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Gosforth Parish Council Standing Orders

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Gosforth Parish Council
Standing Orders
Updated and adopted on 8th December 2021
Amended in line with the National Association for Local Council’s

 CONTENTS

SO No. Page No.
1 Rules of Debate 2
2 Disorderly Conduct at Meetings 3
3 Meetings Generally 4
4 Committees and Sub-Committees 6
5 Ordinary Council Meetings 6
6 Extraordinary Meetings of the Council 7
7 Previous Resolutions 9
8 Voting on Appointments 9
9 Handling Confidential or Sensitive Information 9
10 Draft Minutes 9
11 Code of Conduct and Dispensations 10
12 Code of Conduct Complaints 11
13 Proper Officer 11
14 Responsible Financial Officer 12
15 Accounts and Accounting Statements 12
16 Financial Controls and Procurement 13
17 Handling Staff Matters 13
18 Requests for Information 14
19 Relations with Press/Media 14
20 Restrictions on Councillor Activities 14
21 Standing Orders Generally 15
  1. RULES OF DEBATE AT MEETINGS
  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 he last spoke;
  3. to make a point of order;
  4. to give a personal explanation; or
  5. to exercise a right of reply.
  1. to amend the motion;
  2. to proceed to the next business;
  3. to adjourn the debate;
  4. to put the motion to a vote;
  5. to ask a person to be no longer heard or to leave the meeting;
  6. to refer a motion to a committee or sub-committee for consideration;
  7. to exclude the public and press;
  8. to adjourn the meeting; or
  9. to suspend particular standing order(s) excepting those which reflect mandatory statutory or legal requirements.
  1. DISORDERLY CONDUCT AT MEETINGS
  1. MEETINGS GENERALLY
a             Meetings shall not take place in premises which at the time of the meeting are used for the supply of alcohol, unless no other premises are available free of charge or at a reasonable cost.
 

 

b             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             Meetings shall be open to the public unless their presence is prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons. The public’s exclusion from part or all of a meeting shall be by a resolution which shall give reasons for the public’s exclusion.
d             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.
e             The period of time designated for public participation at a meeting in accordance with standing order 3(d) shall not exceed fifteen minutes unless directed by the chairperson of the meeting.
f              Subject to standing order 3(e), a member of the public shall not speak for more than fifteen minutes.
g             In accordance with standing order 3(d), a question shall not require a response at the meeting nor start a debate on the question. The chairperson of the meeting may direct that a written or oral response be given.
h             A person shall raise his hand when requesting to speak and may stand or be seated when speaking.
i               A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct his comments to the chairperson of the meeting.
j               Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. If more than one person wants to speak, the chairperson of the meeting shall direct the order of speaking.
 

 

k             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.
l               Subject to standing orders which indicate otherwise, anything authorised or required to be done by, to or before the Chairperson of the Council may in his absence be done by, to or before the Vice-Chairperson of the Council.
m           The Chairperson, if present, shall preside at a meeting. If the Chairperson is absent from a meeting, the Vice-Chairperson, if present, shall preside. If both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson are absent from a meeting, a councillor, as chosen by the councillors present at the meeting, shall preside at the meeting.
 

 

 

n             Subject to a meeting being quorate, all questions at a meeting shall be decided by a majority of the councillors with voting rights present and voting.  
 

 

 

o             The chairperson 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(h) and (i) for the different rules that apply in the election of the Chairperson of the Council at the annual meeting of the Council.

p             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. Such a request shall be made before moving on to the next item of business on the agenda.
q             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 absent and any reasons for their absence given;

iii.           interests that have been declared by councillors;

iv.          whether a councillor left the meeting when matters that they held interests in were being considered;

v.            if there was a public participation session; and

vi.          the resolutions made.

 

 

 

 

 

r              A councillor 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.
 

 

 

s             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(vi) for the quorum of a committee meeting.

 

 

 

t              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.
u             A meeting shall not exceed a period of two hours.
  1. COMMITTEES AND SUB-COMMITTEES

5. ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETINGS

6. EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL

  1. The Chairperson of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council at any time.
  2. If the Chairperson 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.
  3. The chairperson of a committee may convene an extraordinary meeting of the committee at any time.
  4. If the chairperson of a committee does not call an extraordinary meeting within seven days of having been requested to do so by two members of the committee, any two members of the committee may convene an extraordinary meeting of the committee.

7.  PREVIOUS RESOLUTIONS

8.            VOTING ON APPPOINTMENTS

9.          HANDLING CONFIDENTIAL OR SENSITIVE INFORMATION

10.          DRAFT MINUTES

11.         CODE OF CONDUCT AND DISPENSATIONS

See also standing order 3(r) above

12.          CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINTS

13.         PROPER OFFICER

14.          RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER

15.         ACCOUNTS AND ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS

16.         FINANCIAL CONTROLS AND PROCUREMENT

17.         HANDLING STAFF MATTERS

18.          REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

19.        RELATIONS WITH PRESS/MEDIA

20.         RESTRICTIONS ON COUNCILLOR ACTIVITIES

  1. STANDING ORDERS GENERALLY