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Standing Orders

Parish Council Documents Uploaded on June 30, 2021

OFFLEY PARISH COUNCIL

 

STANDING ORDERS

 

 

  1. The Statutory Annual Meeting

 

  1. a) In an election year, the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take office.

 

  1. b) In a year that is not an election year, the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on such day in May as the Council may decide.

 

  1. Meetings

 

  1. a) Meetings of the Council shall be held in each year on such dates and at such time as the Council may decide. In addition to the Statutory Annual Parish Council Meeting, at least three other statutory meetings shall be held.

 

  1. b) The settings of these dates will be decided at November’s meeting and notified to all relevant parties.

 

  1. Notice of Meetings

 

  1. a) At least three clear days (not including the days of issue and meeting) before a meeting of the Council must be affixed on the notice boards in the parish.

 

  1. b) The notice of meeting must include the business to be discussed so that members of the press and public can participate.

 

  1. Powers and Duties of the Chairman

 

The person presiding at a meeting may exercise all the powers and duties of the Chairman in relation to the conduct of the meeting.

 

  1. Proper Officer

 

  1. a) The Clerk of the Council is the Proper Officer and Responsible Financial Officer. Other duties and responsibilities of the Clerk are as laid down in the Conditions of Service Contract and Job Description.

 

  1. b) Notwithstanding those duties and responsibilities, it shall be the duty of the Clerk to advise Members on the content and interpretation of these Standing Orders.

 

  1. Quorum

 

  1. a) Three Members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. If a quorum is not present when the Council meets or if during a meeting the number of Members, for whatever reason, falls below the quorum, the business not transacted at that meeting shall be transacted at the next meeting or on such other day as the Chairman may decide.

 

  1. b) A quorum relating to a committee, except where ordered by the Council, shall be one-half of its members.

 

  1. Voting

 

  1. a) Members shall vote by show of hands unless the meeting decides otherwise.

 

  1. b) If a member so requires, the Clerk shall record the names of the members who voted on any question and how they voted. Such a request shall be made before moving onto the next business.

 

  1. c) The Chairman may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote and, in the case of equality of votes, may give a casting vote, whether or not an original vote was given.

 

  1. Order of Business

 

The order of business shall be stated on an agenda paper, which shall be delivered to each Member at least three clear days prior to the date of the meeting along with the summons convening the meeting.

 

  1. a) At a meeting of the Council, the order of business, unless the Council otherwise decides on the grounds of urgency, shall be as follows:

 

  • To receive apologies for absence.
  • To receive declarations of interest.
  • To consider the Minutes and after consideration to approve the signature of the Minutes by the person presiding as a correct record.
  • To receive matters arising not already on the agenda.
  • To receive the Chairs Report and Urgent Items.
  • To receive questions from the general public and press.
  • To receive reports from Hertfordshire County Council
  • To receive reports from North Herts District Council.
  • To receive issues to be brought to the attention of Hertfordshire Highways and other agencies.
  • To receive planning applications sent to the Council for their approval.
  • To receive the Clerk’s report.
  • To receive information on the finance of the Council and to sign cheques for invoices presented to the Council.
  • To receive other matters relating to the statutory powers of the Council.

 

  1. b) At the Annual Parish Council Meeting in May, the first business will be:-

 

  • To elect a Chairman of the Council
  • To receive the Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office.
  • To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Council.
  • To appoint representatives to outside bodies.
  • To appoint committees and councillors with specific areas of responsibility.

 

Thereafter, it will follow the order set out in Standing Order 8 a).

 

 

  1. Resolutions Moved on Notice

 

  1. a) Except as provided by these Standing Orders, no resolution may be moved unless the business to which it relates has been included on the Agenda.

 

  1. b) Every resolution, amendment or recommendation shall be relevant to some subject over which the Council has the power or which affects its area.

 

  1. Resolutions Moved Without Notice

 

Resolutions on procedural matters may be moved without notice including those to vary the order of business on grounds of urgency or procedural efficiency. Such resolutions shall be put to the vote without discussion.

 

  1. Admission of the Press and Public to Meetings

 

  1. a) Members of the public may petition, question or make observations at meetings of the Parish Council subject to the following provisions.

 

  1. b) A question must address a specific agenda item or be relevant to the activities, functions, powers or duties of the Council and in any case must be relevant to the meeting;

 

  1. c) The asking of a question shall last for no more than three minutes;

 

  1. d) A Resident shall be allowed to speak on one occasion only at any meeting; or more at the discretion of the Chairman.

 

  1. e) The total time allocated to public questions at any one meeting shall not exceed 15 minutes; at the discretion of the Chairman.

 

  1. f) If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings at any meeting, the Chairman may, after warning, order that he be removed from the meeting and may adjourn the meeting for such period as is necessary to restore order.

 

  1. g) The public and press shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council and it committees, which may, however, temporarily exclude the public by means of the following resolution:

 

That is view of the (special/confidential) nature of the business about to be transacted, it is advisable that in the public interest that the press and public be temporarily excluded and they are instructed to withdraw.”

 

The Council shall state the special reason for exclusion.

 

  1. Rules of Debate

 

  1. a) All remarks shall be addressed to the Chairman.

 

  1. b) No discussion shall take place on the minutes of previous meetings except upon their accuracy. Corrections to the minutes shall be made by resolution and must be initialled by the Chairman.

 

  1. c) A Member shall, except as provided by these Standing Orders, only be entitled to speak once on any motion or amendment.

 

  1. d) A Member shall direct comments to the question under discussion or to a personal explanation or to a point of order.

 

  1. e) No speech by a mover of a resolution shall exceed three minutes and no other speech shall exceed two minutes except by consent of the Council.

 

  1. f) The mover of a resolution shall have the right of reply not exceeding one minute.

 

  1. g) The ruling of the Chairman on a point of order or on the admissibility of an item shall not be discussed.

 

  1. h) A representative of the local Constabulary shall be allowed to speak at Council meetings at the discretion of the Chairman.

 

  1. i) Whenever the Chairman speaks during a debate all other Members shall be seated and silent.

 

  1. Closure

 

A motion of closure of a debate may be moved at any time but must be proposed and seconded without comment. The Chairman may refuse such motion if he feels that the question before the Council has not been sufficiently debated.

 

  1. Rescission of Previous Resolutions

 

A decision of the Council (whether affirmative or negative) shall not be reversed within six months except by a special resolution, the written notice of which bears the names of at least three Members of the Council. When such a resolution has been disposed of, no similar resolution may be moved within a further six months.

 

  1. Interests

 

  1. a) If a member has a personal interest as defined in the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council on 15th June 2012 then he shall declare such interest as soon as it becomes apparent, disclosing the existence and nature of that interest as required.

 

  1. b) If a member who has declared a personal interest then considers the interest to be prejudicial, he must withdraw from the room or chamber during consideration of the item to which the interest relates.

 

  1. c) The Clerk is required to compile and hold a register of member’s interests accordance with the agreement reached by the Monitoring Officer of the Responsible Authority and/or as required by statute.

 

  1. Confidential Business

 

No Member of the Council shall disclose to any person, not being a Member of the Council, any business declared to be confidential by the Council.

 

  1. County and District Councillors

 

County and District Councillors who are not also Parish Councillors shall be invited to attend meetings and shall be sent copies of agendas, minutes and other relevant documentation. They may be allowed to speak at the discretion of the Chairman.

 

  1. Length of Meetings

 

Except at the discretion of the Chairman, all meetings of the Council shall finish not later than two hours after commencement. Any business not transacted shall be carried over to the next meeting or such other date as the Chairman may decide.

 

  1. Sub Committees

 

A sub committee of the Council may be formed by a resolution of the Council to review and present its’ recommendations to the Council on a specific subject.  The Council will select the Chairman and members of any sub committee.  Such sub committee will be entitled to apply these same standing order rules to its’ own operation.  Terms of reference will be set out by the Clerk and Chair of the sub committee before its’ first meeting.

 

  1. Suspension of Standing Orders

 

These Standing Orders may be suspended at any time and for any period of time by resolution.

 

  1. Financial Regulations

 

These Standing Orders should be read in conjunction with the Financial Regulations of the Council.

 

  1. Complaints

 

Any complaints received by the Council are to be dealt with using the Council’s complaints procedure.

 

  1. Review of Standing Orders

 

The council will review these Standing Orders 12 months from the date of ratification or at such time as new guidelines are issued by NALC.

 

  1. Standing Orders to be Given to Members