The Parish AssemblyL’Assembliée d’Pâraisse
The Parish Assembly, known as the “Assembly of Principals and Officers of the Parish”, considers civil and ecclesiastical matters within its remit.
- The Rector presides over an Assembly to deal with the ecclesiastical affairs of the Parish (commonly called the Ecclesiastical Assembly).
- The Connétable presides when the Assembly deals with all other Parish affairs (commonly called the Parish Assembly).
Membership and Voting rights at a Parish Assembly
A member of the Parish Assembly has one vote on any decision by the Assembly despite the fact that the member may be qualified more than once to be a member of the Parish Assembly.
A person is a member of the Parish Assembly if:
- the person resides in the Parish and is registered for the Parish as an elector in public elections.
- the person is a ratepayer for the relevant year – either as owner or occupier of property.
- a Deputy of the States who represents the parish, or a constituency of the parish, has the right (if not otherwise eligible as a member) to attend, but not to vote, in the Parish Assembly.
The functions of the Parish Assembly are:
- The election of officers.
- The care of the roads.
- The promotion of local improvements (new roads or drains, the removal of nuisances, etc.).
- The levying of rates in accordance with the Rates (Jersey) Law 2005.
- Consideration of licensing applications under the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974.
The functions of the Ecclesiastical Assembly include:
- the choice of officers of the Church,
- the examination and approval of their accounts;
- repair of the Church, of the Cemetery, and of the Presbytery etc.
Procedure for Meetings of the Parish Assembly
The President of the Parish Assembly will convene an Assembly when there is business for the Assembly to conduct. The official notice must be placed in the Parish box (boîte grillée) in the Parish cemetery. Notice must also be given in the Jersey Gazette at least two days before holding the Assembly.
The convening notice must state the business to be discussed. No other business may be discussed except matters relating to public safety and the care of the poor.
The President of the Assembly must produce the convening notice to the Assembly and follow the order for debate as set out in the notice. The President is required to put every matter proposed and seconded to discussion and to the vote. A vote is usually taken by show of hands and, if necessary, scrutineers will be appointed to count the votes. There is no provision for proxy or postal votes to be received. Minutes of the meeting are kept and will usually be confirmed at the following Assembly.
The President is required to convene an Assembly within two weeks of receiving a request to do so from ten or more members of the Assembly. The request must be made in writing, dated, and must state the subject for which the Assembly is to be convened. The subject must include a resolution that is within the competence of the Assembly to consider and upon which it may properly vote.
The role of the Parish Assembly does not extend to matters beyond those specifically relating to the administration of the Parish. On occasions meetings are held in Parish Halls to debate matters of local interest; these are informal proceedings and must not be confused with the formal business of the Parish Assembly.