Portishead Residents Annual Meeting
The 2018 Portishead Residents Annual Meeting (PRAM) was scheduled for Wednesday 9th May at the Folk Hall but unfortunately the meeting ended shortly after it began.
Although the Annual Residents’ Meeting is not a Town Council meeting, the running of it is covered under the Local Government Act 1972 which states that if the chairman of the Town Council is present, he or she must chair the meeting.
The Council sought legal advice following suggestions from members of the public that the meeting should be chaired by an independent resident.
A solicitor from the National Association of Local Council’s (NALC) legal team advised the Town Council in writing that if the Chairman is present at the Annual Meeting, if anyone else chairs it, the meeting is not validly held.
Cllr Lesley Cottrell, as Chairman of Portishead Town Council, was present at the meeting and upon this legal advice, was prepared to chair the meeting.
Members of the public however requested again that the meeting was chaired by an independent resident. As a result a vote was taken at the beginning of the meeting and a majority vote concluded that the electorate present did not wish the Town Council Chairman to act as chair of the Residents’ Meeting. Based on the legal advice received by the Council, the meeting was then closed by Cllr Cottrell. Had the meeting taken place the legal advice made it clear that any decisions made at the meeting were likely to be invalid.
The meeting was rescheduled for Wednesday 30th May 2018, starting at 7pm to allow more time for people to speak.