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What is the Town Meeting?

This meeting takes place every year at 10:30am, usually on the second Saturday in May, in the New Hall (in parish council election years, it takes place at the end of April). The purpose of the Town Meeting is to allow the elected ward councillors to consult with the people of Winchelsea. It therefore provides the opportunity for the community to discuss important issues and make their collective views known to their elected councillors, and for councillors to report back to the community and, if necessary, be held to account. It also provides the chance for community groups such as Neighbourhood Watch to report, and for important external bodies such as the police and National Trust to speak to residents and answer questions.

While the Town Meeting cannot take decisions on behalf of any other body and councillors need to be conscious of the views of those absent from the meeting, the opinions aired at the meeting are often indicative of the will of the community. The Town Meeting is therefore particularly useful for gauging public support for new proposals.

You can review the issues covered in the 2008 Town Meeting and read the draft minutes. The minutes of the 2009 meeting will be posted shortly.

The dates of Town Meetings are advertised in the Town Diary, which can be found on the parish noticeboard and this website. The next Town meeting is scheduled for Saturday, 8th May 2010. An agenda will be posted closer to the date of the meeting and residents are encouraged to submit items.

Since 2007, the Town Meeting has been preceeded and followed by a Community Exhibition, at which clubs and societies advertise their activities and try to recruit new members.

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2010 agenda (items proposed to date)

  • Apologies for absence
  • Minutes of 2009
  • Matter Arising
  • Neighbourhood Watch review
  • Local Police Team
  • Winchelsea Emergency Group
  • Winchelsea Speed Watch
  • Maintenance of the Public Realm 
  • Winchelsea Town Plan review
  • Separate parish proposal
  • What's happened in Icklesham PC
  • What should the Council do next year?
  • Questions to ward councillors
  • Any other business
  • Next meeting

Who can attend?

The Town Meeting is convened by Winchelsea's parish councillors in order to consult with their electorate. As elected representatives only for the ward of Winchelsea, it would be improper for the Winchelsea councillors to consult, or be seen to consult, members of the electorates of other wards or parishes. The Town Meeting is therefore open only to those living in the ward of Winchelsea (full-time or part-time) and therefore eligible to register to vote in parish council elections by virtue of their place of residence (they may be ineligible for other reasons).

Limiting the Town Meeting to residents is also intended to allow a more relaxed discussion, away from external scrutiny.

The Town Meeting is a community meeting, not a parish council meeting. The costs are met personally by the Winchelsea councillors.

The boundaries of the ward of Winchelsea are defined by the Boundary Commission. Post codes and telephone area codes do not define Winchelsea (eg the series of post codes for Winchelsea includes streets in Winchelsea Beach, and the 01797 area code includes Rye, Camber, Lydd, etc).

Ownership of a business does not qualify a person to register for a vote and is therefore not a qualification for attending the Town Meeting. It is however possible for non-residents whose daily place of work is in Winchelsea, and non-residents who believe they have a personal business interest in the town, to attend, but only by invitation. Non-residents should contact the ward councillors. An invitation would normally only be extended if the meeting was scheduled to discuss the interests of the non-resident.