PART II – STANDING ORDERS
a) Meetings of the Council shall be held in each year on such dates and times and at such place as the Council may direct. Meetings will normally be held on the second Monday of each month at 7.30pm at Smarden Charter Hall. Planning Committee meetings will additionally normally be held on the forth Monday of each month at 6.45pm at Smarden Charter Hall.
b) Smoking is not permitted at any meeting of the Council.
2. The Statutory Annual Meeting
a) In an election year the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take office and
b) in a year which is not an election year the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on such day in May as the Council may direct.
3. 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 place as the Council may direct.
4. Chairman of the 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.
5. Proper Officer
Where a statute, regulation or order confers function or duties on the proper officer of the Council in the following cases, he shall be the clerk or nominated officer: –
To receive declarations of acceptance of office.
To receive and record notices disclosing interests at meetings.
To receive and retain plans and documents.
To sign notices or other documents on behalf of the Council.
To receive copies of bylaws made by another local authority.
To certify copies of bylaws made by the Council.
To sign and issue the summons to attend meetings of the Council.
To keep proper records for all Council meetings.
6. Quorum of the Council
Three members or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, shall constitute a quorum at meetings of the Council.
4. 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.
8. For a quorum relating to a committee or sub-committee, please refer to Standing Order 48.
Members shall vote by show of hands or, if at least two members so request, by signed ballot.
10. 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.
11. (1) Subject to (2) and (3) below the Chairman may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote, and in any 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.
12. Order of Business
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 which have not been received as provided by law shall be received.
e) To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Council.
f) To appoint representatives to outside bodies.
g) To appoint committees and sub-committees.
h) To consider the payment of any subscriptions falling to be paid annually.
i) To inspect any deeds and trust investments in the custody of the Council as required;
and shall thereafter follow the order set out in the Standing Order 15
13. 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.
14. In every year, not later than the meeting at which the estimates for next year are settled, the Council shall review the pay and conditions of service of existing employees. Standing Order 38 must be read in conjunction with this requirement.
15. After the first business has been completed, the order of business, unless the Council otherwise decides on the ground 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 dispose of business, if any, remaining from the last meeting.
e) To receive such communications as the person presiding may wish to lay before the Council.
f) To answer questions from Councillors.
g) To receive and consider reports and minutes of committees.
h) To receive and consider resolutions or recommendations in the order in which they have been notified.
i) To authorise the sealing of documents.
j) If necessary, to authorise the signing of orders for payment.
16. Urgent BusinessA motion to vary the order of business on the ground of urgency:
a) May be proposed by the Chairman or by any member and, if proposed by the Chairman, may be put to the vote without being seconded, and
b) Shall be put to the vote without discussion.
17. Resolutions Moved On Notice 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 5 clear days before the next meeting of the Council.
18. The Clerk shall date every notice of resolution or recommendation when received by him, shall number each notice in the order in which it was received and shall enter it in a book which shall be open to the inspection of every member 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 at some later meeting or that he withdraws it.
20. If a resolution or recommendation specified in the summons is not moved either by the member who gave 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. If the subject matter of a resolution comes within the province of a committee of the Council, it shall, upon being moved and seconded, stand referred without discussion to such committee or to such other committee as the Council may determine for report; provided that the Chairman, if he considers it to be a matter of urgency, may allow it to be dealt with at the meeting at which it was moved.
22. Every resolution or recommendation shall be relevant to some subject over which the Council has power or duties, which affects its area.
23. Resolutions Moved Without Notice 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 motion. l) To give leave to withdraw a resolution or amendment. m) To extend the time limit for speeches. n) To exclude the press and public. (see Order 66 below) o) To silence or eject from the meeting a member named for misconduct. (see order 33 below) p) To give the consent of the Council where such consent is required by these Standing Orders. q) To suspend any Standing Order. (see Order 77 below) r) To adjourn the meeting.
24. QuestionsA member may ask the Chairman of the Council or the Clerk any question concerning the business of the Council, provided 5 clear days notice of the question has been given to the person to whom it is addressed.
25. No questions not connected with business under discussion shall be asked except during the part of the meeting set aside for questions.
26. Every question shall be put and answered without discussion.
27. A person to whom a question has been put may decline to answer.
28. Rules of Debate
No discussion of the Minutes shall take place except upon their accuracy. Corrections to the Minutes shall be made by resolution and must be initialled by the Chairman.
29. 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 or 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) No speech by a mover of a resolution shall exceed 10 minutes and no other speech shall exceed 10 minutes except by consent of the Council.
e) An amendment shall be either:-
i) To leave out words.
ii) To leave out words and insert others
iii) To insert or add words.
f) An amendment shall not have the effect of negating the resolution before the Council.
g) 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.
h) A further amendment shall not be moved until the Council has disposed of every amendment previously moved.
i) The mover of a resolution or of an amendment shall have a right of reply, not exceeding 10 minutes.
j) 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.
k) 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.
l) 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.
m) When a resolution is under debate no other resolution 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 leave the meeting.vii. That the resolution be referred to a committee.viii. To exclude the public and press.ix. To adjourn the meeting.
30. A member shall remain seated when speaking unless requested to stand by the Chairman.
31. 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. If two or more members wish to speak, the Chairman shall decide who to call upon.
c) Whenever the Chairman speaks during a debate all other members shall be silent.
32. ClosureAt 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 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.
33. Disorderly Conduct
a) All members must observe the Code of Conduct which was adopted by the council on 13th August 2007, a copy of which is annexed to these Standing Orders.
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 bring the Council into disrepute.
c) If, in the opinion of the Chairman, a member has broken the provisions of paragraph (b) of this Order, 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 adjourn the meeting or take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce them.
34. Right of Reply e 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.
35. Alteration of Resolution
A member may, with the consent of his seconder, move amendments to his own resolution.
36. 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 bears the names of at least 50% of the 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 provisions of paragraph (a) of this Order has been disposed of, no similar resolution may be moved within a further six months.
37. Voting On Appointments
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.
38. Discussions and Resolutions Affecting Employees of the Council
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 press and public shall be excluded. (See Standing Order No. 66.)
39. Resolutions on Expenditure
Any resolution 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.
Orders for the payment of money shall be authorised by resolution of the Council and signed by two members.
41. 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 Order may seal, on behalf of the Council, any document required by law to be issued under seal.
42. Committees and Sub Committees
The Council may at its Annual 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 Meeting.
b) May appoint persons other than members of the Council to any Committee; and
c) may subject to the provisions of Standing Order 36 above at any time dissolve or alter the membership of committee.
43. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman, ex-officio, shall be voting members of every committee.
44. 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 Meeting of the council, and shall settle its programme of meetings for the year.
45. Special Meeting
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 quarter 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.
Every committee may appoint sub-committees for purposes to be specified by the committee.
47. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the committee shall be members of every sub-committee appointed by it unless they signify that they do not wish to serve.
48. Except where ordered by the Council in the case of a committee, or by the Council or by the appropriate committee in the case of a sub-committee, the quorum of a committee or sub-committee shall be one-half of its members.
49. The Standing Orders on rules of debate (except those parts relating to standing and to speaking more than once) and the Standing Order on interests of members in contracts and other matters shall apply to committee and sub-committee meetings.
50. Advisory Committees
1) The Council may create advisory committees, whose name, and number of members and the bodies to be invited to nominate members shall be specified.
2) The Clerk shall inform the members of each advisory committee of the terms of reference of the committee.
3) An advisory committee may make recommendations and give notice thereof to the Council
4) An advisory committee may consist wholly of persons who are not members of the Council.
Voting in Committees
51. Members of committees and sub-committees entitled to vote, shall vote by show of hands, or, if at least two members so request, by signed ballot.
52. Chairmen of committees and sub-committees shall in the case of an equality of votes have a second or casting vote.
53. Presence of Non-Members of Committees at Committee Meetings
A member who has proposed a resolution, which has been referred to any committee of which he is not a member, may explain his resolution to the committee but shall not vote.