LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

STANDING ORDERS – JUNE 2022

 

The MODEL STANDING ORDERS 2018 (ENGLAND) — UPDATED APRIL 2022 supplied by NALC have been used to formulate the Standing Orders of Longparish Parish Council

National Association of Local Councils (NALC)
109 Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3LD

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© NALC 2018. All rights are reserved.

No part of the 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 the publication for their governance purposes.

These Standing Orders were approved at the Parish Council meeting dated 13 June 2022

Signed:                                                                        (P Hull)

(Chairman)

CONTENTS

What are Standing Orders?

p.3

1

Rules of debate at meetings

p.4

2

Disorderly conduct at meetings

p.5

3

Procedures for Council meetings

p.5

4

Committees and Working Parties

p.8

5

Ordinary Council meetings

p.9

6

Extraordinary Council meetings

p.11

7

Previous resolutions

p.11

8

Planning Applications & Tree Notices

p.11

9

Voting on appointments

p.11

10

Management of information

p.11

11

Minutes

p.12

12

Code of Conduct and dispensations

p.13

13

Code of Conduct complaints

p.14

14

Proper Officer

p.14

15

Agenda Setting

p.16

16

Responsible Financial Officer

p.16

17

Accounts & accounting statements

p.16

18

Financial controls and procurement

p.17

19

Responsibilities to provide information

p.18

20

Responsibilities under data protection legislation

p.18

21

Relations with press/media

p.19

22

Execution of legal deeds

p.19

23

Liaison with district and county councillors

p.19

24

Restrictions on councillor activities

p.19

25

Standing Orders generally

p.19

Appendix 1

Councillor Code of Conduct

p.21

 


 

WHAT ARE 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 council’s 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 council’s Responsible Financial Officer. Longparish Parish Council has separate Financial Regulations which are reviewed annually.

Standing orders that are in bold type contain legal and statutory requirements.

1.               RULES OF DEBATE AT MEETINGS

  • Items on the agenda shall be considered in the order that they appear unless the order is changed at the discretion of the chairman of the meeting.
  • A resolution (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been proposed and seconded, and put to the vote by a show of hands, unless it is withdrawn by the proposer.
  • A resolution on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by the chairman of the meeting as withdrawn.
  • The following provisions may be waived at the discretion of the chairman, who can move to reimpose them in the course of any meeting if they deem it appropriate
  • Unless permitted by the chairman of the meeting, a councillor may speak once in the debate except:
  1. to speak on an amendment moved by another councillor;
  2. to move or speak on another amendment if the motion has been amended since they last spoke;
  • to make a point of order;
  1. to give a personal explanation; or
  2. to exercise a right of reply.
  • During the debate on a resolution, 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 they consider has been breached or specify the other irregularity in the proceedings of the meeting they are concerned by.
  • A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and their decision shall be final.
  • When a resolution is under debate, no other resolution shall be moved except:
  1. to amend the resolution;
  2. to proceed to the next business;
  • to adjourn the debate;
  1. to put the resolution to a vote;
  2. to ask a person to be no longer heard or to leave the meeting;
  3. to refer a resolution to a committee or Working Party for consideration;
  • to exclude the public and press;
  • to adjourn the meeting; or
  1. to suspend particular standing order(s) excepting those which reflect mandatory statutory or legal requirements.

i         Before an original or substantive motion is put to the vote, the chairman of the meeting shall be satisfied that the motion has been sufficiently debated and that the mover of the motion under debate has exercised or waived their right of reply.

j         Excluding motions moved under standing order 1(f), the contributions or speeches by a councillor shall relate only to the motion under discussion.

2.               DISORDERLY CONDUCT AT MEETINGS

  • No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly. If the standing order is ignored, the chairman of the meeting shall request such person(s) to moderate or improve their conduct.
  • If person(s) disregard the request of the chairman of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct, any councillor or the chairman of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or be excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.
  • If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) is ignored, the chairman of the meeting may take further reasonable steps to restore order or to progress the meeting. The may include temporarily suspending or closing the meeting.

3.               PROCEDURES FOR COUNCIL MEETINGS

Full Council meetings                 ●

Committee meetings                   ●

Sub-committee meetings            ●

a          Meetings will normally take place in Longparish Village Hall 1930 hours on the second Monday of each month (excluding August).  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          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.  For a meeting on Monday, the notice (including the agenda) will therefore normally be issued on the preceding Wednesday.

c           The minimum three clear days’ 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.

d          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.

e          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.

f            The period of time designated for public participation at a meeting in accordance with standing order 3(e) will be directed by the chairman of the meeting.

g          Subject to standing order 3(f), a member of the public shall not speak for more than 5 minutes.

h          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 chairman of the meeting may direct that a written or oral response be given.

i            A person shall raise their hand when requesting to speak, but may be seated when speaking, or stand if they prefer.

j            A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct their comments to the chairman of the meeting.

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

l            Subject to standing order 3(m), a person who attends a meeting is permitted to report on the meeting whilst the meeting is open to the public. To “report” 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.

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

n          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.

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

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

q          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.     

r           The chairman 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 their casting vote whether or not they gave an original vote.

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

s           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 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.

t            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.

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

v           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 Working Party meeting.


w         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.

x           A meeting shall not exceed a period of 3 hours.

 

4.               COMMITTEES AND WORKING PARTIES

The Council may, at its Annual Meeting, appoint standing Committees and Working Parties (normally Planning Committee, Finance Working Party, Open Spaces & Footpaths Working Party, and Communications Working Party) and may at any other time appoint such other Working Parties as may be necessary.  The Council may also dissolve a Committee or Working Party at any time. 

  • Unless the Council determines otherwise, a committee may appoint a Working Party whose terms of reference and members shall be determined by the committee.
  • The members of a committee may include non-councillors unless it is a committee which regulates and controls the finances of the Council.
  • Unless the Council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory committee and a Working Party of the advisory committee may be non-councillors.
  • The Council may appoint standing committees or other committees as may be necessary, and:
  1. shall determine their terms of reference;
  2. shall permit a committee, other than in respect of the ordinary meetings of a committee, to determine the number and time of its meetings;
  • shall, after it has appointed the members of a standing committee, appoint the chairman of the standing committee;
  1. shall determine the place, notice requirements and quorum for a meeting of a committee and a Working Party which, in both cases, shall be no less than three;
  2. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a committee;
  3. may dissolve a committee or a sub-committee.

Working Parties may consist of both Councillors and non-Councillors, but non-Councillors will not be required to make a declaration of acceptance of office or a general declaration of interests.  However, all members of Committees and Working Parties must observe the guidelines regarding declaration of interest in relation to any items raised at a meeting of a Committee or Working Party.  Working Parties will not be empowered to make decisions, except when specific limited powers have been delegated by the Council, and their main role will be to make recommendations for endorsement by the Council.

5.               ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETINGS

The order of business at ordinary Council meetings will normally be as follows, unless the Chairman directs that a variation be made on the grounds of urgency, expedience or ease of working:

  • The Minutes of the last meeting of the Council
  • Matters arising from the Minutes.
  • Urgent business expressly required by statute to be done.
  • Matters raised by parishioners attending the meeting.
  • Planning applications.
  • Financial report and authorisation of any payments.
  • Reports and recommendations from Committees and Working Parties.
  • Any other business specified in the agenda.
  • Correspondence and matters arising from it.
  • Notification of any other items of information or for discussion at the next meeting.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the Council shall take place at 6pm.
  • In addition to the annual meeting of the Council, at least three other ordinary meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times as the Council decides.
  • The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the Council shall be the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman (if there is one) of the Council.
  • The Chairman of the Council, unless they have resigned or become disqualified, shall continue in office and preside at the annual meeting until their successor is elected at the next annual meeting of the Council.
  • The Vice-Chairman of the Council, if there is one, unless they resign or become disqualified, shall hold office until immediately after the election of the Chairman of the Council at the next annual meeting of the Council.
  • In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has not been re-elected as a member of the Council, they shall preside at the annual 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 shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
  • In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has been re-elected as a member of the Council, they shall preside at the annual meeting until a new Chairman of the Council has been elected. They may exercise an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chairman of the Council and shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
  • Following the election of the Chairman of the Council and Vice-Chairman (if there is one) of the Council at the annual meeting, the business shall include:
    1. In an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council and councillors of their acceptance of office forms unless the Council resolves for the to be done at a later date. In a year which is not an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council of their acceptance of office form unless the Council resolves for the to be done at a later date;
    2. Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the Council;
  • Review of the terms of reference for committees and Working Parties;
  1. Appointment of members to existing committees and Working Parties;
  2. Appointment of any new committees in accordance with standing order 4;
  3. Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial regulations;
  • In an election year, to make arrangements with a view to the Council becoming eligible to exercise the general power of competence in the future;
  • Review of inventory of land and other assets including buildings and office equipment;
  1. Confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insurable risks;
  2. Determining the time and place of ordinary meetings of the Council up to and including the next annual meeting of the Council.

6.               EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL

  • The Chairman of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council at any time.
  • If the Chairman 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 RESOLUTIONS

  • A resolution shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special motion, which requires written notice by at least 5 councillors, or by a resolution following the recommendation of a Committee or Working Party.
  1. PLANNING APPLICATIONS & TREE WORK NOTICES

a          Planning Applications will be considered as part of ordinary Parish Council meetings held monthly.  Where an application is received between meetings, that has a response deadline date before the next PC meeting, it will be necessary to summons Councillors to a separate Planning Committee meeting to consider the application.

b          Tree Notifications can be considered as part of ordinary Parish Council meetings held monthly or can be determined out of Committee if necessary.  Tree Notices are referred to the Parish Tree Warden for their advice and recommendations.  Information from the Tree warden is circulated to Councillors to aid Councillors with their decision.

c          Once determined, all planning responses are returned to the relevant Borough or District Council planning department by the Proper Officer.

9.         VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS

  • 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. The 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 chairman of the meeting.

10.       MANAGEMENT OF INFORMATION


See also standing order 20.

  • 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.
  • 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 Council’s retention policy shall confirm the period for which information (including personal data) shall be retained or if the is not possible the criteria used to determine that period (e.g. the Limitation Act 1980).
  • 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.
  • Councillors, staff, the Council’s contractors and agents shall not disclose confidential information or personal data without legal justification.

11.       MINUTES

Full Council meetings                 ●

Committee meetings                   ●

Working Party 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 chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.

d          If the Council’s 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.

12.       CODE OF CONDUCT AND DISPENSATIONS

The Code of Conduct for Councillors of Longparish Parish Council is shown at Appendix 1 of these Standing Orders

See also standing order 3(u).

  • All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the Council.
  • Unless they have 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 they have a disclosable pecuniary interest. They may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which they had the interest.
  • Unless they have 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 they have another interest if so required by the Council’s code of conduct. They may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which they had the interest.
  • Dispensation requests shall be in writing and submitted to the Proper Officer as soon as possible before the meeting, or failing that, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.
  • A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by a meeting of the Council, or committee or Working Party for which the dispensation is required and that decision is final.
  • A dispensation request shall confirm:
    1. the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;
    2. whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a discussion only or a discussion and a vote;
  • the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding four years) for which the dispensation is sought; and
  1. an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.
  • Subject to standing orders 13(d) and (f), a dispensation request shall be considered by the Proper Officer before the meeting or, if this is not possible, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required or at the beginning of the meeting of the Council, or committee or Working Party for which the dispensation is required.
  • A dispensation may be granted in accordance with standing order 13(e) if having regard to all relevant circumstances any of the following apply:
    1. 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;
    2. granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the Council’s area; or
  • it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.

13.       CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINTS

  • 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 Council’s code of conduct, the Proper Officer shall, subject to standing order 11, report the to the Council.
  • Where the notification in standing order 14(a) relates to a complaint made by the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Chairman of Council of the fact, and the Chairman 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).
  • The Council may:
    1. provide information or evidence where such disclosure is necessary to investigate the complaint or is a legal requirement;
    2. seek information relevant to the complaint from the person or body with statutory responsibility for investigation of the matter;
  • Upon notification by the District or Unitary Council that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the Council’s code of conduct, the Council shall consider what, if any, action to take against them. Such action excludes disqualification or suspension from office.

 

14.       PROPER OFFICER

  • The Proper Officer shall be either (i) the clerk or (ii) other staff member(s) nominated by the Council to undertake the work of the Proper Officer when the Proper Officer is absent.
  • The Proper Officer shall:
    1. 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). The notice boards at the village shop, Village Hall, and Forton Street are used to display council agendas.  In addition, the agenda is accessible on the village website, and a link to the web-site page containing the agenda is posted on the Longparish Community Association Facebook page.

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;

  1. convene a meeting of the Council for the election of a new Chairman of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in their office;
  • facilitate inspection of the minute book by local government electors;
  1. receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities;
  2. hold acceptance of office forms from councillors;
  3. hold a copy of every councillor’s register of interests;
  • assist with responding to requests made under freedom of information legislation and rights exercisable under data protection legislation, in accordance with the Council’s relevant policies and procedures;
  • receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;
  1. 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);
  2. arrange for legal deeds to be executed;

(see also standing order 22);

  1. arrange or manage the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction regarding any payments to be made by the Council in accordance with its financial regulations;
  • record every planning application notified to the Council and the Council’s response to the local planning authority;

15.       AGENDA SETTING

a          The Chairman and the Proper Officer will consider items for inclusion on the agenda of a full Council meeting at least 3 clear days before the next meeting, assisted by anyone requested by the Chairman.

b          Any Councillor can put forward an item for inclusion on the agenda, provided they give a minimum of 7 days’ notice in writing (email is sufficient) to the Proper Officer.  No motion, other than one put forward by the Chairman, may be moved at a meeting unless the item to which it pertains has been included in the agenda.

c          The Proper Officer may, before including a motion in the agenda, correct obvious grammatical or typographical errors in the wording of the motion and will reject any motion that they consider to be unclear.

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

16.       RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER

  • The Council shall appoint appropriate staff member(s) to undertake the work of the Responsible Financial Officer when the Responsible Financial Officer is absent.

17.       ACCOUNTS AND ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS

  • “Proper practices” in standing orders refer to the most recent version of “Governance and Accountability for Local Councils – a Practitioners’ Guide”.
  • All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the Council’s financial regulations.
  • As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide:
    1. each councillor with a statement summarising the Council’s receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for the year to date for information; and
    2. 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.
  • 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 ahead of the May PC meeting. The annual governance and accountability return (AGAR) 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.

18.       FINANCIAL CONTROLS AND PROCUREMENT

  1. 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:
  2. the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;
  3. the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the Council;
  • the work of the independent internal auditor in accordance with proper practices and the receipt of regular reports from the internal auditor, which shall be required at least annually;
  1. the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the Council’s accounts and/or orders of payments; and
  2. whether contracts with an estimated value below £25,000 due to special circumstances are exempt from a tendering process or procurement exercise.
  3. Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.
  4. 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 “light touch” arrangements under Regulations 109-114 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 unless it proposes to use an existing list of approved suppliers (framework agreement).
  5. 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:
  6. a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall be drawn up;
  7. an invitation to tender shall be drawn up to confirm (i) the Council’s specification (ii) the time, date and address for the submission of tenders (iii) the date of the Council’s written response to the tender and (iv) the prohibition on prospective contractors contacting councillors or staff to encourage or support their tender outside the prescribed process;
  • the invitation to tender shall be advertised in a local newspaper and in any other manner that is appropriate;
  1. tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope addressed to the Proper Officer;
  2. 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;
  3. tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting of the Council or a committee or sub-committee with delegated responsibility.
  4. Neither the Council, nor a committee or a Working Party with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.
  1. 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. NALC’s procurement guidance contains further details.

 

19.       RESPONSIBILITIES TO PROVIDE INFORMATION

See also standing order 21.

  • 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.
    1. 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


(Below is not an exclusive list).

See also standing order 11.

  • The Council may appoint a Data Protection Officer.
  • The Council shall have policies and procedures in place to respond to an individual exercising statutory rights concerning their personal data.
  • The Council shall have a written policy in place for responding to and managing a personal data breach.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Council shall maintain a written record of its processing activities.

21.       RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS/MEDIA

  • Councillors will not, in their official capacity, provide oral or written statements or written articles to the press or other media unless authorised to do so by the Chairman or as the result of a resolution at a meeting of the full Council.

22.       EXECUTION OF LEGAL DEEDS

See also standing orders 14(b)(xii) and (xvii).

  • A legal deed shall not be executed on behalf of the Council unless authorised by a resolution.
  • Subject to standing order 14(x), any two councillors may sign, on behalf of the Council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures.

23.       LIAISON WITH DISTRICT AND COUNTY 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 District and County Council representing the area of the Council.  If such a Councillor attends a meeting of the Parish Council, they will be treated as a guest and will have no more rights with regard to the business of the meeting than a Member of the public.

24.       RESTRICTIONS ON COUNCILLOR ACTIVITIES

  1. Unless duly authorised no councillor shall:
  1. inspect any land and/or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect; or
  2. issue orders, instructions or directions.

25.       STANDING ORDERS GENERALLY

  • 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 Council’s standing orders, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory or legal requirements, will not be carried unless two-thirds of the Councillors at a meeting of the full Council vote in favour of the same.

c        The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the Council’s standing orders to a councillor as soon as possible.

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

APPENDIX 1

LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

MEMBERS (PARISH COUNCILLORS) CODE OF CONDUCT

 

PART 1 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. The Code applies to you as a holder of public office - a Member of Longparish Parish Council (‘the Authority’) - when acting in your role as a Member.
  2. The Code is adopted pursuant to the Council’s statutory duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Members of the Authority, complies with the requirements of Section 28 of the Localism Act 2011, and is consistent with the principles set out in that Section listed in Paragraph 4 below.
  1. The Code is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the legal and constitutional obligations placed on Members of the Authority. It is your responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Code as well as other legal obligations beyond the scope of the Code.
  1. The Code is based on, and is consistent with, the following principles:

 

SELFLESSNESS

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.  They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits.

 

INTEGRITY

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

 

OBJECTIVITY

In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public. 

 

OPENNESS

Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take.  They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

 

HONESTY

Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts that may arise as a consequence in a way that protects the public interest.

 

LEADERSHIP

Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

PART 2 – GENERAL OBLIGATIONS FOR MEMBERS

When acting in your role as a Member of the Authority:

  1. Do treat others with respect.
  2. Do ensure that you are aware of, and comply with, the requirements that the Bribery Act 2010 places on you in your role as a Member and on the Council as a whole.
  3. Do not do anything that may cause your Authority to breach any of the equality enactments (as defined in Section 33 of the Equality Act 2006(a)).
  4. Do not bully any person (bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating behaviour that is directed at someone over whom you have some actual or potential influence).
  5. Do not intimidate, or try to intimidate, anyone who has complained about you or who may be involved with a complaint about you
  6. Do not do anything that compromises, or is likely to compromise, the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, your Authority.
  7. Do not disclose information given to you in confidence by anyone, or information acquired by you that you believe, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature, except where:
    1. You have the consent of a person authorised to give it.
    2. You are required by law to do so.
    3. The disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional legal advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person.
    4. The disclosure is:
    5. i) Reasonable and in the public interest.
    6. ii) Made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of the Authority.
  8. Do not prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.
  9. Do not use or try to use your position improperly to obtain an advantage for yourself or advantage or disadvantage for any other person or body.

 

  1. When making decisions on behalf of or as part of the Authority Do give reasons for the decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and any reasonable additional requirements imposed by the Authority.
  1. When using, or authorising the use by others of, the resources of the Authority:
    1. Do act in accordance with the Authority’s reasonable requirements, and comply with any of the Authority’s relevant policies, which you are deemed to have read.
    2. Do make sure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes).
    3. Do not improperly use knowledge gained solely as a result of your role as a Member for the advancement of your Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.

PART 3 - INTERESTS

  1. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are defined in ‘The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012’ (the Regulations) and details are set out in the Schedule to the Code.

  1. Code of Conduct Interests

These are pecuniary interests, which may be of the nature set out in the Schedule to the Code, that affect you (but are not Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) or relate to or affect a relevant person as defined in the Regulations, a Member of your family or a close friend.

  1. Sensitive Interests

These are interests where you consider that disclosure of the details of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or a Code of Conduct Interest could lead to you, or a person connected with you, being subject to violence or intimidation, and the Proper Officer agrees. If the interest is entered on the register, copies of the register that are made available for inspection and any published version of the register will exclude details of the interest, but may state that you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, the details of which are withheld under Section 32(2) of the Localism Act 2012.

  1. Registration of Interests

You must, within 28 days of:

  1. a) The Code being adopted,

or

  1. b) Your acceptance of office as a Member,

or

  1. c) Disclosure of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest not on the Council’s Register of Interests or the subject of a pending registration,

notify the Proper Officer of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest where the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is yours or is the pecuniary interest of your spouse or civil partner, or somebody with whom you are living as husband or wife or as if you are civil partners.

  1. Disclosure of Interests

If you are present at a meeting of the Council, or any committee or working party of the Authority and you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or a Code of Conduct Interest in any matter to be considered or being considered at the meeting:

  1. a) You must disclose the existence and nature of that interest to the meeting.
  2. b) You may not participate in any discussion or vote taken on the matter at the meeting.

c)You must leave the room where the meeting is held before any discussion or voting takes place.

  1. If the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and is not registered or is not the subject of a pending registration you must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days.
  2. If the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, you must not make a statement on the matter in which you have an interest before leaving the room.
  3. If the interest is a Code of Conduct Interest you may make a statement on the matter in which you have an interest before leaving the room, in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.

 

  1. Offences

It is a criminal offence to:

  1. a) Fail to notify the Monitoring Officer of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest within 28 days of election.
  2. b) Fail to disclose a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest at a meeting if it is not on the register.
  3. c) Fail to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is not on the register that you have disclosed to a meeting.
  4. d) Participate in any discussion or vote on a matter in which you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest
  1. As an executive Member discharging a function acting alone, and having a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in such a matter, fail to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of the interest.
  2. Knowingly or recklessly provide information that is false or misleading in notifying the Monitoring Officer of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or in disclosing such interest to a meeting.

The criminal penalties available to a court are to impose a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale and disqualification from being a councillor for up to 5 years.