PRESS RELEASE: Dutch Council Representatives attend Sevenoaks Town Public Meeting

Published: 18 March 2024


Photograph: Cllr Tony Clayton, Linda Larter, Cllr Els Oliwkiewicz-Borsboom, Cllr Bas Otting, Cllr Dr Merilyn Canet, Cllr Claire Shea, Mayor, Hans Rijs, Lucia Uijterwijk, Wietse Bruinsma, Henk Verdonk, Cllr Nigel Wightman.


Sevenoaks Town Council were pleased to host Councillors and Officers from the City of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk in the Netherlands on Monday 11th March 2024 at the Sevenoaks Town Public Meeting.

The visitors attended the exhibition of voluntary groups and then the packed meeting. Presentations were provided by Sevenoaks Town Council, Tarmac on the forthcoming Quarry development and the Stag Theatre & Cinema. Grants were presented to voluntary organisations. The presentations were followed by questions from the public. The public also provided contributions for a collection for the food bank Sevenoaks Larder.

Cllr Claire Shea, Mayor of Sevenoaks said: "We were delighted to have the chance to meet with our Dutch counterparts. We had a very interesting afternoon discussing the similarities and differences in local government and exploring ways of involving citizens in local place-making. I hope that our Annual Town Meeting model is useful to them as another tool in their approach".
Els Oliwkiewicz-Borsboom, Councillor Bodegraven-Reeuwijk in the Netherlands said: "I experienced and what I definitely will take home is the Pride shown by councillors in what Sevenoaks has to offer and passing on a piece of history, this creates an honest motivation for participation such as the development of the Bat and Ball station and the Stag theatre."

Annual Public Town Meeting (Parish Meeting)

Local Government Act 1972, schedule 12.

There are approximately 10,000 town and parish councils in England. These parishes vary widely in area, population, and resources.

Every parish has a Parish Meeting consisting of its electors in the parish. Such meetings take place annually. A properly constituted parish meeting has limited powers to act on behalf of its electorate.

Hans Rijs and Linda Larter are the two Regional XI (outside of US and Canada) Board members of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC). IIMC is a professional, non-profit association that promotes continuing education, networking solutions, services, and benefits to its members worldwide. IIMC was founded in 1947 and is the leading and largest professional nonprofit association serving the needs of Municipal Clerks worldwide. With approximately 15,000 members, IIMC represents municipalities of less than 500 to more than 10 million.

Linda Larter MBE

Chief Executive / Town Clerk

18th March 2024