Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Parish Council - Standing Orders

Adopted 12th September 2017

1. Rules of debate at meetings.

a - Motions on the agenda shall be considered in the order that they appear unless the order is changed at the discretion of the chairman of the meeting.
b - A motion (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been moved and seconded.
c - A motion on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by the chairman of the meeting as withdrawn.
d - An amendment is a proposal to remove or add words to a motion. It shall not negate the motion.
e - One or more amendments may be discussed together if the chairman of the meeting considers this expedient but each amendment shall be voted upon separately.
f - Unless permitted by the chairman of the meeting, a councillor may speak once in the debate on a motion except:

g - 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 other irregularity in the proceedings of the meeting he is concerned by.
h - A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and his decision shall be final.
i - When a motion is under debate, no other motion shall be moved except: k - 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 his right of reply.
l - Excluding motions moved understanding order 1(j) above, the contributions or speeches by a councillor shall relate only to the motion under discussion and shall not exceed 5 minutes without the consent of the chairman of the meeting.

2. Disorderly conduct at meetings.

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

3. Meetings generally.

Applicable to:
FC - Full Council meetings C - Committee meetings S - Sub-committee meetings

a - (FC) 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 - (FC) 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.
c - (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 - (FC & 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.
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) above shall not exceed 10 minutes unless directed by the chairman of the meeting.
g - Subject to standing order 3(f) above, a member of the public shall not speak for more than 3 minutes.
h - In accordance with standing order 3(e) above, 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.
j - A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct his 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 - (FC & C) Filming, photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of any meeting of Council, should be conducted in accordance with the Council’s Protocol for Reporting at Meetings.
m - (FC & C) 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.
n - (FC) 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 his absence be done by, to or before the Vice-Chairman of the Council (if any).
o - (FC) The Chairman, if present, shall preside at a meeting. If the Chairman is absent from a meeting, the Vice-Chairman, 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.
p - (FC, C & SC) Subject to a meeting being quorate, all questions at a meeting shall be decided by a majority of the councillors or councillors with voting rights present and voting.
q - (FC, C & SC) 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 his casting vote whether or not he gave an original vote.
See standing orders 5(i) and (j) below for the different rules that apply in the election of the Chairman of the Council at the annual meeting of the council.
r - Unless standing orders provide otherwise, voting on a question shall be by a show of hands. At the request of a councillor, the voting on any question shall be recorded so as to show whether each councillor present and voting gave his vote for or against that question.
s - The minutes of a meeting shall include an accurate record of the following:

t - (FC, C & SC) 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 his right to participate and vote on that matter.
u - (FC) 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) below for the quorum of a committee or sub-committee meeting.
v - (FC, C & SC) 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.
w - A meeting shall not exceed a period of 2 ½ hours.

4. Committees and sub-committees.

a - Unless the council determines otherwise, a committee may appoint a sub-committee whose terms of reference and members shall be determined by the committee.
b - The members of a committee may include non-councillors unless it is a committee which regulates and controls the finances of the council.
c - Unless the council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory committee and a sub-committee of the advisory committee may be non-councillors.
d - The council may appoint standing committees or other committees as may be necessary, and:

5. Ordinary council meetings.

a - In an election year, the annual meeting of the council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the 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 6pm.
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 first business conducted at the annual meeting of the council shall be the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman (if any) 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 (if any) of the Council at the annual meeting of the council, the business of the annual meeting shall include:

6. Extraordinary meetings of the council and committees and sub-committees.

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 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 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 the 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 7 days of having been requested by to do so by 2 members of the committee [or the sub-committee], any 2 members of the committee [and the sub-committee] may convene an extraordinary meeting of a committee [and a sub-committee].

7. Previous resolutions.

a - A resolution shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special motion, which requires written notice by at least 2 councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9 below, or by a motion moved in pursuance of the recommendation of a committee or a sub-committee.
b - When a motion moved pursuant to standing order 7(a) above has been disposed of, no similar motion may be moved within a further six months.

8. Voting on appointments.

a - Where more than two persons have been nominated for a position to be filled by the council and none of those persons has received an absolute majority of votes in their favour, the name of the person having the least number of votes shall be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken. This process shall continue until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person. A tie in votes may be settled by the casting vote exercisable by the chairman of the meeting.

9. Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the Proper Officer (Clerk).

a - A motion shall relate to the responsibilities of the meeting which it is tabled for and in any event shall relate to the performance of the council’s statutory functions, powers and obligations or an issue which specifically affects the council’s area or its residents.
b - No motion may be moved at a meeting unless it is on the agenda and the mover has given written notice of its wording to the Proper Officer (Clerk) at least 7 clear days before the meeting. Clear days do not include the day of the notice or the day of the meeting.
c - If the wording or subject of a proposed motion is considered improper, the Proper Officer shall consult with the chairman of the forthcoming meeting or, as the case may be, the councillors who have convened the meeting, to consider whether the motion shall be included in the agenda or rejected.

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

a - The following motions may be moved at a meeting without written notice to the Proper Officer (Clerk);

11. Handling confidential or sensitive information.

a - The agenda, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
b - Councillors and staff shall not disclose confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.

12. Draft minutes.

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) above.
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 - Upon a resolution which confirms the accuracy of the minutes of a meeting, the draft minutes of the meeting for which approved minutes exist shall be destroyed.

13. Code of conduct and dispensations.

See also standing order 3(t) above.
a - All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the council.
b - Unless he has been granted a dispensation, a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he has a disclosable pecuniary interest. He may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he had the interest.
c - Unless he has been granted a dispensation, a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he has another interest if so required by the council’s code of conduct. He may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he had the interest.
d - Dispensation requests shall be in writing and submitted to the Clerk (Proper Officer) as soon as possible before the meeting, or failing that, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.
e - A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by the Proper Officer OR by a meeting of the council, or committee or sub-committee for which the dispensation is required and that decision is final.
f - A dispensation request shall confirm:

g - Subject to standing orders 13(d) and (f) above, dispensations requests 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 a sub-committee for which the dispensation is required.
h - A dispensation may be granted in accordance with standing order 13(e) above if having regard to all relevant circumstances the following applies:

14. Code of conduct complaints.

a - Upon notification by the District or County 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 above, report this to the council.
b - Where the notification in standing order 14(a) above relates to a complaint made by the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Chairman of Council of this 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) below].
c - The council may:

d - Upon notification by the District or County 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 him. Such action excludes disqualification or suspension from office.

15. Proper Officer.

a - 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.
b - The Proper Officer shall:

See also standing order 22 below.

16. Responsible Financial Officer.

a - 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.

a - “Proper practices” in standing orders refer to the most recent version of Governance and Accountability for Local Councils – a Practitioners’ Guide (England).
b - All payments by the council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the council’s financial regulations.
c - The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor as soon as practicable after 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year a statement to summarise:

and which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.
d - As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide: e - The year end accounting statements shall be prepared in accordance with proper practices and applying the form of accounts determined by the council (receipts and payments, or income and expenditure) for a year to 31 March. A completed draft annual return shall be presented to the council before the end of the following month of May. The annual return of the council, which is subject to external audit, including the annual governance statement, shall be presented to council for consideration and formal approval before 30 June.

18. Financial controls and procurement.

a - The council shall consider and approve financial regulations drawn up by the Responsible Financial Officer, which shall include detailed arrangements in respect of the following:

b - Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.
c - Financial regulations shall confirm that a proposed contract for the supply of goods, materials, services and the execution of works with an estimated value in excess of £25,000 shall be covered by the 2015 Regulations which include the use of the Contracts Finder website (gov.uk).
d - Subject to additional requirements in the financial regulations of the council, the tender process for contracts for the supply of goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall include, as a minimum, the following steps: e - Neither the council, nor a committee or a sub-committee with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.
f - The 2015 Regulations are engaged where the value of a contract for a) public works, public service or public supply contract with an estimated value of £25,000 or more and b) i) a public works contract with an estimated value of currently £4,104,394 or more of ii) a public service or public supply contract with an estimated value of currently £164,176 or more. The financial thresholds for proposed contracts in b) are set by the European Commission and are confirmed in the Public Contracts Directive 2014/24/EU. The thresholds will be adjusted every two years and will usually take effect on 1 January.

19. Handling staff matters.

a - A matter personal to a member of staff that is being considered by a meeting of council is subject to standing order 11 above.
b - The chairman or in his absence, the vice-chairman shall upon a resolution conduct a review of the performance and annual appraisal of the work of the Proper Officer of the Council. The reviews and appraisal shall be reported in writing and is subject to approval by resolution of Denton Parish Council.
c - Subject to the council’s policy regarding the handling of grievance matters, the council’s most senior employee (or other employees) shall contact the chairman of Denton Parish Council or in his absence, the vice-chairman in respect of an informal or formal grievance matter, and this matter shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of Denton Parish Council.
d - Subject to the council’s policy regarding the handling of grievance matters, if an informal or formal grievance matter raised by the Proper Officer of the Council relates to the chairman or vice-chairman of Denton Parish Council this shall be communicated to another member of Denton Parish Council, which shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of Denton Parish Council.
e - Any persons responsible for all or part of the management of staff shall treat the written records of all meetings relating to their performance, capabilities, grievance or disciplinary matters as confidential and secure.
f - The council shall keep all written records relating to employees secure. All paper records shall be secured and locked and electronic records shall be password protected and encrypted.
g - Only persons with line management responsibilities shall have access to staff records referred to in standing orders 19(e) and (f) above if so justified.
h - Access and means of access by keys and/or computer passwords to records of employment referred to in standing orders 19(e) and (f) above shall be provided only to the Proper Officer of the Council and/or Chairman of the Council.

20. Requests for information.

a - Requests for information held by the council shall be handled in accordance with the council’s policy in respect of handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
b - Correspondence from, and notices served by, the Information Commissioner shall be referred by the Proper Officer to the chairman of Denton Parish Council. Denton Council shall have the power to do anything to facilitate compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

21. Relations with the press/media.

a - Requests from the press or other media for an oral or written comment or statement from the Council, its councillors or staff shall be handled in accordance with the Council’s policy in respect of dealing with the press and/or other media.

22. Execution and sealing of legal deeds.

See also standing orders 15(b)(xii) and (xvii) above. a - A legal deed shall not be executed on behalf of the council unless authorised by a resolution.
b - [Subject to standing order 22(a) above, the council’s common seal shall alone be used for sealing a deed required by law. It shall be applied by the Proper Officer in the presence of two councillors who shall sign the deed as witnesses.] The above is applicable to a council with a common seal.
OR
[Subject to standing order 22(a) above, any two councillors may sign, on behalf of the council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures.] The above is applicable to a council without a common seal.

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

24. Restrictions on councillor activities.

a - Unless authorised by a resolution, no councillor shall:

25. Standing orders generally.

a - All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory 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 requirements, shall be proposed by a special motion, the written notice by at least 2 councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9 above.
c - The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the council’s standing orders to a councillor as soon as possible after he has delivered his acceptance of office form.
d - The decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.

Kay Wiltshire, Chair

Jackie Ellis, Clerk - Proper Officer of the Council

Standing Orders Reviewed September 2017

Standing Orders Adopted 12th September 2017

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