High Halstow Parish Council
1 Meetings of the Council shall be held at the Memorial Hall, The Street, High Halstow at 8.00 pm unless the Council decides otherwise at a previous meeting.
THE STATUTORY ANNUAL MEETING
2 The Statutory Annual Meeting shall be held
a in an election year the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on the second Wednesday in May and
b in a year which is not an election year the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on such a day in May as the Council may direct.
3 The three other statutory meetings shall be held in the months of September, November and March on such days as the Council may direct.
4 Seven additional meetings shall be held on such days (normally the second Wednesday in the month) as the Council shall decide at its statutory Annual Parish Council Meeting.
CHAIRMAN OF MEETING
5 The person presiding at a meeting may exercise all the powers and duties of the Chairman in relation to the conduct of the meeting.
6 Where a statute, regulation or order confers functions and duties on the Proper Officer of the Council in the following cases, he shall be the Clerk:
a To receive declarations of acceptance of office
b To receive and record notices disclosing interests at meetings
c To receive and retain plans and documents
d To sign notices or other documents on behalf of the Council
e To receive copies of bye-laws made by the Medway Council
f To certify copies of bye-laws made by the Council
g To sign and issue the summons to attend meetings of the Council
h To keep proper records for all Council meetings
In any other case the Proper Officer shall be the person nominated by the Council and, in default of nomination, the Clerk.
7 Three members or one third of the total membership shall form a quorum.
8 If a quorum is not present or if during a meeting the number of councillors present (not counting those debarred by reason of a declared interest) falls below the required quorum, the meeting shall be adjourned and business not transacted shall be transacted at the next meeting or on such other day as the Chairman may fix.
9 For a quorum relating to a committee or sub-committee, please refer to standing order 43.
10 Members shall vote by show of hands.
11 If a member so requires, the Clerk shall record the names of the members who voted on any question so as to show whether they voted for or against it. Such a request must be made before moving on to the next business.
a Subject to [b] and [c] below, the Chairman may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote and in the case of an equality of votes may give a casting vote whether or not he gave an original vote.
b If the person presiding at the Annual Parish Council Meeting would have ceased to be a member of the Council but for the statutory provisions which preserve the membership of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman until the end of their term of office he may not give an original vote in an election for Chairman.
c The person presiding must give a casting vote whenever there is an equality of votes in an election for Chairman.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
Note: In an election year councillors should execute Declarations of Acceptance of Office and written undertakings to observe the code of conduct adopted by the Council in each other’s presence, or in the presence of a proper officer previously authorised by the Council to take such declarations, before the Annual Parish Council Meeting commences.
13 At each Annual Parish Council Meeting the first business shall be
a To elect a Chairman
b To receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office, or if it is not then received, to decide when it shall be received
c In the ordinary year of election of the Council to fill any vacancies left unfilled at the election by reason of insufficient nominations
d To decide when any Declarations of Acceptance of Office and written undertakings to observe the code of conduct adopted by the Council which have not been received as provided by law, shall be received
e To elect a Vice-Chairman
f To appoint Committees
g To appoint representatives to outside bodies
and shall thereafter follow the order set out in Standing Order 16.
14 At every meeting other than the Annual Parish Council Meeting the first business shall be to appoint a Chairman if the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be absent and to receive such Declarations of Acceptance of Office (if any) and undertaking to observe the Council’s Code of Conduct as are required by law to be made, or, if not then received, to decide when they shall be received.
15 In every year not later than the Annual Parish Council Meeting the Council shall review the pay and conditions of service of existing employees.
(see Standing Order 33 below)
16 After the first business has been completed, the order of business, unless the Council otherwise decides on the grounds of urgency, shall be as follows:
a To read and consider the Minutes, provided that if a copy has been circulated to each member not later than the day of issue of the summons to attend the meeting, the Minutes may be taken as read.
b After consideration to approve the signature of the Minutes by the person presiding as a correct record.
c To deal with business expressly required by statute to be done.
d To consider matters arising from the Minutes of the previous meeting not appearing elsewhere on the Agenda.
e To consider the remaining business in the order in which it appears on the Agenda.
17 A motion to vary the order of business on the ground of urgency may be proposed by the Chairman and may be put to the vote without being seconded, or may be proposed by a member and if seconded shall be put to the vote, in either case without discussion.
RESOLUTIONS MOVED ON NOTICE
18 Except as provided by these Standing Orders, no resolution may be moved unless the business to which it relates has been put on the Agenda by the Clerk or the mover has given notice in writing of its terms and has delivered the notice to the Clerk at least seven clear days before the next meeting of the Council.
19 The Clerk shall insert in the summons for every meeting all notices of motion or recommendation properly given in the order in which they have been received unless the member giving a notice of motion has stated in writing that he intends to move it at some later meeting or withdraws it.
20 If a resolution or recommendation specified in the summons is not moved either by the member who gives notice of it, or by any other member, it shall unless postponed by the Council be treated as withdrawn and shall not be moved without fresh notice.
21 Every resolution or recommendation shall be relevant to some subject over which the Council has power or which affects its area.
RESOLUTIONS MOVED WITHOUT NOTICE
22 Resolutions dealing with the following matters may be moved without notice:
a To appoint a Chairman of the Meeting
b To correct the Minutes
c To approve the Minutes
d To alter the order of business
e To proceed to the next business
f To close or adjourn the debate
g To refer a matter to a committee
h To appoint a committee or any members thereof
i To adopt a report
j To authorise the sealing of documents
k To amend a resolution
l To give leave to withdraw a resolution or amendment
m To exclude the public
(See Standing Order 67 below)
n To silence or eject from the meeting a member named for his misconduct
(See Standing Order 28 below)
o To give the consent of the Council where such consent is required by these Standing Orders
p To suspend any Standing Order
(See Standing Order 83 below)
q To adjourn the meeting
RULES OF DEBATE
23 No discussion shall take place upon the Minutes except upon their accuracy. Corrections to the Minutes shall be made by resolution and must be initialled by the Chairman.
a A resolution or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded and, unless proper notice has already been given, it shall, if required by the Chairman, be reduced to writing and handed to him before it is further discussed and put to the meeting.
b A member when seconding a resolution or amendment may, if he then declares his intention to do so, reserve his speech until a later period of the debate.
c A member shall direct his speech to the question under discussion or to a personal explanation or to a question of order.
d An amendment shall be either
i To leave out words
ii To leave out words and insert or add others
iii To insert or add words
e An amendment shall not have the effect of negating the resolution before the Council.
f If an amendment be carried, the resolution, as amended, shall take the place of the original resolution and shall become the resolution upon which any further amendment may be moved.
g A further amendment shall not be moved until the Council has disposed of every amendment previously moved.
h A member, other than the mover of a resolution, shall not, without leave of the Council, speak more than once on any resolution except to move an amendment or further amendment, or on an amendment, or on a point of order, or in personal explanation, or to move a closure.
i A member may speak on a point of order or a personal explanation. A member speaking for these purposes shall be heard forthwith. A personal explanation shall be confined to some material part of a former speech by him which may have been misunderstood.
j A motion or amendment may be withdrawn by the proposer with the consent of the Council, which shall be signified without discussion and no member may speak upon it after permission has been asked for its withdrawal, unless such permission has been refused.
k When a resolution is under debate no other resolutions shall be moved except the following:
i To amend the resolution
ii To proceed to the next business
iii To adjourn the debate
iv That the question be now put
v That a member named be not further heard
vi That a member named do leave the meeting
vii That the resolution be referred to a committee
viii To exclude the public and press
ix To adjourn the meeting
25 A member shall remain seated when speaking unless requested to stand by the Chairman.
a The ruling of the Chairman on a point of order or on the admissibility of a personal explanation shall not be discussed.
b Members shall address the Chairman.
c Any member wishing to speak shall so indicate to the Chairman. If two or more members wish to speak, the Chairman shall call upon one of them to speak and the others shall remain silent until called upon by the Chairman to speak.
d Whenever the Chairman rises or speaks during a debate all other members shall be seated and silent.
27 At the end of any speech a member may, without comment, move “that the question be now put”, “that the debate be now adjourned” or “that the Council do now adjourn.” If such a motion is seconded the Chairman shall put the motion, but in the case of a motion “that the question be now put”, only if he is of the opinion that the question before the Council has been sufficiently debated. If the motion “that the question be now put” is carried, he shall call upon the mover to exercise or waive his right of reply and shall put the question immediately after that right has been exercised or waived. The adjournment of a debate or of the Council shall not prejudice the mover’s right of reply at the resumption.
Note: where a meeting is adjourned the subsequent proceedings are part of the original meeting and no new notices or agendas need to be issued except a notification to members not present of the date of the continuation of the meeting.
a All members must observe the Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 17 April 2002.
b No member shall at a meeting persistently disregard the ruling of the Chairman, wilfully obstruct business, or behave irregularly, offensively, improperly or in such a manner as to or to bring the Council into disrepute.
c If in the opinion of the Chairman, a member has acted in a manner contrary to that required, the Chairman shall express that opinion to the Council and thereafter any member may move that the member named be no longer heard or that the member named do leave the meeting and the motion, if seconded, shall be put forthwith and without discussion. If a member reasonably believes another member is in breach of the code of conduct, that member is under a duty to report the breach to the Standards Board.
d If either of the motions mentioned in paragraph [c] is disobeyed, the Chairman may suspend or adjourn the meeting or take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce them.
RIGHT OF REPLY
29 The mover of a resolution shall have a right to reply immediately before the resolution is put to the vote. If an amendment is proposed the mover of the amendment shall be entitled to reply immediately before the amendment is put to the vote. A member exercising a right of reply shall not introduce a new matter. After the right of reply has been exercised or waived, a vote shall be taken without further discussion.
ALTERATION OF RESOLUTION
30 A member may, with the consent of his seconder, move amendments to his own resolution.
RESCISSION OF PREVIOUS RESOLUTION
a A decision (whether affirmative or negative) of the Council shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special resolution, the written notice whereof bearing the names of at least five members of the Council, or by a resolution moved in pursuance of the report or recommendation of a committee.
b When a special resolution or any other resolution moved under the provision of paragraph [a] of this Standing Order has been disposed of, no similar resolution may be moved within a further six months.
VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS
32 Where more than two persons have been nominated for any position to be filled by the Council and of the votes given there is not an absolute majority in favour of one person, the name of the person having the least number of votes shall be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken and so on until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person.
DISCUSSIONS AND RESOLUTIONS AFFECTING EMPLOYEES OF THE COUNCIL
33 If at a meeting there arises any question relating to the appointment, conduct, promotion, dismissal, salary or conditions of service, of any person employed by the Council, it shall not be considered until the Council or committee (as the case may be) has decided whether or not the public shall be excluded.
(See Standing Order 67)
RESOLUTIONS ON EXPENDITURE
34 Any resolution which is moved other than in pursuance of a recommendation of the Finance Committee or of another committee after recommendation by the Finance Committee and which, if carried, would, in the opinion of the Chairman substantially increase the expenditure upon any service which is under the management of the Council or reduce the revenue at the disposal of any committee, or which would involve capital expenditure, shall, when proposed and seconded,, stand adjourned without discussion to the next ordinary meeting of the council, and any committee affected by it shall consider whether it desires to report thereon and the Finance Committee shall report on the financial aspect of the matters.
35 Orders for the payment of money shall be authorised by resolution of the Council and signed by two members and the Clerk.
SEALING OF DOCUMENTS
a A document shall not be sealed on behalf of the Council unless its sealing has been authorised by a resolution.
b Any two members of the Council named in a resolution moved under the provisions of paragraph [a] of this Standing Order may, on behalf of the Council, seal any document required by law to be issued under seal.
COMMITTEES AND SUB-COMMITTEES
37 The Council may at its Annual Parish Council Meeting appoint standing committees and may at any other time appoint such other committees as are necessary, but subject to any statutory provision in that behalf:
a Shall not appoint any member of a committee so as to hold office later than the next Annual Parish Council Meeting
b May subject to the provisions of Standing Order 31 above at any time dissolve or alter the membership of a committee
38 The Chairman and Vice-Chairman ex officio shall be voting members of every committee.
39 Every committee shall at its first meeting before proceeding to any other business elect a Chairman and may elect a Vice-Chairman who shall hold office until the next Annual Parish Council Meeting and shall settle its programme of meetings for the year.
40 The Chairman of a committee or the Chairman of the Council may summon an additional meeting of that committee at any time. An additional meeting shall also be summoned on the requisition in writing of not less than a third of the members of the committee. The summons shall set out the business to be considered at the special meeting and no other business shall be transacted at that meeting.
41 Every committee may appoint sub-committees for purposes to be specified by the committee.
42 The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the committee shall be members of every sub-committee appointed by it unless they signify they do not wish to serve.
43 Except where ordered by the Council the quorum of a committee or sub-committee shall be one half of its members.
44 The Standing Orders on rules of debate and the Standing Orders on interests of members in contracts and other matters shall apply to committee and sub-committee meetings.
45 ADVISORY COMMITTEES
a The Council may create advisory committees, whose name and number of members and the bodies to nominate members shall be specified.
b The Clerk shall inform the members of each advisory committee of the terms of reference of the committee.
c An advisory committee may make recommendations and give notice thereof to the Council.
d An advisory committee may consist wholly of persons who are not members of the Council.
VOTING IN COMMITTEES
46 Members of committees and sub-committees entitled to vote shall vote by show of hands.
47 Chairmen of committees and sub-committees shall in the case of equality of votes have a second or casting vote.
PRESENCE OF NON-MEMBERS OF COMMITTEES AT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
48 A member who has proposed a resolution that has been referred to any committee of which he is not a member may explain his resolution to the committee but shall not vote.
ACCOUNTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT
a Except as provided in paragraph [b] of this Standing Order or by statute, all accounts for payment and claims upon the Council shall be laid before the Council.
b Where it is necessary to make a payment before it has been authorised by the Council, such payment shall be certified as to its correctness and urgency by the Responsible Financial Officer or the Clerk, if different. Such payment shall be authorised by the committee, if any, having charge of the business to which it relates, or by the proper officer for payment with the approval of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Council.
c All payments ratified under paragraph [b] of this Standing Order shall be separately included in the next schedule of payments laid before the Council.
50 The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each member as soon as practicable after 31 March in each year a statement of the receipts and payments of the Council for the completed financial year. A financial statement prepared on the appropriate accounting basis (receipts and payments, or income and expenditure) for a year to 31 March shall be presented to each member before the end of the following month of June. The Statement of Accounts of the Council (which is subject to an external audit) shall be presented to Council for formal approval before the end of the following month of September.
51 If any member has a personal interest as defined by the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council on 17 April 2002 then he shall declare such interest as soon as it becomes apparent, disclosing the existence and nature of that interest as required.
58 If a member who has declared a personal interest then considers the interest prejudicial, he must withdraw from the room or chamber during consideration of the item to which the interest relates.
59 The Clerk may be required to compile and hold a Register of Members’ Interests, or a copy thereof, in accordance with agreement reached with the Monitoring Officer of the Responsible authority and/or as required by statute.
60 If a candidate for any appointment under the Council is to his knowledge related to any member of or the holder of any office under the Council, he and the person to whom he is related shall disclose the relationship in writing to the Clerk. A candidate who so fails to do shall be disqualified for such appointment, and, if appointed, may be dismissed without notice. The Clerk shall report to the Council or to the appropriate committee any such disclosure. Where relationship to a member is disclosed, this standing order shall apply.
61 The Clerk shall make known the purpose of this standing order to every candidate.
CANVASSING OF AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY MEMBERS
a Canvassing of members of the Council or of any committee, directly or indirectly, for any appointment under the Council shall disqualify the candidate for such appointment. The Clerk shall make known the purport of this paragraph of this Standing Order to every candidate.
b A member of the Council or of any committee shall not solicit for any person any appointment under the Council or recommend any person for such appointment or for promotion, but, nevertheless, any such member may give a written testimonial of a candidate’s ability, experience or character for submission to the Council with an application for appointment.
63 Standing Orders 60 and 62 shall apply to tenders as if the person making the tender were a candidate for an appointment.
INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS
64 A member may for the purpose of his duty as such (but not otherwise) inspect any document in possession of the Council or a committee and if copies are available, shall, on request, be supplied for the like purpose with a copy.
65 All Minutes kept by the Council and by any committee shall be kept open for the inspection of any member of the Council.
66 No member of the Council or of any committee or sub-committee shall in the name of or on behalf of the Council:
a Inspect any lands or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect; or
b Issue orders, instructions or directions
unless authorised to do so by the Council or the relevant committee or sub-committee.
ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS TO MEETINGS
67 The public shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council and its committees and sub-committees, which may, however, temporarily exclude the public and press by means of the following resolutions:
“That in view of the [special] [confidential] nature of the business to be transacted, it is advisable in the public interest that the press and public be temporarily excluded and that they are instructed to withdraw.”
68 The Council, committee or sub-committee shall state the special reason for exclusion.
69 The Clerk shall afford to the press reasonable facilities for taking their report of any proceedings at which they are entitled to be present. There shall be no audio or video recording or photographs of the meeting without the express approval of the Council.
70 At all meetings of the Council, the Chairman may at his or her discretion and at a convenient time in the transaction of business, adjourn the meeting so as to allow any members of the public to address the meeting in relation to the business to be transacted at that meeting.
71 If a member off the public interrupts the proceedings at any meeting, the Chairman may, after warning, order that he be removed from the meeting and may adjourn the meeting for such period as is necessary to restore order.
a No member of the Council or of any committee or sub-committee shall disclose to any person not a member of the Council any business declared to be confidential by the Council, the committee or the sub-committee as the case may be.
b Any member in breach of the provisions of paragraph [a] of this Standing Order shall be removed from any committee or sub-committee of the Council by the Council.
LIAISON WITH MEDWAY COUNCILLORS
73 A notice of meeting and agenda shall be sent together with an invitation to attend to the Medway Councillors for the appropriate ward.
74 The Clerk shall, as soon as it is received, record either on paper or electronically the following particulars of every planning application notified to the Council:
a The date on which it was received
b The name of the applicant
c The place to which it relates
75 The Clerk shall notify the receipt of every planning application to the Chairman/Chairman of the Planning Committee or in the absence of the Chairman to the Vice-Chairman as soon as practicable.
76 The Council shall consider and approve Financial Regulations drawn up by the Responsible Financial Officer. Such Regulations shall include detailed arrangements for the following:
a The accounting records and systems of internal control;
b The assessment and management of risks faced by the Council;
c The work of the Internal Auditor and the receipt of regular reports from the Internal Auditor which shall be required at least annually;
d The financial reporting requirements of members and local electors and
e Procurement policies (subject to standing order 77 below) including the setting of values for different procedures where the contract has an estimated value less than £50,000.
a Where it is intended to enter into a contract likely to exceed £1,000 but not to exceed £2,000 for the supply of goods or services or the execution of works the Clerk shall (except in the cases specified in paragraph [c] of this Standing Order) obtain at least three quotations from suitable contractors.
b Where it is intended to enter into a contract likely to exceed £2,000 for the supply of goods and services or for the execution of works the Clerk shall (except in the cases specified in paragraph [c] of this Standing Order) seek at least three tenders from suitable contractors and shall specify a time and date by which tenders must be submitted to him or her.
c Paragraphs [a] and [b] of this Standing Order shall not apply where the contract is of a specialised nature and it is impracticable to seek three or more quotations or three or more tenders, where the Medway Council has been requested and has agreed to act as the Council’s agent for the purposes of the contract and where the intended contract is for goods, supplies or works similar to those covered by a contract in course of execution which has been entered into as a result of quotation under paragraph [a] or of competitive tender under paragraph [b] of this Standing Order.
d Tenders shall be opened by the Clerk and one member of the Council on the date specified pursuant to paragraph [b] of this Standing Order and shall be reported by the persons who opened them to the Council or, where tenders have been sought by a committee, to that committee.
e Neither the Council nor any committee is bound to accept the lowest quotation or tender.
f If no quotations or tenders are received or if all the quotations or tenders are identical the Council may make such arrangements for procuring the goods or materials or executing the works as it thinks fit.
g A notice issued under this Standing Order shall contain a statement of the effect of Standing Orders 62 and 63 and shall comply with the code of Conduct.
78 Any proposed contract for the supply of goods, materials, services and the execution of works with an estimated value in excess of £50,000 shall be procured on the basis of a formal tender as summarised in standing order 79 below.
79 Any formal tender process shall comprise the following steps:
a A public notice of intention to place a contract be placed in a local newspaper;
b A specification of the goods, materials, services and the execution of works shall be drawn up;
c Tenders are to be sent, in a sealed marked envelope, to the Clerk by a stated date and time;
d Tenders submitted are to be opened, after the stated closing date and time, by the Clerk and at least one member of the Council;
e Tenders are then to be assessed and reported to the appropriate meeting of the Council or committee.
80 The Council or committee is not bound to accept the lowest tender, estimate or quote. Any tender notice shall contain a reference to standing orders 59 and 61 regarding improper activity.
81 The Financial Regulations of the Council shall be subject to regular review, at least once every four years.
CODE OF CONDUCT OF COMPLAINTS
82 The Council shall deal with complaints of maladministration allegedly committed by the Council or by any officer or member in such manner as adopted by the Council except for those complaints which should be properly directed to the Standards Board for consideration.
VARIATION, REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS
83 Any or every part of the Standing Orders except those printed in bold type may be suspended by resolution in relation to any specific item of business.
84 A resolution permanently to add, vary, or revoke a Standing Order shall, when proposed and seconded, stand adjourned without discussion to the next ordinary meeting of the Council.
STANDING ORDERS TO BE GIVEN TO MEMBERS
85 A copy of these Standing Orders shall be given to each member by the Clerk upon delivery to him of the member’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office and written undertaking to observe the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council on 17 April 2002.
Adopted by the Council 14 November 2002