CLAVERTON PARISH COUNCIL

BATHAVON NORTH WARD

BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET

STANDING ORDERS and other information

June 2011

 


PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS

1. The Statutory Annual Parish Council 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 a day in May as the Council may direct.

2. In addition to the Statutory Annual Parish Council Meeting at least three other statutory meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times and at such places as the Council may direct.

3. Notice of the time and place of meetings must be displayed on the Village Notice Board at least three clear days before the meeting.

4. All members of the Council shall be given at least three days written notice of all Parish Council Meetings from the Clerk specifying the business to be transacted (the agenda).

Chairman of the 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.

Quorum

6. Three members, or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, shall constitute a quorum at meetings of the Council. If there is no quorum there can be no meeting and, accordingly the business stands adjourned.

Voting

7. Subject to any legal requirements, all questions to be decided by the Council shall be decided by a majority of the members present and voting.

8. 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.

9. (1) Subject to (2) and (3) below, the Chairman may give a first vote of any matter put to the vote and, in any cases 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 theCouncil but for the statutory provisions which preserve the membership of the Chairman until the end 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 the Chairman.

Orders of Business

10. At each Annual Parish Council Meeting the first business shall be:

(a) To elect a Chairman of the Council.

(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 toobserve 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.

11. At every meeting other than the Annual Parish Council Meeting the first business shall be to appoint a Chairman if the Chairman of the Council is absent and to receive such declarations of acceptance of office (if any) and undertaking to observe the Council’s Code of Conduct.

12. Business will usually be dealt with in the following order:

(a) Receiving any apologies for absence.

(b) Disclosure of interest by members in items in the agenda.

(c) Agreeing the Minutes of the last meeting and signing them.

(d) Announcements from the Chair.

(e) Announcements from the Clerk.

(f) Financial Officer‟s Report.

(g) Any business remaining from previous meeting.

(h) To deal with any other business expressly required by statute to be done.

(i) Other business placed on the agenda.

Conduct

13. All members must observe the Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council in March 2002.

14. If a member reasonably believes another member to be in breach of the Code of Conduct, that member is under a duty to report the breach to the Standards Board (England).

Interests

15. If a member has a personal interest, as defined by the Code of Conduct adopted by theCouncil in March 2002, he/she shall declare such interest as soon as it becomes apparent,disclosing the existence and nature of that interest as required.

16. If a member who has declared a personal interest then considers the interest to be prejudicial, he/she must withdraw from the room during consideration of the item to which the interest relates.

17. The Clerk may be required to compile and hold a Register of agreement reached with the Monitoring Officer of the Responsible Authority and/or as required by statute.

Inspection of Documents

18. All minutes kept by the Council and by any Committee shall be open for inspection by any member of the Council.

Admission of the Public and Press to Meetings

19. The public and press shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council 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 about to be transacted, it is advisable in the public interest that the press and public be temporarily excluded and they are expected to withdraw.

20. Before the Parish Council Meeting begins, parishioners may make representations on any matter relevant to the Parish. This includes representations on any agenda item, e.g. current planning applications or planning applications they are intending to submit.

21. The Parish Council will usually agree to move the relevant agenda item(s) forward and debate it (them) in their presence.

22. All representations by Parishioners should be relevant to the agenda item. The Parish

Council expects that all comments will be polite and courteous to others. There is no official time limit on representations by Parishioners but the Chairman is responsible for controlling the discussions and, as necessary, will indicate when a representation needs to be brought to a close. Parishioners wishing to make representations should so inform the Chairman or the Clerk in advance, or at the start, of the meeting.

23. Members of the public or press may not speak during the official Parish Council Meeting, unless invited to do so by the Chairman.

Complaints Procedure

24. Parish Councils are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman. There is, therefore, no outside body that can adjudicate on complaints about the procedures or administration of a Parish Council if the law has not been broken.

25. It is, however, important for the good name of Claverton Parish Council that complaints about the administration of the council or about its procedures be handled properly and fairly. The National Association of Local Councils has published Legal Topic Note 56 – Code of Practice for Local Councils in Handling Complaints, which recommends a standard and formal procedure to all Councils. Claverton Parish Council has adopted the recommended procedure.

26. Complaints about the conduct of a Member of the Parish Council are subject to the jurisdiction of the Standards Board of Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Standing Orders to be given to Members

27. A copy of these Standing Orders shall be given to each member of the Council by the Clerk upon delivery to him/her of the member's signed Declaration of Acceptance of Office.


PROCEDURE AT THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

The Parish Meeting consists of all the local government electors for the Parish.

The Parish Meeting must assemble annually between the 1st March and the 1st June.

  • It is normally held in the Parish Church
  • Proceedings shall not begin before 6pm
  • The Chairman of the Parish Council shall preside
  • If the Chairman is absent, the meeting shall appoint a Chairman before it proceeds to anyother business
  • As soon as the Chair has been filled and provisions made for recording the proceedings, the minutes of the previous meeting shall be read, considered and if correct signed by the person presiding at the meeting
  • After minutes have been signed, the order of the business shall be as follows:

(1) To receive the Annual Report of the Chairman.

(2) To receive a statement of the Parish Council‟s accounts for the year ended 31st March.

(3) To receive the Council‟s observations on its finances for the current year.

(4) To consider resolutions of which written notice has been given.

(5) Open Forum - to provide parishioners the opportunity to raise any issues, or make any comments to the Parish Council.

(6) To deal with any other business.


 

FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

1. These financial regulations govern the conduct of financial management by the Council and may only be amended or varied by resolution of the Council. The Council is responsible in law for ensuring that its financial management is adequate and effective and that the council has a sound system of financial control which facilitates the effective exercise of the Council‟s functions, including arrangements for the management of risk and for the prevention and detection of fraud and corruption. These financial regulations are designed to demonstrate how the Council meets these responsibilities.

2. The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) is a statutory office and shall be appointed by the Council. The RFO, acting under the policy direction of the Council, shall administer the Council‟s financial affairs in accordance with proper practices. The RFO shall determine on behalf of the Council its accounting records and accounting control systems. The RFO shall ensure that the accounting control systems are observed and that the accounting records of the Council are maintained and kept up to date in accordance with proper practices.

3. The RFO shall produce financial management information as required by the Council.

4. At least once a year, prior to approving the annual return, the Council shall conduct a review of the effectiveness of its system of internal control which shall be in accordance with proper practices.

5. In these financial regulations, references to the Accounts and Audit Regulations shall mean the Regulations issued under the provisions of section 27 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 and then in force.

6. In these financial regulations the term 'proper practice' or 'proper practices' shall refer to guidance issued in Governance and Accountability in local Councils in England and Wales —a Practitioners’ Guide, which is published jointly by NALC and SLCC and updated from time to time.

 


 

PROCUREMENT POLICY

(As Required by Financial Regulations)

The Financial Regulations of local councils must include a procurement policy. The policy for Claverton Parish Council is as follows:

1 Any proposed contract for the supply of goods, materials, services and the execution of works with an estimated value in excess of £10001 shall be procured on the basis of a formal tender as summarised in para.2 below.

2 Any formal tender process shall comprise the following steps:-

(a) a public notice of intention to place a contract to 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; and

(e) tenders are to be assessed and reported to the appropriate meeting of the Council or Committee.

3. The Council, or a committee, is not bound to accept the lowest tender, estimate or quote. Any tender notice shall contain a reference to Standing Order 172 regarding improperactivity3.

 



1It falls to each local council to set the threshold according to its circumstances. A figure of £1000 – but not exceeding £1000 - is judged to bear an appropriate relationship to the Council's precept, which is £3,500 for 2010/11. The threshold figure must be realistic in relation to the sums of money which the Council handles.

2This is a cross reference to the Draft Standing Orders for Parish Councils produced by the Avon Local Councils Association in December 2003. SO 17 of the Claverton Parish Councils Standing Orders provides that the Clerk may be required to compile and hold a Register of Members' interests, or a copy thereof, in accordance with an agreement reached with the Monitoring Officer of the Responsible Authority and/or as required by statute.

3The introduction of this policy on tendering does not mean that tenders should never be sought if the Council's estimated cost of a given piece of work is below the threshold. If the estimate were, say, £50 for a simple task, then clearly tenders need not be sought. But if, for example, the estimate were £750 for a type of work of which the Council had little or no experience,tendering the work might well be right. It is a matter of judgement.

 


 

COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND SCHEME OF DELEGATION

The functions of the Parish Council will normally be discharged by two committees¹. The committees will deal directly with matters not requiring a formal decision of the Council and lead on matters on which a formal decision is required.

Transport Committee

Everything to do with road, rail, air, canal, pavements and footpaths – refer Terms of Reference.

Planning Committee

Everything to do with Planning (except Transport Planning) - refer Terms of Reference.

Other Functions

Effective communications within and beyond the Parish go to the heart of the Parish Councils work. This area of work will be led by the Chairman of the Parish Council who will delegate specific responsibilities as necessary.

From time to time, other matters require the Parish Councils' attention, e.g. Health, Welfare, Education, Emergency Services, Emergency Planning, Environment, Countryside and Heritage Groups. The Chairman of the Parish Council, in consultation with other members as appropriate, will either:-

(a) deal with the matter at this own hand.

(b) delegate lead responsibility to a member of the Parish Council.

(c) delegate the matter either to the Planning Committee or the Transport Committee. In that event, the Committee in question will decide (i) whether a response is appropriate;and (ii) in that event, will respond on behalf of the Parish Council.

 



1No decision making powers can be exercised by an individual Parish Councillor.

Each Committee will comprise the Chairman of the Parish Council (ex officio) and three othercouncillors, and may discharge its functions provided two councillors are present.

Notice of the time and place of Committee meetings must be displayed on the Parish Notice Board at least three clear days before the meeting.

 

Although functions will normally be discharged by one of two committees, it should be noted that it is open to a committee to decide not to exercise delegated authority but instead to make a recommendation to the Parish Council.


For information on who to contact in relation to a council matter please contact the clerk.

CLAVERTON PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman:

Cllr. Anna Beria, Bassett Barn, Rectory Coach House, Claverton Village, Bath  BA2 7BG. Tel: 01225 469692

Clerk:

Mrs Lesley Watkinson, Manor Farmhouse, Claverton Village, Bath  BA2 7BG. Tel: 01225 447706

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Copies of minutes and any other information about Claverton Parish Council can be obtained from the Clerk. There may be a small charge to cover the cost of copies and postage.

Council Meetings

Are held bi-monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month (except August and December) at St Mary‟s Church, Claverton. Agendas and minutes are posted on the notice board in the village.


BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL 

BATHAVON NORTH-WARD COUNCILLORS

Ms Alison Millar (Lib-Dem.) Tel: 07767 813586   Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mr Martin J Veal (Con.)  Tel: 07976 858285    Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mr Geoff Ward (Con.)    Tel: 01225 858651    Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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