Parish Council meetings are governed according to procedures established by law. As they are the most immediate form of Local Government and involve public expenditure they must be very transparent in their operation.
Public Notices and Agenda
7.4 At least three clear days (not including the days of issue and
meeting) before a meeting of the Council a notice of the time and place
of the meeting must be affixed in some conspicuous place in the
locality. If the meeting is called by councillors, they must sign it
and it must specify the business to be transacted at the meeting......"
(Charles Arnold-Baker, P 58)
Normally meetings are always open to the public, and frequently there will be a point in the agenda when any members of the public present will be invited to comment, ask questions and raise objections.
The elected members, though not bound by these contributions from the public, should try to take them into account or at least give reasons why they may not.
Formby Parish Council is relatively new since it was reconstituted, but it originally began in 1894. The local newspaper of the day, The Formby Times, was full of constantly critical reports as the new members struggled to come to terms with the requirements of the law. Week after week in early 1895 the equivalent of the editorial complained of the lack of competence and compared the Council unfavourably with the newly established Parish Council in Ainsdale.
I'd like to think today, that as a Council, all our members are committed to the principles described above. It maybe more demanding of our time and attention to detail, but the residents of Formby rightly trust us to be beyond reproach in these matters.