LITTLE CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL STANDING ORDERS

Adopted May 2023

 

© NALC 2022. All rights are reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or used for commercial purposes without the written permission of NALC save those councils in membership of NALC have permission to edit and use the model standing orders in this publication for their governance purposes.

Introduction. 3

Rules of debate at meetings. 4

Disorderly conduct at meetings. 6

Meetings generally. 6

Committees and sub-committees. 9

Ordinary council meetings. 10

Extraordinary meetings of the council, committees and sub-committees. 12

Previous resolutions. 12

Voting on appointments. 13

Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the proper officer 13

Motions at a meeting that do not require written notice. 14

Management of information. 14

Draft minutes. 15

Code of conduct and dispensations. 16

Code of conduct complaints. 17

Proper officer 18

Responsible financial officer 19

Accounts and accounting statements. 19

Financial controls and procurement 20

Handling staff matters. 22

Responsibilities to provide information. 22

Responsibilities under data protection legislation. 23

Relations with the press/media. 23

Execution and sealing of legal deeds. 24

Communicating with district and county or unitary councillors. 24

Restrictions on councillor activities. 24

Standing orders generally. 25

 


INTRODUCTION

This is version two of Model Standing Orders 2018 (England) updated on April 2022. Update to Model Standing Order 18 only.

How to use model standing orders

Standing orders are the written rules of a local council. Standing orders are essential to regulate the proceedings of a meeting. A council may also use standing orders to confirm or refer to various internal organisational and administrative arrangements. The standing orders of a council are not the same as the policies of a council but standing orders may refer to them.

Local councils operate within a wide statutory framework. NALC model standing orders incorporate and reference many statutory requirements to which councils are subject. It is not possible for the model standing orders to contain or reference all the statutory or legal requirements which apply to local councils. For example, it is not practical for model standing orders to document all obligations under data protection legislation. The statutory requirements to which a council is subject apply whether or not they are incorporated in a councilís standing orders.

The model standing orders do not include model financial regulations. Financial regulations are standing orders to regulate and control the financial affairs and accounting procedures of a local council. The financial regulations, as opposed to the standing orders of a council, include most of the requirements relevant to the councilís Responsible Financial Officer. Model financial regulations are available to councils in membership of NALC.

Drafting notes

Model standing orders that are in bold type contain legal and statutory requirements. It is recommended that councils adopt them without changing them or their meaning. Model standing orders not in bold are designed to help councils operate effectively but they do not contain statutory requirements so they may be adopted as drafted or amended to suit a councilís needs. It is NALCís view that all model standing orders will generally be suitable for councils.

For convenience, the word ďcouncillorĒ is used in model standing orders and, unless the context suggests otherwise, includes a non-councillor with or without voting rights.

A model standing order that includes brackets like this Ď(†† )í requires information to be inserted by a council. A model standing order that includes brackets like this Ď[† ]í and the term ĎORí provides alternative options for a council to choose from when determining standing orders.

 

 

 

1.              RULES OF DEBATE AT MEETINGS

a          Motions on the agenda shall be considered in the order that they appear unless the order is changed at the discretion of the chair of the meeting.

b          A motion (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been moved and seconded.

c           A motion on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by the chair of the meeting as withdrawn.

d          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.

e          An amendment is a proposal to remove or add words to a motion. It shall not negate the motion.

f            If an amendment to the original motion is carried, the original motion (as amended) becomes the substantive motion upon which further amendment(s) may be moved.

g          An amendment shall not be considered unless early verbal notice of it is given at the meeting and, if requested by the chair of the meeting, is expressed in writing to the chair.

h          A councillor may move an amendment to his/her/their own motion if agreed by the meeting. If a motion has already been seconded, the amendment shall be with the consent of the seconder and the meeting.

i            If there is more than one amendment to an original or substantive motion, the amendments shall be moved in the order directed by the chair of the meeting.

j            Subject to standing order 1(k), only one amendment shall be moved and debated at a time, the order of which shall be directed by the chair of the meeting.

k           One or more amendments may be discussed together if the chair of the meeting considers this expedient but each amendment shall be voted upon separately.

l            A councillor may not move more than one amendment to an original or substantive motion.

m         The mover of an amendment has no right of reply at the end of debate on it.

n          Where a series of amendments to an original motion are carried, the mover of the original motion shall have a right of reply either at the end of debate on the first amendment or at the very end of debate on the final substantive motion immediately before it is put to the vote.

o          During the debate on a motion, a councillor may interrupt only on a point of order or a personal explanation and the councillor who was interrupted shall stop speaking. A councillor raising a point of order shall identify the standing order which he/she/they considers has been breached or specify the other irregularity in the proceedings of the meeting he/she/they is concerned by.

p          A point of order shall be decided by the chair of the meeting and his/her/their decision shall be final.

q          When a motion is under debate, no other motion shall be moved except:

i.           to amend the motion;

ii.         to proceed to the next business;

iii.        to adjourn the debate;

iv.        to put the motion to a vote;

v.         to ask a person to be no longer heard or to leave the meeting;

vi.        to exclude the public and press;

vii.       to adjourn the meeting; or

viii.      to suspend particular standing order(s) excepting those which reflect mandatory statutory or legal requirements.

s           Before an original or substantive motion is put to the vote, the chair 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/her/their right of reply.

2.              DISORDERLY CONDUCT AT MEETINGS

a          No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly. If this standing order is ignored, the chair of the meeting shall request such person(s) to moderate or improve their conduct.

b          If person(s) disregard the request of the chair of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct, any councillor or the chair of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or be excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.

c           If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) is ignored, the chair 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.

3.              MEETINGS GENERALLY

Full Council meetings††††††††††††††††

 

 

a          Meetings of the Council shall be held at Litton and Thornerís Community Hall at 7.30 unless the Council notifies otherwise. Smoking is not permitted at any meeting of the Council

b          Meetings shall not take place in premises which at the time of the meeting are used for the supply of alcohol, unless no other premises are available free of charge or at a reasonable cost.

 

 

c           The minimum three clear days for notice of a meeting does not include the day on which notice was issued, the day of the meeting, a Sunday, a day of the Christmas break, a day of the Easter break or of a bank holiday or a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

 

d          The minimum three clear daysí public notice for a meeting does not include the day on which the notice was issued or the day of the meeting unless the meeting is convened at shorter notice

 

 

e          Meetings shall be open to the public unless their presence is prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons. The publicís exclusion from part or all of a meeting shall be by a resolution which shall give reasons for the publicís exclusion.

 

f            Members of the public may make representations, answer questions and give evidence at a meeting which they are entitled to attend in respect of the business on the agenda during Democratic Time.

 

g          The period of time designated for public participation at a meeting in accordance with standing order 3(e) shall not exceed 15 minutes unless directed by the chair of the meeting.

 

h          Subject to standing order 3(f), a member of the public shall not speak for more than 3 minutes.

 

i            In accordance with standing order 3(e), a question shall not require a response at the meeting nor start a debate on the question. The chair of the meeting may direct that a written or oral response be given.

 

j            A person shall raise his/her/their hand when requesting to speak and stand when speaking (except when a person has a disability or is likely to suffer discomfort). The chair of the meeting may at any time permit a person to be seated when speaking.

 

k           A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct his/her/their comments to the chair of the meeting.

 

l            Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. If more than one person wants to speak, the chair of the meeting shall direct the order of speaking.

 

 

m         Subject to standing order 3(n), a person who attends a meeting is permitted to report on the meeting whilst the meeting is open to the public. To ďreportĒ means to film, photograph, make an audio recording of meeting proceedings, use any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear the meeting as it takes place or later or to report or to provide oral or written commentary about the meeting so that the report or commentary is available as the meeting takes place or later to persons not present.

 

 

n          A person present at a meeting may not provide an oral report or oral commentary about a meeting as it takes place without permission.†

 

 

o          The press shall be provided with reasonable facilities for the taking of their report of all or part of a meeting at which they are entitled to be present.

 

p          Subject to standing orders which indicate otherwise, anything authorised or required to be done by, to or before the Chair of the Council may in his/her/their absence be done by, to or before the Vice-Chair of the Council (if there is one).

 

q          The Chair of the Council, if present, shall preside at a meeting. If the Chair is absent from a meeting, the Vice-Chair of the Council (if there is one) if present, shall preside. If both the Chair and the Vice-Chair are absent from a meeting, a councillor as chosen by the councillors present at the meeting shall preside at the meeting.

 

 

r           Subject to a meeting being quorate, all questions at a meeting shall be decided by a majority of the councillors and non-councillors with voting rights present and voting.†††††

 

s           The chair of a meeting may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote, and in the case of an equality of votes may exercise his/her/their casting vote whether or not he/she/they gave an original vote.

See standing orders 5(h) and (i) for the different rules that apply in the election of the Chair of the Council at the annual meeting of the Council.

 

t            Unless standing orders provide otherwise, voting on a question shall be by a show of hands. At the request of a councillor, the voting on any question shall be recorded so as to show whether each councillor present and voting gave his/her/their vote for or against that question. Such a request shall be made before moving on to the next item of business on the agenda.

 

u          The minutes of a meeting shall include an accurate record of the following:

i.           the time and place of the meeting;

ii.         the names of councillors who are present and the names of councillors who are absent;

iii.        interests that have been declared by councillors and non-councillors with voting rights;

iv.        the grant of dispensations (if any) to councillors and non-councillors with voting rights;

v.         whether a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights left the meeting when matters that they held interests in were being considered;

vi.        if there was a public participation session; and

vii.       the resolutions made.

 

 

 

v           A councillor or a non-councillor with voting rights who has a disclosable pecuniary interest or another interest as set out in the Councilís code of conduct in a matter being considered at a meeting is subject to statutory limitations or restrictions under the code on his/her/their right to participate and vote on that matter.

 

 

 

w         No business may be transacted at a meeting unless at least one-third of the whole number of members of the Council are present and in no case shall the quorum of a meeting be less than three.

See standing order 4d(viii)† for the quorum of a committee or sub-committee meeting.

 

 

x           If a meeting is or becomes inquorate no business shall be transacted and the meeting shall be closed. The business on the agenda for the meeting shall be adjourned to another meeting.

 

y           A meeting shall not exceed a period of 2 hours.

 

4.              ADVISORY COMMITTEES

 

a          The Council may appoint Advisory committees

b          The Council shall determine the terms of reference

c          The members of an advisory committee may include non-councillors. Unless the Council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory committee may be non-councillors.

d          Advisory committees may make representations and give notice thereof to the Council.

e          Advisory Committees may not make decisions on behalf of the Parish Council

5.        ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

a          In an election year, the annual meeting of the Council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take office.

b          In a year which is not an election year, the annual meeting of the Council shall be held on such day in May as the Council decides.

c           If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the Council shall take place at 7.30pm.

d          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 decides.

e          The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the Council shall be the election of the Chair and Vice-Chair (if there is one) of the Council.

f            The Chair of the Council, unless he/she/they has resigned or becomes disqualified, shall continue in office and preside at the annual meeting until his/her/their successor is elected at the next annual meeting of the Council.

g          The Vice-Chair of the Council, if there is one, unless he/she/they resigns or becomes disqualified, shall hold office until immediately after the election of the Chair of the Council at the next annual meeting of the Council.

h          In an election year, if the current Chair of the Council has not been re-elected as a member of the Council, he/she/they shall preside at the annual meeting until a successor Chair of the Council has been elected. The current Chair of the Council shall not have an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chair of the Council but shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.

i            In an election year, if the current Chair of the Council has been re-elected as a member of the Council, he/she/they shall preside at the annual meeting until a new Chair of the Council has been elected. He/she/they may exercise an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chair of the Council and shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.

j            Following the election of the Chair of the Council and Vice-Chair (if there is one) of the Council at the annual meeting, the business shall include:

i.          In an election year, delivery by the Chair 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 Chair of the Council of his/her/their acceptance of office form unless the Council resolves for this to be done at a later date;

ii.         Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the Council;

iii.        Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial regulations;

iv.        Review of inventory of land and other assets including buildings and office equipment;

v.         Confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insurable risks;

vi.        Review of the Councilís policies, procedures and practices in respect of its obligations under freedom of information and data protection legislation (see also standing orders 11, 20 and 21);

vii.      Review of the Councilís expenditure incurred under s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972 or the general power of competence.

6.              EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL, COMMITTEES AND SUB-COMMITTEES

a          The Chair of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council at any time.

b          If the Chair of the Council does not 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 shall be signed by the two councillors.

7.        PREVIOUS RESOLUTION

a          A resolution shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special motion, which requires written notice by at least 2 councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9.

b          When a motion moved pursuant to standing order 7(a) has been disposed of, no similar motion may be moved for a further six months.

8.        VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS

a          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 exercisable by the chair of the meeting.

9.              MOTIONS FOR A MEETING THAT REQUIRE WRITTEN NOTICE TO BE GIVEN TO THE PROPER OFFICER

a          A motion shall relate to the responsibilities of the meeting for which it is tabled and in any event shall relate to the performance of the Councilís statutory functions, powers and obligations or an issue which specifically affects the Councilís area or its residents.

b          No motion may be moved at a meeting unless it is on the agenda and the mover has given written notice of its wording to the Proper Officer at least 7 clear days before the meeting. Clear days do not include the day of the notice or the day of the meeting.

c           The Proper Officer may, before including a motion on the agenda received in accordance with standing order 9(b), correct obvious grammatical or typographical errors in the wording of the motion.

d          If the Proper Officer considers the wording of a motion received in accordance with standing order 9(b) is not clear in meaning, the motion shall be rejected until the mover of the motion resubmits it, so that it can be understood, in writing, to the Proper Officer at least 5 clear days before the meeting.

e          If the wording or subject of a proposed motion is considered improper, the Proper Officer shall consult with the chair of the forthcoming meeting or, as the case may be, the councillors who have convened the meeting, to consider whether the motion shall be included in the agenda or rejected.

f            The decision of the Proper Officer as to whether or not to include the motion on the agenda shall be final.

g          Motions received shall be recorded and numbered in the order that they are received.

h          Motions rejected shall be recorded with an explanation by the Proper Officer of the reason for rejection.

 

10.           MOTIONS AT A MEETING THAT DO NOT REQUIRE WRITTEN NOTICE

a          The following motions may be moved at a meeting without written notice to the Proper Officer:

i.           to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes of a meeting;

ii.         to move to a vote;

iii.        to defer consideration of a motion;

iv.        to appoint a person to preside at a meeting;

v.         to change the order of business on the agenda;

vi.        to proceed to the next business on the agenda;

vii.       to require a written report;

viii.      to appoint a †advisory committee and its members;

ix.        to extend the time limits for speaking;

x.         to exclude the press and public from a meeting in respect of confidential or other information which is prejudicial to the public interest;

xi.        to not hear further from a councillor or a member of the public;

xii.       to exclude a councillor or member of the public for disorderly conduct;

xiii.      to temporarily suspend the meeting;

xiv.      to suspend a particular standing order (unless it reflects mandatory statutory or legal requirements);

xv.       to adjourn the meeting; or

xvi.      to close the meeting.

11.           MANAGEMENT OF INFORMATION


See also standing order 20.

a          The Council shall have in place and keep under review, technical and organisational measures to keep secure information (including personal data) which it holds in paper and electronic form. Such arrangements shall include deciding who has access to personal data and encryption of personal data.

b          The Council shall have in place, and keep under review, policies for the retention and safe destruction of all information (including personal data) which it holds in paper and electronic form. The Councilís retention policy shall confirm the period for which information (including personal data) shall be retained or if this is not possible the criteria used to determine that period (e.g. the Limitation Act 1980).

c           The agenda, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential information or personal data without legal justification.

d          Councillors, staff, the Councilís contractors and agents shall not disclose confidential information or personal data without legal justification.

12.           DRAFT MINUTES

Full Council meetings

 

 

a          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.

 

b          There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of a preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy. A motion to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes shall be moved in accordance with standing order 10(a)(i).

 

c           The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chair of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.

 

d          If the chair of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, he/she/they shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:

ďThe chair of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on [date] in respect of (matter) were a correct record but his/her/their view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.Ē

 

 

e          If the Councilís gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is higher) does not exceed £25,000, it shall publish draft minutes on a website which is publicly accessible and free of charge not later than one month after the meeting has taken place.

 

f            Subject to the publication of draft minutes in accordance with standing order 12(e) and standing order 20(a) and following 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.

 

13.           CODE OF CONDUCT AND DISPENSATIONS

See also standing order 3(u).

a          All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the Council.

b          Unless he/she/they 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/she/they has a disclosable pecuniary interest. He/she/they may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he/she/they had the interest.

c           Unless he/she/they 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/she/they has another interest if so required by the Councilís code of conduct. He/she/they may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he/she/they had the interest.

d          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.

e          A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by a meeting of the Council, or committee or sub-committee for which the dispensation is required and that decision is final.

f            A dispensation request shall confirm:

i.           the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;

ii.         whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a discussion only or a discussion and a vote;

iii.        the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding four years) for which the dispensation is sought; and

iv.        an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.

g          Subject to standing orders 13(d) and (f), a dispensation request shall be considered at the beginning of the meeting of the Council, or committee or sub-committee for which the dispensation is required.

h          A dispensation may be granted in accordance with standing order 13(e) if having regard to all relevant circumstances any of the following apply:

i.          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;

ii.         granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the Councilís area; or

iii.        it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.

14.           CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINTS

a          Upon notification by the District or Unitary Council that it is dealing with a complaint that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the Councilís code of conduct, the Proper Officer shall, subject to standing order 11, report this to the Council.

b          Where the notification in standing order 14(a) relates to a complaint made by the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Chair of Council of this fact, and the Chair shall nominate another staff member to assume the duties of the Proper Officer in relation to the complaint until it has been determined and the Council has agreed what action, if any, to take in accordance with standing order 14(d).

c           The Council may:

i.           provide information or evidence where such disclosure is necessary to investigate the complaint or is a legal requirement;

ii.         seek information relevant to the complaint from the person or body with statutory responsibility for investigation of the matter;

d          Upon notification by the District or Unitary Council that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the Councilís code of conduct, the Council shall consider what, if any, action to take against him. Such action excludes disqualification or suspension from office.

 


 

15.           PROPER OFFICER

a          The Proper Officer shall be the

b          The Proper Officer shall:

i.           at least three clear days before a meeting of the council, a committee or a sub-committee,

         serve on councillors by delivery or post at their residences or by email authenticated in such manner as the Proper Officer thinks fit, a signed summons confirming the time, place and the agenda (provided the councillor has consented to service by email), and

         Provide, in a conspicuous place, public notice of the time, place and agenda (provided that the public notice with agenda of an extraordinary meeting of the Council convened by councillors is signed by them).

See standing order 3(b) for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a full council and standing order 3(c) for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a committee;

ii.         subject to standing order 9, include on the agenda all motions in the order received unless a councillor has given written notice at least 7 days before the meeting confirming his/her/their withdrawal of it;

iii.        convene a meeting of the Council for the election of a new Chair of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in his/her/their office;

iv.        facilitate inspection of the minute book by local government electors;

v.         receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities;

vi.        hold acceptance of office forms from councillors;

vii.       provide website links to councillorís register of interests;

viii.      assist with responding to requests made under freedom of information legislation and rights exercisable under data protection legislation, in accordance with the Councilís relevant policies and procedures;

ix.        receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;

x.         assist in the organisation of, storage of, access to, security of and destruction of information held by the Council in paper and electronic form subject to the requirements of data protection and freedom of information legislation and other legitimate requirements (e.g. the Limitation Act 1980);

xi.        arrange for legal deeds to be executed;

(see also standing order 23);

xii.       arrange or manage the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction regarding any payments to be made by the Council in accordance with its financial regulations;

xiii.      record every planning application notified to the Council and the Councilís response to the local planning authority in a book for such purpose;

xiv.      refer a planning application received by the Council to the Chair or in his/her/their absence the Vice-Chair (if there is one) of the Council] 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;

xv.       where an application is considered routine and non-contentious, the Chair or, in his/her/their absence, the Vice-Chair (if there is one), may ask the Clerk to collate and submit a response on behalf of the Parish Council under delegated powers.

xvi.      manage access to information about the Council via the publication scheme; and

16.           ACCOUNTS AND ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS

a          ďProper practicesĒ in standing orders refer to the most recent version of ďGovernance and Accountability for Local Councils Ė a Practitionersí GuideĒ.

b          All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the Councilís financial regulations.

c           The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor at every meeting a statement to summarise:

i.           the Councilís receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for each quarter;

ii.         the Councilís aggregate receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for the year to date;

iii.        the balances held at the end of the quarter being reported and

which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.

d          As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide:

i.           each councillor with a statement summarising the Councilís receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for the last quarter and the year to date for information; and

ii.         to the Council the accounting statements for the year in the form of Section 2 of the annual governance and accountability return, as required by proper practices, for consideration and approval.

e          The year-end accounting statements shall be prepared in accordance with proper practices and apply the form of accounts determined by the Council (receipts and payments, or income and expenditure) for the year to 31 March. A completed draft annual governance and accountability return shall be presented to all councillors at least 14 days prior to anticipated approval by the Council. The annual governance and accountability return of the Council, which is subject to external audit, including the annual governance statement, shall be presented to the Council for consideration and formal approval before 30 June.

17.           FINANCIAL CONTROLS AND PROCUREMENT

a.         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:

i.           the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;

ii.         the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the Council;

iii.        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;

iv.        the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the Councilís accounts and/or orders of payments; and

v.         whether contracts with an estimated value below £25,000 due to special circumstances are exempt from a tendering process or procurement exercise.

b.         Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.

c.         A public contract regulated by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 with an estimated value in excess of £25,000 but less than the relevant thresholds referred to in standing order 18(f) is subject to the ďlight touchĒ arrangements under Regulations 109-114 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 unless it proposes to use an existing list of approved suppliers (framework agreement).

d.         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:

i.           a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall be drawn up;

ii.         an invitation to tender shall be drawn up to confirm (i) the Councilís specification (ii) the time, date and address for the submission of tenders (iii) the date of the Councilís 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;

iii.        the invitation to tender shall be advertised in a local newspaper and in any other manner that is appropriate;

iv.        tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope addressed to the Proper Officer;

v.         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;

vi.        tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting of the Council or a committee or sub-committee with delegated responsibility.

e.         The Council is not bound to accept the lowest value tender.

 

f.      Where the value of a contract is likely to exceed the threshold specified by the Office of Government Commerce from time to time, the Council must consider whether the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 or the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 apply to the contract and, if either of those Regulations apply, the Council must comply with procurement rules. NALCís procurement guidance contains further details.

 

18.           HANDLING STAFF MATTERS

a          A matter personal to a member of staff that is being considered by a meeting of Council is subject to standing order 11.

b          Subject to the Councilís policy regarding absences from work, the Clerk shall notify the Chair of if he/she/ is not available.

c           The Chair shall upon a resolution conduct a review of the performance and annual appraisal of the work of the Clerk.RFO.

d          Any persons responsible for all or part of the management of staff shall treat as confidential the written records of all meetings relating to their performance, capabilities, grievance or disciplinary matters.

19.           RESPONSIBILITIES TO PROVIDE INFORMATION

See also standing order 21.

a          In accordance with freedom of information legislation, the Council shall publish information in accordance with its publication scheme and respond to requests for information held by the Council. †

b.         The Council shall publish information in accordance with the requirements of the Smaller Authorities (Transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2015.

20.           RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER DATA PROTECTION LEGISLATION


See also standing order 11.

a          The Council may appoint a Data Protection Officer.

b          The Council shall have policies and procedures in place to respond to an individual exercising statutory rights concerning his/her/their personal data.

c           The Council shall have a written policy in place for responding to and managing a personal data breach.

d          The Council shall keep a record of all personal data breaches comprising the facts relating to the personal data breach, its effects and the remedial action taken.

e          The Council shall ensure that information communicated in its privacy notice(s) is in an easily accessible and available form and kept up to date.

f            The Council shall maintain a written record of its processing activities.

21.           EXECUTION AND SEALING OF LEGAL DEEDS

See also standing orders 15(b)(xii) and (xvii).

 

a          A legal deed shall not be executed on behalf of the Council unless authorised by a resolution.

b          Subject to standing order 23(a), any two councillors may sign, on behalf of the Council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures.

22.           COMMUNICATING WITH DISTRICT AND COUNTY OR UNITARY COUNCILLORS

a          An invitation to attend a meeting of the Council shall be sent, together with the agenda, to the ward councillor(s) of the Unitary Council representing the area of the Council.

b          Unless the Council determines otherwise, a copy of each letter sent to the District and County Council OR Unitary Council shall be sent to the ward councillor(s) representing the area of the Council.

23.           RESTRICTIONS ON COUNCILLOR ACTIVITIES

a.         Unless duly authorised no councillor shall:

i.           inspect any land and/or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect; or

ii.         issue orders, instructions or directions.

24.           STANDING ORDERS GENERALLY

a          All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory or legal requirements, may be suspended by resolution in relation to the consideration of an item on the agenda for a meeting.

b          A motion to add to or vary or revoke one or more of the Councilís standing orders, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory or legal requirements, shall be proposed by a special motion, the written notice by at least 3 councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9.

c           The decision of the chair of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.

25.       DELEGATION OF POWER AND EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES

a.†††††††† The Parish Council recognises that urgent decisions may arise between scheduled meetings and† have therefore defined this policy to ensure the Parish Council is managed effectively.†

b.†††††††† Under the Councilís Financial Regulations, the Clerk has delegated authority to authorise emergency expenditure up to £250, and up to £500 with agreement of Chairman, regardless of whether there is budgetary provision.††

c.†††††††† Notwithstanding (a), in the event of extraordinary circumstances that

           could not be foreseen at previous meeting

           are time sensitive and where

           a meeting cannot be scheduled within a reasonable time

The Clerk† has delegated responsibility to made decisions that fall outside the general† or specific authority delegated to the Clerk and cannot reasonably be deferred. The delegation does not extend to matters expressly reserved to the Council in legislation of Financial Regulations

d.†††††††† This will be carried out, where possible, by consultation with the Chairman and two other councillors by electronic means or telephone. The Chairman, may instead decide to call an extraordinary meeting.†

e.†††††††† In any event, the Clerk shall report such action to the Chairman as soon as possible and to the Council as soon as practicable thereafter.† Any decisions made under this delegation must be recorded in writing and published in accordance with relevant regulations.†

f.††††††††† Any decision taken must be reported to PC at next available meeting and the decision formally ratified

g.†††††††† The above points (b-e) will apply to any Councillor nominated by the Chairman or Vice Chairman should the Clerk for any reason be unable to exercise these delegated powers.