Standing Orders for Winterbourne Parish Council
The Statutory Annual Meeting (a) in an election year shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take office (b) in a year which is not an election year shall be held on such day in May as the Council may direct.
In addition to the Statutory Annual Meeting at least three other statutory meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times and at such place as the Council may direct.
Chairman of meeting
The person presiding at a meeting may exercise all the powers and duties of the Chairman in relation to the conduct of the Meeting.
Three members or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, shall constitute a quorum.
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 may be made before or after the vote but in any event before moving on to the next business.
(1) Subject to (2) and (3) 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.
(2) If the person presiding at the annual 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.
(3) The person presiding must give a casting vote whenever there is an equality of votes in an election for Chairman.
Order of business
(In an election year councillors should execute Declarations of Acceptance of Office in each others presence, or in the presence of
a proper officer previously authorised by the Council to take such declaration, before the annual meeting commences.
At each Annual Meeting the first business shall be
(a) To elect a Chairman
(b) To receive the Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office or, if 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 comply with the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council which have not been received as provided by law shall be received.
At every meeting other than the Annual 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) as are required by law to be made, or if not then received to decide when they shall be received.
(a) After consideration to approve the signature of the Minutes by the person presiding as a correct record.
(b) To deal with business expressly required by statute to be done.
All members must behave in a manner required by the Code of Conduct which has been adopted by the Council, a copy of which is annexed to these Standing Orders.
Voting in committees
Chairmen shall in the case of an equality of votes have a second or casting vote.
If a member has a personal interest as defined by the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council then he shall declare such interest as soon as it becomes apparent, disclosing the nature and extent of that interest as required.
If a member who has declared a personal interest then considers the interest to be prejudicial, he must withdraw from the meeting during consideration of the item to which the interest relates.
Inspection of documents
All Minutes kept by the Council and by any committee shall be open for the inspection of any member of the Council.
Admission of the public and press to meetings
The public shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council and its committees and sub-committees, which may, however, temporarily exclude the public by means of the following resolution:
“That in view of the [special] [confidential] nature of the business about to be transacted, it is advisable in the public interest that the public be temporarily excluded and they are instructed to withdraw”.
(Notes: The special reasons should be stated. If a person’s advice or assistance is needed they may be invited (by name) to remain after the exclusion resolution is passed).
The Clerk shall afford to the press reasonable facilities for taking their report of any proceedings at which they are entitled to be present.
Code of conduct on complaints
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.
The Parish Council will not offer a formal opinion or decision on a proposed planning matter/application with either the proposer or their agent prior until a formal application has been prepared and lodged with the proper planning authority.
Standing orders to be given to members
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 comply with the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council.
Code of conduct and dispensations
(a) 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.
(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 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.
(c) 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.
(d) A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by the Proper Officer and/or by a meeting of the council, or committee or sub-committee for which the dispensation is required and that decision is final.
(e) A dispensation request shall confirm:
the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;
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
an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.
Additions: item 18 following agreement at the December 18th 2013 meeting of the Parish Council, item 20 following agreement at the October 21st 2015 meeting of the Parish Council