The Annual Village Meeting (AVM) is not a council meeting. It is a meeting of the Parish electors taking place between 1 March and 1 June. Electors can contribute to the Agenda. The meetings often celebrate local activities and debate current issues in the community.
It is an opportunity for members of the public to learn what activities the various Organisations in the village carry out during the year. It is also an opportunity to raise any issues with the Parish Council. Only parishioners who are registered on the Electoral Roll can vote on any issues. Other members of the public can attend and speak, but they cannot vote.
In Hook, the Parish Council arrange the AVM but the meeting is not a Parish Council meeting and can be organised by any resident. However, if the Parish Council Chairman is present at the meeting he/she must preside at the meeting. If the Chairman is absent then the Vice-Chair must chair the meeting. If neither are present those attending the meeting should appoint a Chairman for the evening.
The (Hook) AVM is normally held at Hook Community Centre. The evening starts with complimentary light refreshments and an exhibition at 8pm. The exhibition grows each year, with a large number of local groups and organisations display information and have members on hand to talk about what they do. Parish Councillors are on hand to chat during this period along with representatives from Hart District Council and Hampshire County Councillors, so there is a chance to raise questions with them in person.
The formal part of the evening starts between 8.30 and 8.45pm, when the Parish Council Chairman welcomes the attendees and provides a brief overview of what the Parish Council has been involved with over the previous year. There are usually 2-3 guest speakers, giving presentations about their organisation, or a particular project they have been/are working on. In the past, these have included Connect to Support Hampshire, Hook History Society, Hart District Council, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT), Odiham cottage Hospital and Whitewater Health Patient Participation Group (PPG).
https://hook.gov.uk/about-hook-parish-council/pc-committee-meetings/minutes-of-meetings/ – Select Annual Village Meeting from the dropdown menu.
The 2020 Covid legislation, allowing local government meetings to be held virtually, was not extended by the government beyond 7th May, as expected. Guidance from the local government advisory bodies was that meetings could only be held face to face. The Council did not feel there was a practical way to hold this event safely, meeting social distancing requirements for all attendees. Sadly, the decision was taken that the 2021 Hook Annual Village Meeting had to be cancelled. However, the speakers adapted their presentations and we have provided answers to questions that were sent in prior to the meeting. This can all be found here https://hook.gov.uk/2021-annual-village-meeting-avm/