Standing Orders

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STANDING ORDERS

        

Standing Orders reviewed and revised by Resolution of the Diddlebury Parish Council on the    25th of  March  2015

INDEX

Standing order

 

 

 

Standing order

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Meetings

 

 

20

Canvassing of and recommendations by councillors

 

2

Ordinary Council meetings

 

 

21

Inspection of documents

 

3

Proper Officer

 

 

 

 

4

Motions and resolutions

 

 

22

Unauthorised activities

 

5

Discussion of matters not included in the agenda

 

 

23

Confidential business

 

6

Rules of debate

 

 

24

Power of well-being

 

7

Code of conduct (England & Wales)

 

 

25

Matters affecting the clerk

 

8

Questions

 

 

26

Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

9      

Minutes

 

 

 

 

10

Disorderly conduct

 

 

27

Relations with the press/media

 

11

Voting on appointments

 

 

28

Liaison with  Unitary Councillors

 

12          

Expenditure

 

 

29

Financial matters

 

13

Execution & sealing of legal deeds

 

 

 

 

14

Committees

 

 

30

Planning applications

 

15

Sub-committees

 

 

31

Allegations of breaches of the code of conduct

 

16

Extraordinary meetings

 

 

32

Variation, revocation and suspension of standing orders

 

17

Advisory committees

 

 

 

 

18

Accounts and Financial Statement

 

 

33

Standing orders to be given to councillors

 

19

Estimates/precepts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

1  Meetings

 

 

a             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.

 

b             When calculating the 3 clear days for notice of a meeting to councillors and the public, 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 shall not count.

 

c             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 public's exclusion from part or all of a meeting shall be by a resolution which shall give reasons for the public's exclusion.

 

d             Subject to standing order 1(c) above, the Chairman may, at his discretion,  permit a member or members of the public to make representations, answer questions and give evidence in respect of any item of business included in the agenda

 

e             The Chairman may, at his discretion, limit the amount of time any member of the public may speak and the total time for public participation on any item of business in accordance with standing order 1 (d) above.

 

f              In accordance with standing order 1(d) above, a question asked by a member of the public during a public participation session at a meeting including those in accordance with standing order 1(h) below shall not require a response or debate.

 

g             In accordance with standing order 1(f) above, the Chairman may , at his discretion, direct that a response to a question posed by a member of the public be referred to a Councillor for a oral response or to the clerk for a written or oral response.

 

h             At the beginning of each Ordinary meeting there shall be set aside a period of up to ten minutes for members of the public to raise concerns about an issue or issues which specifically affect the Council's area or some or all of its residents.  This period shall be called the "Public Involvement Session."

 

i               A record of public participation at a meeting shall be included in the minutes of that meeting.

 

j               Any person speaking at a meeting shall address his comments to the Chairman.

 

k             Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. If more than one person wishes to speak, the Chairman shall direct the order of speaking.

 

l               The photographing, recording, filming or other reporting of a meeting of the Council and its committees (which includes e.g. using a mobile phone or tablet, recording for a TV/radio broadcast, providing commentary on blogs, web forums or social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) which enable a person not at a meeting to see, hear or be given commentary about the meeting is permitted unless (i) the meeting has resolved to hold all or part of the meeting without the public present or (ii) such activities disrupt the proceedings.  Oral reporting or commentary about a Council of committee meeting by a person who is present at the meeting is not permitted.

 

m           In accordance with standing order 1(c) above, the press shall be provided reasonable facilities for the taking of their report of all or part of a meeting at which they are entitled to be present. 

n             If prior to a meeting, a Councillor has submitted reasons for his absence at the meeting which is then approved, it shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which the approval was given.

o             The code of conduct adopted by the Council shall apply to councillors in respect of the entire meeting

p             An interest arising from the code of conduct adopted by the Council, the existence and nature of which is required to be disclosed by a Councillor at a meeting shall be recorded in the minutes. (See also standing orders 7 and 8 below.)

q             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 3.

r              If a meeting is or becomes inquorate no business shall be transacted and the meeting shall be adjourned. Any outstanding business of a meeting so adjourned shall be transacted at a following meeting.

 

 

2  Ordinary Council meetings

            See also standing order 1 above

 

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 new councillors elected take office.

b             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.

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 directs.

e.         The election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council shall be the first business             completed at the annual meeting of the Council unless Councillors present resolve to defer             either election.  In such a case the election of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman (as the case             may be) shall be included on the agenda of the next practicable meeting of the council. 

f.          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.

g.         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.

h.         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.

i.          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.

 

j.          Following the election of the Chairman of the Council and Vice-Chairman of the Council at the       annual meeting of the Council, the order of business shall be as follows.

i.          In an election year, delivery by councillors of their declarations of acceptance of office.

 

ii.         Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last annual meeting of the Council and annual parish meeting, and to receive and note minutes of and/or to determine recommendations made by committees (if any).

 

iii.       Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, and clerk.

 

iv.       Review of the terms of references for any committees.

 

v.        Receipt of nominations to existing committees (if any).

 

vi.       Appointment of any new committees, confirmation of the terms of reference, the number of members (including, if appropriate, substitute councillors) and receipt of nominations to them.

 

vii.      Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial regulations

 

viii.    Review of arrangements, including any charters, with other local authorities and review of contributions made to expenditure incurred by other local authorities.

 

ix.       Review of representation on or work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back. and, if appropriate, appointment of the council's nominees to any such bodies.

 

x.         Review of inventory of land and assets including buildings and office equipment.

 

xi.       Setting the dates, times and place of ordinary meetings of the full Council for the year ahead.

 

3      Proper Officer

 

a             The Council's Proper Officer shall be either (i) the clerk or (ii) such other person appointed by the Council to undertake the role of the Proper Officer during the Proper Officer's absence. The Proper Officer and the person appointed to act as such during the Proper Officer's absence shall fulfil the duties assigned to the Proper Officer in standing orders.

b             The Council's Proper Officer shall do the following.

 

i.             Sign and serve on councillors by delivery or post at their residences or electronically a summons confirming the time, date, venue and the agenda of a meeting of the Council and a meeting of a committee and sub-committee at least 3 clear days before the meeting.

ii.            Give public notice by of the time, date, venue and agenda at least 3 clear days before a meeting of the Council or a meeting of a committee or a sub- committee (provided that the public notice with agenda of an extraordinary meeting of the Council convened by councillors is signed by them), including by placing the same upon the council's website.

iii.          Convene a meeting of full Council for the election of a new Chairman of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in his office, in accordance with standing order 3(b)i and 3(b)ii above.

iv.          Make available by arrangement inspection of  the minutes of meetings for  electors in the parish by post, "e" mail and by placing them on the council's website.

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

vi.          Receive and retain declarations of acceptance of office from councillors.

vii.         Keep proper records required before and after meetings;

viii.       Process all requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998, in accordance with and subject to the Council's procedures relating to the same.

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

x.           Manage the organisation, storage of and access to information held by the Council in paper and electronic form.

xi.          Arrange for legal deeds to be signed by 2 councillors and witnessed.

xii.         Arrange for the prompt authorisation, approval, and execution  of any payments to be made by the Council in accordance with the Council's financial regulations.

xiii.       Record every planning application notified to the Council and the Council's response to the local planning authority

xiv.       Action or undertake activity or responsibilities instructed by resolution or contained in standing orders.

4  Motions and resolutions

a             The agenda for a meeting shall be compiled by the clerk in accordance with instructions given by the Chairman.  At any time prior to the sending out of the agendas in accordance with standing order 3 (b)(i)  above a member may ask for a matter or matters to be included.  Such matters may be included at the discretion of the Chairman. 

b             Subject to standing order 4(c)  and section 5 of the standing orders below, no matters may be discussed at a meeting, and no motions arising therefrom voted on, unless they are covered by an agenda item. 

c             Members may discuss, and vote on any motion arising therefrom, any matter which is urgent and is raised at a meeting by:  a member (including the Chairman); a member of the public under standing order 1 (h); or the clerk.

d             Every motion and resolution shall relate to the Council's statutory functions, powers and lawful obligations or shall relate to an issue which specifically affects the Council's area or its residents.

 

5  Discussion of matters not included on the

   agenda

 

a             Motions in respect of the following matters may be moved although not covered by an agenda item for the relevant meeting.

 

i.             To appoint a person to preside at a meeting.

ii.            To approve the absences of councillors.

iii.           To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the previous meeting.

iv.          To correct an inaccuracy in the minutes of the previous meeting.

v.            To dispose of business, if any, remaining from the last meeting.

vi.          To alter the order of business on the agenda for reasons of urgency or expedience.

vii.         To proceed to the next business on the agenda.

viii.        To close or adjourn debate.

ix.          To refer by formal delegation a matter to a committee or to a sub-committee or the clerk.

x.            To appoint a committee or sub-committee or any councillors (including substitutes) thereto.

xi.          To receive nominations to a committee or sub-committee.

xii.         To dissolve a committee or sub-committee.

xiii.        To note the minutes of a meeting of a committee or sub-committee.

To consider a report and/or recommendations made by a committee or a sub- committee or an employee.

xiv.       To consider a report and/or recommendations made by the clerk, professional advisor, expert or consultant

xv.         To authorise legal deeds to be signed by two councillors and witnessed.

(See standing orders 13(a) and (b) below.)

xvi.       To authorise the payment of monies up to  £1,000

xvii.      To amend a motion relevant to the original or substantive motion under consideration which shall not have the effect of nullifying it.

xviii.     To extend the time limit for speeches.

xix.       To exclude the press and public for all or part of a meeting.

xx.         To silence or exclude from the meeting a Councillor or a member of the public      for disorderly conduct. 

xxi.       To give the consent of the Council if such consent is required by standing orders.

xxii.      To suspend any standing order except those which are mandatory by law.

xxiii.     To adjourn the meeting.

xxiv.    To appoint representatives to outside bodies and to make arrangements for those representatives to report back the activities of outside bodies.

xxv.      To answer questions from councillors.

xxvi.    Any matter referred to under standing order 4 (c) above. 

 

b             If a motion falls within the terms of reference of a committee or sub-committee or within the delegated powers conferred on the clerk, a referral of the same may be made to such committee or sub-committee or the clerk provided that the Chairman may direct for it to be dealt with at the present meeting for reasons of urgency or expedience.

 

6   Rules of debate

 

a             Matters included in an agenda shall be considered in the order that they appear on the agenda unless the order is changed in accordance with standing order 5a(vi) above.

b             A motion shall not be considered unless it has been proposed and seconded.

c             A Councillor may move amendments to his own motion. If a motion has already been seconded, an amendment to it shall be with the consent of the seconder.

d             Any amendment to a motion shall be either:

i.             to leave out words;

ii.            to add words;

iii.          to leave out words and add other words.

 

e             A proposed or carried amendment to a motion shall not have the effect of rescinding the original or substantive motion under consideration.

 

f               Only one amendment shall be moved and debated at a time, the order of which shall be directed by the Chairman. No further amendment to a motion shall be moved until the previous amendment has been disposed of.

g             Subject to Standing Order 6(f) above, one or more amendments may be discussed together if the Chairman considers this expedient but shall be voted upon separately.

h             Pursuant to standing order 6 (f) above, the number of amendments to an original or substantive motion, which may be moved by a councillor, is limited to one.

i               If an amendment is not carried, other amendments shall be moved in the order directed by the Chairman.

j               If an amendment is carried, the original motion, as amended, shall take the place of the original motion and shall become the substantive motion upon which any further amendment may be moved.

k             Where a series of amendments to an original motion are carried, the mover of the original motion shall have a right of reply in respect of the substantive motion at the very end of debate and immediately before it is put to the vote.

l               Subject to standing order 6(k) above, a councillor may not speak further in respect of any one motion except to speak once on an amendment moved by another councillor or to make a point of order or to give a personal explanation.

m            During the debate of 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 considers has been breached or specify the irregularity in the meeting he is concerned by.

n             A point of order shall be decided by the Chairman and his decision shall be final.

o             With the consent of the seconder and/or of the meeting, a motion or amendment may be withdrawn by the proposer. A councillor shall not speak upon the said motion or amendment unless permission for the withdrawal of the motion or amendment has been refused.

p             Subject to standing order 6(o) above, when a councillor's 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 silent or for him to leave the meeting;

vi.          to refer a motion to a committee or sub-committee for consideration;

vii.         to exclude the public and press;

viii.       to adjourn the meeting;

ix.          to suspend any standing order, except those which are mandatory.

 

t               In respect of standing order 6(p) (iv) above, conduct of the debate shall be controlled by the Chairman.  When he is satisfied that there has been sufficient debate, and if the question has been properly proposed and seconded, he shall, subject to the provisions of standing order1(p) above, put the matter to the vote.

 

 

7 Code of conduct

         

         

a             All councillors shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the Council.

b             If paragraph 12(2) of the code of conduct contained in the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 (SI No.1159) has been adopted by the Council or pursuant to relevant provisions in a statutory code of conduct in force at the time, councillors may exercise the rights contained in standing order 7(c) below only if members of the public are permitted to (i) make representations, (ii) answer questions and (iii) give evidence relating to the business being transacted. 

c             Councillors with a prejudicial interest in relation to any item of business being transacted at a meeting may (i) make representations, (ii) answer questions and (iii) give evidence relating to the business being transacted but must, thereafter, leave the room or chamber.

8   Questions

 

A councillor may seek an answer to a question concerning any business of the Council   .

9  Minutes

 

a             No discussion of the draft minutes of a preceding meeting shall take place except in relation to their accuracy.

b             Minutes, including any amendment to correct their accuracy, 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.

c             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 majority of the (      ) and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings."

.

10   Disorderly conduct

 

a             No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly.

b             If, in the opinion of the Chairman, there has been a breach of standing order 10(a) above, the Chairman shall express that opinion and thereafter any councillor (including the Chairman) may move that the person be silenced or excluded from the meeting, and the motion, if seconded, shall be put forthwith and without discussion.

c             If a resolution made in accordance with standing order 10(b) above, is disobeyed, the Chairman may take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce it and/or he may adjourn the meeting.

 

11 Voting on appointments

a             Where more than 2 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. Any tie may be settled by the Chairman's casting vote

 

   12    Expenditure(see also S.O. 29)

 

a             Any expenditure incurred by the Council shall be in accordance with the Council's financial regulations.

b             The Council's Financial Regulations (adopted in March 2015) shall be reviewed once a year.

c             The Council's financial regulations may make provision for the authorisation of the payment of money in exercise of any of the Council's functions to be delegated to a committee, sub-committee or to the clerk

13   Execution and sealing of legal deeds

   See also standing order 5(a) (xv) above

 

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

b             In accordance with a resolution made under standing order 14(a) above, any two members of the Council, may sign, on behalf of the Council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures.

14   Committees

   See also standing order 1 above

 

a             The Council may, at its annual meeting, appoint standing committees and may at any other time appoint such other committees as may be necessary, and:

i.             shall determine their terms of reference;

ii.            may permit committees to determine the dates of their meetings;

iii.          shall appoint and determine the term of office of councillor or non-councillor members of such a committee (unless the appointment of non-councillors is prohibited by law) so as to hold office no later than the next annual meeting;

iv.          may appoint substitute councillors to a committee whose role is to replace ordinary councillors at a meeting of a committee if ordinary councillors of the committee have confirmed to the Proper Officer before the meeting that they are unable to attend;

v.           may in accordance with standing orders, dissolve a committee at any time.

 

15   Sub-committees

   See also standing order 1 above

 

a             Unless there is a Council resolution to the contrary, every committee may appoint a sub-committee whose terms of reference and members shall be determined by resolution of the committee.

 

  16  Extraordinary meetings

     See also standing order 1 above

 

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

b             If the Chairman of the Council does not or refuses to call an extraordinary meeting of the Council within 7 days of having been requested to do so by two councillors, those two councillors may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council. The statutory public notice giving the time, venue and agenda for such a meeting must be signed by the two councillors.

c             The Chairman of a committee (or a sub-committee) may convene an extraordinary meeting of the committee or sub-committee at any time.

d             If the Chairman of a committee (or a sub-committee) does not or refuses to call an extraordinary meeting within seven days of having been requested by to do so by two councillors, those   two councillors may convene an extraordinary meeting of a committee (or a sub-committee). The statutory public notice giving the time, venue and agenda for such a meeting must be signed by two councillors.

 

17  Advisory committees

   See also standing order 1 above

 

a             The Council may appoint advisory committees comprised of a number of councillors and non-councillors.

 

b             Advisory committees and any sub-committees may consist wholly of persons who are non-councillors.

 

18  Accounts and Financial Statement

a             All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the Council's Financial Regulations, adopted in March 2015 which shall be reviewed at least annually.

b             A Financial Statement prepared on the receipts and payments basis for a year to 31 March shall be presented to each councillor before the end of the following month of May. The Statement of Accounts of the Council (which is subject to external audit), including the annual governance statement, shall be presented to Council for formal approval before 30 June.

 

19  Estimates/budgets/precepts

a             The Council shall approve written estimates and Precept budgets for the coming financial year no later than the end of January, in accordance with the Council's Financial Regulations.

b             Any committee desiring to incur expenditure shall give the Proper Officer a written estimate of the expenditure recommended for the coming year no later than the end of October

 

20  Canvassing of and recommendations by councillors

a             Canvassing councillors or the members of a committee or sub-committee, directly or indirectly, for appointment to or by the Council shall disqualify the candidate from such an appointment. The Proper Officer shall disclose the requirements of this standing order to every candidate.

b             A councillor or a member of a committee or sub-committee shall not solicit a person for appointment to or by the Council or recommend a person for such appointment or for promotion; but, nevertheless, any such person may give a written testimonial of a candidate's ability, experience or character for submission to the Council with an application for appointment.

c             This standing order shall apply to tenders as if the person making the tender were a candidate for an appointment.

 

21  Inspection of documents

 

a             Subject to standing orders to the contrary or in respect of matters which are confidential, a councillor may, for the purpose of his official duties (but not otherwise), inspect any document in the possession of the Council or a committee or a sub-committee, and request a copy for the same purpose. The minutes of meetings of the Council, its committees or sub-committees shall be available for inspection by councillors.

 

22  Unauthorised activities

 

a             Unless authorised by a resolution, no individual councillor shall in the name or on behalf of the Council, a committee or a sub-committee:

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

ii.            issue orders, instructions or directions.

 

23   Confidential business

 

a             Councillors shall not disclose information given in confidence or which they believe, or ought to be aware is of a confidential nature. 

 

24   Power of well-being

a             Before exercising the power to promote well-being, a meeting of the full Council shall have passed a resolution to confirm it has satisfied the prescribed statutory criteria required to qualify as an eligible parish council.

b             The Council's period of eligibility begins on the date that the resolution under standing order 24(a) above was made and expires on the day before the annual meeting of the Council that takes place in a year of ordinary elections.

c             After the expiry of its preceding period of eligibility, the Council continues to be an eligible council solely for the purpose of completing any activity undertaken in the exercise of the power to promote well-being which was not completed before the expiry of the Council's preceding period of eligibility referred to in standing order 24 (b) above.

 

25   Matters affecting the clerk

 

a             If a meeting considers any matter personal to the clerk it shall not be considered until the Council has decided whether or not the press and public shall be excluded pursuant to standing order 1(c) above.

b             The Chairman or in his absence, the Vice-Chairman shall upon a resolution conduct a review of the performance and/or appraisal of the clerk and shall keep a written record of it. The review and/or appraisal shall be reported back and shall be subject to approval by resolution by the council.

c             Subject to the Council's policy regarding the handling of grievance and disciplinary matters, if an informal or formal grievance matter raised by the clerk relates to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the council this shall be communicated to another member of the council which shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of the council.

d             Any persons responsible for all or part of the management of  the clerk shall keep written records of all meetings relating to their performance, and capabilities, grievance and disciplinary matters. 

e             The Council shall keep written records relating to the clerk secure.

f               Records documenting reasons for the clerk's absence due to ill health or details of a medical condition shall be made available only to those persons with responsibility for the same. 

g             Only persons with line management responsibilities shall have access to employee records referred to in standing orders 25 (e)and (f) above if so justified.

h              

 26 Freedom of Information Act 2000

a             All requests for information held by the Council shall be processed in accordance with the Council's policy in respect of handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

b             Correspondence from, and notices served by, the Information Commissioner shall be referred by the Proper Officer to the chairman. The council shall have the power to do anything to facilitate compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 including exercising the powers of the Proper Officer in respect of Freedom of Information requests set out under Standing Order 3(b)(x) above.

 

 

27 Relations with the press/media

 

a             All requests from the press or other media for an oral or written statement or comment from the Council shall be dealt with by the Chairman or clerk.

b             If any other councillor is approached by the press and/or other media he or she shall not provide, on behalf of the council, oral or written statements to the press or other media but shall refer the matter to the Chairman or clerk. This policy does not seek to regulate the views and opinions of councillors in a private capacity, however Councillors must not disclose confidential council information nor to misrepresent the council's position.

c        The Chairman or clerk (as the case may be) shall give a full report of any contact with    the press or other media at the next ordinary meeting of the council.

 

 28 Liaison with Unitary Councillors

 

a             An invitation to attend a meeting of the Council shall be sent, together with the agenda, to the councillor of the Unitary Council representing its electoral ward.

 

 29 Financial matters

a             The Council shall administer all financial matters in accordance with its Financial Regulations as adopted by Resolution in March 2015 and reviewed annually thereafter.

b             The Council shall administer its Expenses Policy as adopted by Resolution in February 2014,namely:

i.  Clerk's expenses:  The Clerk will be able to claim the following expenses:-

?        travel expenses on journeys on council business at current NJC mileage rates

?        contribution towards the cost of computer and/or other office equipment and IT support

?        stationery, postage and printing costs and other office consumables

?        a contribution towards the rental of telephone line and the provision of internet/Broadband plus the cost of telephone calls made by the Clerk from home on council business

 

ii.  Chairman's expenses:  The Chairman may claim the following expenses:-

 

?   travel expenses on journeys on council business at current NJC mileage rates

?  stationery, postage and printing costs

  iii.  Councillor's expenses:   Parish Councillors are unpaid but may claim the following      expenses:-

?    travel expenses on journeys made with the mandate and prior approval of the Council on Council business outside the Parish of Diddlebury at current NJC rates.

   c.         All claims are to be made promptly to the Clerk (within two months of expenditure)                and where relevant must be accompanied by a receipt.

 

   30  Planning applications

a             Subject to standing order  30(d) below, planning applications received from Shropshire Council (the planning authority) will normally be dealt with under the agenda item "Planning" at the next ordinary meeting of the Council.  A motion relating to the application will be dealt with as any other motion in accordance with standing order 1(p) above.

b             Any motion proposed under standing order 30(a) above shall be to either:

i.             support the application; or

ii.            state that the Council has no objection to the application; or

iii.          oppose the application

c             The Council  may also resolve to incorporate comments or reasons as appropriate

d             If the period allowed for consultation by Shropshire Council would expire before the date of the next ordinary meeting the clerk will contact the planning authority and ask whether the consultation period can be extended to a date later than the date of that meeting.  If such a request is granted the application will be considered at the next ordinary meeting in the usual way.  If  the planning authority will not permit such an extension of time the procedure set out in standing orders 30(e) to 30(k) below will apply.

e             The clerk will notify the Chairman of the application. If the Chairman considers it to be of especial interest, particularly complex or contentious he may, at his discretion, call an extraordinary meeting of the Council to consider it In accordance with standing orders 30(b) and 30(c) above.

f               If the Chairman decides not to call an extraordinary meeting in accordance with standing order 30(e) above, the procedure described in standing orders 30(g) to 30(k) below will apply.  This procedure will be completed before the expiry of the period of consultation allowed by the planning authority.

g             The Chairman will nominate a number of councillors ("the Group") to examine the application on behalf of the council, and will inform the clerk accordingly. 

h             The number of councillors nominated to the Group shall not be less than two.

i               When the clerk has been notified of the names of the members of the Group he will make arrangements for the case documents to be seen by all members of the Group, either in hard copy or electronically.

j               Members of the Group will then consider the application and, after consultation amongst themselves  decide whether they would, on behalf of the Council, support or oppose it and whether any observations or reasons for their decision need to be included in the report to the Planning Authority.

k             If members of the Group cannot agree whether to support or oppose any application or what reasons or observations (if any) should be given to the Planning Authority then the majority shall prevail.  If there is an equal number in favour and against any proposal the matter will be referred to the Chairman who will have the casting vote.

l               The clerk will be notified of the decision by the Group or the Chairman as the case may be and will report the decision as being the decision of the council to the Planning Authority.

m            The decision reached by the Group shall be notified to the Council at their next ordinary meeting and minuted accordingly.

n             The procedure outlined in standing orders 30(g) to 30(m) shall be referred to in the Council's minutes as "Chairman's Action" and the names of the members of the Group shall be recorded.

o             The Group and any other members of the Council who express interest in any particular planning application may, prior to considering the application in council, request a site visit of the applicant.  Equally, the Group may make a site visit at the request of the applicant.  Any such site visit must be conducted by at least two councillors attending together and never by an individual member alone.  One of the Group should make a note of the site meetings proceedings.

 

31   Allegations of breaches of the code of  

conduct and Complaints about the Council's procedures or administration

 

a             Subject to standing order 31(c), On receipt of a notification that there has been an alleged breach of the code of conduct the Proper Officer shall refer it to the Council. 

b             Where the notification relates to a complaint made by the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Chairman of that fact, who, upon receipt of such notification, shall nominate a person to assume the duties of the Proper Officer set out in the remainder of this standing order, who shall continue to act in respect of that matter as such until the complaint is resolved.

c             Where the notification relates to a complaint made against the Chairman the Proper Officer shall refer the matter to the vice Chairman and references to "The Chairman" in the remainder of this section shall be construed accordingly.

d             The subject matter of notifications shall be confidential and, insofar as it is possible to do so by law, the Council and the Proper Officer shall take the steps set out below, together with other steps considered necessary, to maintain confidentiality.

 

i.             Draft the summonses and agendas in such a way that the identity and subject matter of the complaint are not disclosed.

ii.            Ensure that any background papers containing the information set out in standing order 31(a) above are not made public.

iii.          Ensure that the public and press are excluded from meetings as appropriate.

iv.          Ensure that the minutes of meetings preserve confidentiality.

v.           Consider any liaison that may be required with the person or body with statutory responsibility for the investigation of the matter.

e             Standing order 31(d) above should not be taken to prohibit the Council (whether through the Proper Officer or the Chairman or otherwise) from disclosing information to members and the Proper Officer or to other persons where such disclosure is necessary to deal with the complaint or is required by law.

f               The Council shall have the power to:

i.             seek documentary and other evidence from the person or body with statutory responsibility for investigation of the matter;

ii.            seek and share information relevant to the complaint;

iii.          grant the member involved a financial indemnity in respect of legal costs, which shall be in accordance with the law and subject to approval by a meeting of the full Council.

g             References in standing order 31 to a notification shall be taken to refer to a communication of any kind which relates to a breach or an alleged breach of the code of conduct by a councillor.

 

h.        The procedures to be adopted in relation to any complaints about the council's                  procedures or administration are contained in the Council's Complaints Procedure           adopted by Resolution of the Council in February 2015.

 

 

32  Variation, revocation and suspension of standing orders

 

a             Any or every part of the standing orders, except those which are mandatory by law, may be suspended by resolution in relation to any specific item of business.

b. If any councillor wishes to permanently add to or vary or revoke one or more of the Council's standing orders not mandatory by law he may raise the matter without notice.  If the Chairman, at his discretion, considers that there may be merit in the suggestion, he will ask the clerk to agree the wording of the suggested amendment(s) with the member concerned.  The clerk will send out the suggested amendment(s) with the notices for the next ordinary meeting and will include, on the agenda, an item relating to the amendment(s). 

c     Any motion to permanently add to, vary or revoke one or more of the Council's standing orders will require to be seconded and shall not be carried unless two-thirds of the Councillors at the meeting vote in favour of the same.

 

33   Standing orders to be given to councillors

 

a             The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the Council's standing orders to a councillor upon delivery of his declaration of acceptance of office.

b             The Chairman's decision as to the application of standing orders at meetings shall be final.

c             A councillor's failure to observe  standing orders more than 3 times in one meeting may result in him being excluded from the meeting in accordance with standing orders.

 

 

JdeR

24.02.15