Asterby and Goulceby Parish Council Standing Orders
Adopted May 2017
Last reviewed 27th May 2021
(Items in bold contain statutory requirements which cannot be amended)
Tale of Contents
- Motions on the agenda shall be considered in the order that they appear unless the order is changed at the discretion of the chairman of the meeting.
- A motion (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been moved and seconded.
- A motion on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by the chairman of the meeting as withdrawn.
- If a motion (including an amendment) has been seconded, it may be withdrawn by the proposer only with the consent of the seconder and the meeting.
- If there is more than one amendment to an original or substantive motion, the amendments shall be moved in the order directed by the chairman.
- Subject to standing order 1(g) below, only one amendment shall be moved and debated at a time, the order of which shall be directed by the chairman of the meeting.
- One or more amendments may be discussed together if the chairman of the meeting considers this expedient but each amendment shall be voted upon separately.
- A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and his decision shall be final.
- Before an original or substantive motion is put to the vote, the chairman of the meeting shall be satisfied that the motion has been sufficiently debated and that the mover of the motion under debate has exercised or waived his right of reply.
- The contributions or speeches by a councillor shall relate only to the motion under discussion and shall not exceed (5 ) minutes without the consent of the chairman of the meeting
- No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly. If this standing order is ignored, the chairman of the meeting shall request such person(s) to moderate or improve their conduct.
- If person(s) disregard the request of the chairman of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct, any councillor or the chairman of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.
- If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) above is ignored, the chairman of the meeting may take further reasonable steps to restore order or to progress the meeting. This may include temporarily suspending or closing the meeting.
- Unless the council determines otherwise, a committee may appoint a sub-committee whose terms of reference and members shall be determined by the committee.
- The members of a committee may include non-councillors unless it is a committee which regulates and controls the finances of the council.
- Unless the council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory committee and a sub-committee of the advisory committee may be non-councillors.
- The council may appoint standing committees or other committees as may be necessary, and will agree their terms of reference at the time of appointment
- In an election year, the annual meeting of the council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the new councillors elected take office.
- In a year which is not an election year, the annual meeting of a council shall be held on such day in May as the council may direct.
- If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the council shall take place at 6pm.
- In addition to the annual meeting of the council, at least three other ordinary meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times as the council directs.
- The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the council shall be the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman (if any) of the Council.
- The Chairman of the Council, unless he has resigned or becomes disqualified, shall continue in office and preside at the annual meeting until his successor is elected at the next annual meeting of the council.
- The Vice-Chairman of the Council, if any, unless he resigns or becomes disqualified, shall hold office until immediately after the election of the Chairman of the Council at the next annual meeting of the council.
- In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has not been re-elected as a member of the council, he shall preside at the meeting until a successor Chairman of the Council has been elected. The current Chairman of the Council
shall not have an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chairman of the Council but must give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
- In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has been re-elected as a member of the council, he shall preside at the meeting until a new Chairman of the Council has been elected. He may exercise an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chairman of the Council and must give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
- Following the election of the Chairman of the Council and Vice-Chairman (if any) of the Council at the annual meeting of the council, the business of the annual meeting shall include:
- In an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council and councillors of their acceptance of office forms unless the council resolves for this to be done at a later date. In a year which is not an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council of his acceptance of office form unless the council resolves for this to be done at a later date;
- Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the council;
- Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial regulations;
- Determining the time and place of ordinary meetings of the full council up to and including the next annual meeting of full council.
6.Extraordinary meetings of the council and committees and sub-committees
- The Chairman of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the council at any time.
- If the Chairman of the Council does not or refuses to call an extraordinary meeting of the council within seven days of having been requested in writing to do so by two councillors, any two councillors may convene an extraordinary meeting of the council. The public notice giving the time, place and agenda for such a meeting must be signed by the two councillors.
- Where more than two persons have been nominated for a position to be filled by the council and none of those persons has received an absolute majority of votes in their favour, the name of the person having the least number of votes shall be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken. This process shall continue until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person. A tie in votes may be settled by the casting vote exerciseable by the chairman of the meeting.
- A motion shall relate to the responsibilities of the meeting which it is tabled for and in any event shall relate to the performance of the council’s statutory functions, powers and obligations or an issue which specifically affects the council’s area or its residents.
- No motion may be moved at a meeting unless it is on the agenda.
- The decision of the Proper Officer as to whether or not to include the motion on the agenda shall be final.
- The agenda, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
- Councillors and staff shall not disclose confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
- Councillors and staff will handle all confidential and sensitive data in accordance with the General Data Protection Guidelines
- If the draft minutes of a preceding meeting have been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, they shall be taken as read.
- There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of a preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy.
- The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.
- If the chairman of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, he shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:
“The chairman of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the ( ) held on [date] in respect of ( ) were a correct record but his view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”
- Upon a resolution which confirms the accuracy of the minutes of a meeting, the draft minutes or recordings of the meeting for which approved minutes exist shall be destroyed.
- All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the council.
- Unless he has been granted a dispensation, a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he has a disclosable pecuniary interest. He may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he had the interest.
- Unless he has been granted a dispensation, a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he has another interest if so required by the council’s code of conduct. He may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he had the interest.
- Dispensation requests shall be in writing and submitted to the Proper Officer as soon as possible before the meeting, or failing that, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.
- A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by a meeting of the council, for which the dispensation is required,and that decision is final.
- A dispensation request shall confirm:
- the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;
- whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a discussion only or a discussion and a vote;
- the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding four years) for which the dispensation is sought; and
- an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.
- Dispensations requests shall be considered by the Proper Officer before the meeting or, if this is not possible, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.
- A dispensation may be granted in accordance with standing order 13(d) above if having regard to all relevant circumstances the following applies:
- without the dispensation the number of persons prohibited from participating in the particular business would be so great a proportion of the meeting transacting the business as to impede the transaction of the business or
- granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the council’s area or
- it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
- Upon notification by the District Council that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the council’s code of conduct, the council shall consider what, if any, action to take against him. Such action excludes disqualification or suspension from office.
- The Proper Officer shall be either (i) the clerk or (ii) other staff member(s) nominated by the council to undertake the work of the Proper Officer when the Proper Officer is absent.
- The Proper Officer shall:
- at least three clear days before a meeting of the council, a committee and a sub-committee serve on councillors, by delivery or post at their residences, a signed summons confirming the time, place and the agenda.
at least three clear days before a meeting of the council, a committee and a sub-committee serve on councillors a summons, by email, confirming the time, place and the agenda provided any such email contains the electronic signature and title of the Proper Officer.
- give public notice of the time, place and agenda at least three clear days before a meeting of the council or a meeting of a committee (provided that the public notice with agenda of an extraordinary meeting of the council convened by councillors is signed by them);
- convene a meeting of full council for the election of a new Chairman of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in his office;
- Receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities;
- retain acceptance of office forms from councillors;
- retain a copy of every councillor’s register of interests;
- assist with responding to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998, in accordance with and subject to the council’s policies and procedures relating to the same;
- receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;
- manage the organisation, storage of, access to and destruction of information held by the council in paper and electronic form;
- arrange for legal deeds to be executed;
- arrange or manage the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction regarding any payments to be made by the council in accordance with the council’s financial regulations;
- refer a planning application received by the council to the Chairman and all members, within two working days of receipt to facilitate an extraordinary meeting if the nature of a planning application requires consideration before the next ordinary meeting of the council. Where the proper officer has been given delegated powers, they will contact the Council members to obtain guidance as to whether any member requires a meeting within 2 days of receipt. Where no meeting is required the proper officer shall collate the comments from the members and respond on their behalf.
- manage access to information about the council via the publication scheme.
14.Responsible Financial Officer
- The council shall appoint appropriate staff member(s) to undertake the work of the Responsible Financial Officer when the Responsible Financial Officer is absent.
- “Proper practices” in standing orders refer to the most recent version of Governance and Accountability for Local Councils – a Practitioners’ Guide (England)
- All payments by the council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the council’s financial regulations.
- The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor as soon as practicable after 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year a statement to summarise:
- the council’s receipts and payments for each quarter;
- the balances held at the end of the quarter being reported for the year
- and highlights any actual or potential overspends.
- As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide:
- each councillor with a statement summarising the council’s receipts and payments for the last quarter and the year to date for information; and
- to the full council the accounting statements for the year in the form of Section 1 of the annual return, as required by proper practices, for consideration and approval.
- The year end accounting statements shall be prepared in accordance with proper practices and applying the form of accounts determined by the council (receipts and payments, or income and expenditure) for a year to 31 March. The annual return of the council, which is subject to external audit, including the annual governance statement, shall be presented to council for consideration and formal approval before 30 June.
- The council shall consider and approve financial regulations drawn up by the Responsible Financial Officer, which shall include detailed arrangements in respect of the following:
- the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;
- the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the council;
- the work of the independent internal auditor in accordance with proper practices and the receipt of regular reports from the internal auditor, which shall be required at least annually;
- the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the council’s accounts and/or orders of payments; and
- procurement policies (subject to standing order 18(c) below) including the setting of values for different procedures where a contract has an estimated value of less than [£60,000].
- Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.
- Financial regulations shall confirm that a proposed contract for the supply of goods, materials, services and the execution of works with an estimated value in excess of [£60,000] shall be procured on the basis of a formal tender as summarised in standing order 15(d) below.
- Subject to additional requirements in the financial regulations of the council, the tender process for contracts for the supply of goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall include, as a minimum, the following steps:
- a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall be drawn up;
- an invitation to tender shall be drawn up to confirm (i) the council’s specification (ii) the time, date and address for the submission of tenders (iii) the date of the council’s written response to the tender and (iv) the prohibition on prospective contractors contacting councillors or staff to encourage or support their tender outside the prescribed process;
- tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope addressed to the Proper Officer;
- tenders shall be opened by the Proper Officer in the presence of at least one councillor after the deadline for submission of tenders has passed;
- tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting of the council or a committee or sub-committee with delegated responsibility.
- Neither the council, nor a committee or a sub-committee with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.
- Where the value of a contract is likely to exceed £138,893 (or other threshold specified by the Office of Government Commerce from time to time) the council must consider whether the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI No. 5, as amended) and the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI No. 6, as amended) apply to the contract and, if either of those Regulations apply, the council must comply with EU procurement rules.
- Requests for information held by the council shall be handled in accordance with the council’s policy in respect of handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
- Correspondence from, and notices served by, the Information Commissioner shall be referred by the Proper Officer to the chairman. The said committee shall have the power to do anything to facilitate compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
See also standing orders 15(b)(xii) and (xvii) above.
- A legal deed shall not be executed on behalf of the council unless authorised by a resolution.
- Any two councillors may sign, on behalf of the council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures.
- An invitation to attend a meeting of the council shall be sent, together with the agenda, to the ward councillor(s) of the District and County Council representing the area of the council.
- All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory requirements, may be suspended by resolution in relation to the consideration of an item on the agenda for a meeting.
- A motion to add to or vary or revoke one or more of the council’s standing orders, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory requirements, shall be proposed by a special motion, the written notice by at least ( 2 ) councillors to be given to the Proper Officer.
- The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the council’s standing orders to a councillor as soon as possible after he has delivered his acceptance of office form.
- The decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.
21.Delegated powers of the Clerk for planning responses
There may be occasions where the Council choose not to use their full Council meeting, or there is insufficient time in between meetings, to respond to planning applications. In these situations the Council may use the delegated powers of the Clerk to collate responses from Council members, who do not have a prejudicial interest, and respond on their behalf. For the avoidance of any doubt with the electorate or planning authority, any comments submitted should make it clear that the submitted comments are a consensus of opinion rather than the result of a Council resolution.
This does not preclude the Councillors responding to planning as individual members of the public.