditionally been held at the Parish Hall in March.  The holding of the APM is a role that the Parish Council undertakes in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972.

This meeting – open to all residents of the Parish – is an opportunity to hear what the Parish Council has been up to and has planned, along with the chance for many other groups and organisations within the Parish to share details of their activities and future projects.

As a result of COVID-19, the 2020 APM was not held last March. The Parish Council had hoped to hold it later in the year but given the many and varied levels of “Lockdown Restrictions” it was not considered sensible to try and hold a public meeting. The presenter’s notes were instead added to the Council’s website: https://www.copythorne.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/APM-2020-Presenter-notes.pdf

This year, we had hoped to hold the APM at the Parish Hall on March 23rd 2021 but once again “Lockdown Restrictions” intervened. Whilst under temporary legislation introduced in August 2020 we could have legally held the APM virtually on March 23rd 2021 (via Zoom) that same legislation said we didn’t need to hold it. As the Parish Council felt that the APM should be a public meeting rather than a virtual one we decided not to go ahead with that date.

The temporary legislation ends on May 6th 2021 so after that date we no longer have the power to hold the meeting virtually but do have to hold an Annual Parish Meeting in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972 which says that an Annual Parish Meeting should be held between March 1st and June 1st. It remains the case that currently the Parish Council does not feel it would be prudent to hold a public meeting.

Therefore to satisfy our legal obligation we will be holding a virtual APM on 5 May 2021. The only item of business on the agenda will be to approve the minutes of the last APM (26 March 2019). Details of how to “attend” the meeting are on the attached agenda.

As soon as “Lockdown restrictions” allow and it is considered safe to use the Parish Hall for a meeting of the size expected (circa 50 people) the Parish Council will call another Parish Meeting along the usual traditional lines.

David Rigby, Clerk to Copythorne Parish Council

April 22nd 2021