LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

STANDING ORDERS[1] – ISSUE EIGHT (MAY 2020)

 

INDEX

SO NUMBER

SUBJECT

 

SO NUMBER

SUBJECT

1.

COMPOSITION AND ELECTION OF COUNCIL.

17.

UNAUTHORISED ACTIVITIES.

2.

PROCEDURES FOR COUNCIL MEETINGS.

18.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000.

3.

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL.

19.

RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS/MEDIA.

4.

ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETINGS.

20.

LIAISON WITH COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS.

5.

PROPER OFFICER.

21.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE.

6.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND TREE WORKS NOTICES.

22.

VARIATION, REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS.

7.

AGENDA-SETTING.

23.

ADHERENCE TO STANDING ORDERS.

8.

RULES OF DEBATE.

9.

REVERSAL OF DECISIONS.

Attachment

ELECTION AND CO-OPTION PROCEDURE.

10.

CODE OF CONDUCT.

Attachment

CODE OF CONDUCT.

11.

MINUTES.

12.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

13.

VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS.

14.

EXECUTION OF LEGAL DEEDS.

15.

COMMITTEES AND WORKING PARTIES

16.

INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS.

NB:  Items in BOLD type in the Standing Orders reflect statutory requirements. 

  1. STANDING ORDER 1 – COMPOSITION AND ELECTION OF COUNCIL
  • The Parish Council will consist of 10 Councillors, and will be presided over by an elected Chairman and Vice Chairman.
  • Councillors will normally be elected every 4 years in accordance with the timetable for District Council elections. Full details of the election and co-option procedure are contained in the attached document.
  1. STANDING ORDER 2 - PROCEDURES FOR COUNCIL MEETINGS
  • Meetings will normally take place in the Longparish Village Hall at 1930 hours. If this is not possible or appropriate, they will 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.
  • When calculating the 3 clear days for notice of a meeting to Councillors and the public, the day on which the 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 will not count. For a meeting on Monday, the notice (including the agenda) will therefore normally be issued on the preceding Wednesday.
  • Meetings will 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 will be by a resolution which will give reasons for the public’s exclusion.
  • Subject to Standing Order 2.3, members of the public may make representations, answer questions, and give evidence in respect of any item of business included in the agenda. In order to gauge the level of public interest, any member of the public wishing to exercise these rights will be required to inform the Chairman in advance of the meeting, although the Chairman may also exercise his or her discretion with regard to public participation during the meeting itself. 
  • The period of time for public participation in accordance with Standing Order 2.4, and the conduct of any such period, will be determined by the Chairman.
  • Photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting by any means may be permitted.
  • In accordance with Standing Order 2.3, the press will 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.
  • Unless indicated otherwise by a specific Standing Order, anything authorised or required to be done by, to or in front of the Chairman may in his or her absence be done by, to or in front of the Vice Chairman.
  • The Chairman, if present, will preside at a meeting. If the Chairman is absent from a meeting, the Vice Chairman, if present, will preside.  If both the Chairman and the Vice Chairman are absent from a meeting, a Councillor chosen by the Councillors present at the meeting will preside at the meeting.
  • Subject to Standing Order 2.18, all questions at a meeting will be decided by a majority of the Councillors present and voting thereon.
  • The Chairman may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote, and, in the case of an equality of votes, may exercise his or her casting vote whether or not he or she gave an original vote.
  • Unless a specific Standing Order dictates otherwise, voting on any question will be by a show of hands. If requested by a Councillor, the voting on any question may be recorded so as to show whether each Councillor present and voting gave his or her vote for or against that question.  Such a request must be made before moving on to the next item of business on the agenda.
  • The Minutes of a meeting will include an accurate record of the following:
  • The time and place of the meeting.
  • The names of councillors present and absent (including the names of those who have offered their apologies).
  • Interests that have been declared by Councillors.
  • Whether a Councillor left the meeting when matters that he or she held interests in were being considered.
  • If there was a public participation session.
  • The resolutions made.
  • 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 or her right to participate and vote on that matter.
  • An interest arising from the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council, the existence and nature of which is required to be disclosed by a Councillor at a meeting, will be recorded in the Minutes.
  • No business may be transacted at a meeting unless a quorum is present. A quorum is one third of the number of Councillors in post rounded up (i.e. normally 4).  A quorum must, however, consist of a minimum of 3 Councillors.
  • If a meeting is, or becomes, inquorate, no business will be transacted and the meeting will be adjourned. Any outstanding business of a meeting so adjourned will be transacted at a following meeting.
  1. STANDING ORDER 3 – ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL
  • In an election year, the statutory Annual Meeting of the Council will be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the new Councillors elected take office.
  • In a year that is not an election year, the Annual Meeting of the Council will be held on the second Monday in May.
  • In addition to the Annual Meeting of the Council, the Council will organise an Annual Parish Meeting open to all electors at which the Council, other elected representatives and local organisations will report to electors on their activities over the preceding year. This Meeting will take place between 1 March and 31 May.
  • The election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council will be the first business completed at the Annual Meeting of the Council. The Chairman must make his or her declaration of acceptance of office in the prescribed form at the meeting at which he or she is elected.
  • The Chairman of the Council, unless he or she resigns or becomes disqualified, will continue in office and preside at the Annual Meeting of the Council until his or her successor is elected at the next Annual Meeting of the Council.
  • The Vice Chairman of the Council, unless he or she resigns or becomes disqualified, will hold office until immediately after the election of the Chairman of the Council at the Annual Meeting of the Council.
  • In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has not been re-elected as a Member of the Council, he or she will preside at the meeting until a successor has been elected. The current Chairman of the Council will 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.
  • In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has been re-elected as a Member of the Council, he or she will preside at the meeting until a new Chairman of the Council has been elected. He or she 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.
  • Following the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council at the Annual Meeting of the Council, the order of business will include:
    • In an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council and Councillors of their acceptance of office forms unless the council resolves for this to be done at a later date. In a year which is not an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council of his acceptance of office form unless the Council resolves for this to be done at a later date.
    • Election of Chairmen of Committees and Working Parties.
    • Review of Membership of Committees and Working Parties.
    • Review of the terms of reference for Committees and Working Parties.
    • Confirmation of the accuracy of the Minutes of the last meeting of the Council.
    • Review and adoption of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
    • Review of inventory of land and assets.
    • Review and confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insured risks.
    • Review of the Council’s and Proper Officer’s Membership of other bodies.
    • Setting the dates, times and place of ordinary meetings of the full Council for the year ahead.

 

 

 

 

  1. STANDING ORDER 4 - ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

  • Ordinary meetings of the Council will normally be held on the second Monday of the month.
  • Including the statutory Annual Meeting of the Council, the Council will normally meet once a month, except in August. At least three ordinary meetings will be held in each year.
  • The order of business at ordinary Council meetings will normally be as follows, unless the Chairman directs that a variation be made on the grounds of urgency, expedience or ease of working:
    • The Minutes of the last meeting of the Council.
    • Matters arising from the Minutes.
    • Urgent business expressly required by statute to be done.
    • Matters raised by parishioners attending the meeting.
    • Planning applications.
    • Financial report and authorisation of any payments.
    • Reports and recommendations from Committees and Working Parties.
    • Any other business specified in the agenda.
    • Correspondence and matters arising from it.
    • Notification of any other items of information or for discussion at the next meeting.
  • The Chairman of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council at any time.
  • 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.
  1. STANDING ORDER 5 – PROPER OFFICER
  • The Council’s Proper Officer will be the Clerk or such other person as may be nominated by the Council from time to time to take the role of the Proper Officer during the Proper Officer’s absence. The Proper Officer, who will also normally be the Responsible Financial Officer, or the person appointed to act as such during the Proper Officer’s absence, will fulfil the duties assigned to the Proper Officer, and the Responsible Financial Officer if appropriate, in Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
  • The Council’s Proper Officer will do the following:
    • Serve on Councillors by electronic means a summons confirming the time, date, venue and agenda of a meeting of the Council at least 3 clear days before the meeting, provided any such email contains the electronic signature and title of the Proper Officer.
    • Give public notice on the village notice-boards at the Village Shop and Forton Street of the time, date, venue and agenda at least 3 clear days before a meeting of the Council (and, if necessary, an extraordinary meeting of the Council convened by Councillors, provided that the public notice with agenda of such a meeting is signed by them).
    • Convene a meeting of the full Council for the election of a new Chairman of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in their office.
    • Make available for inspection the Minutes of meetings.
    • Receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities.
    • Receive and retain declarations of acceptance of office from Councillors.
    • Retain a copy of every Councillor’s register of interests and any changes to it, and keep copies of the same available for inspection.
    • Keep proper records required before and after meetings.
    • Process all requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998, in accordance with and subject to the Council’s procedures relating to the same.
    • Receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary.
    • Manage the organisation, storage of and access to information held by the Council in paper and electronic form.
    • Arrange for legal deeds to be signed by two Councillors and witnessed.
    • Arrange for the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction regarding any payments to be made by the Council in accordance with the Financial Regulations.
    • Record the details of every planning application notified to the Council, including the date of receipt and the property affected, and the Council’s response to the local planning authority.
    • Action or undertake activity or responsibilities instructed by resolution or contained in Standing Orders.
  1. STANDING ORDER 6 – PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND TREE WORKS NOTICES
  • The Proper Officer will refer a planning application received by the Council to the Chairman of the Council, or in his or her absence the Chairman of the Planning Committee, within two working days of receipt to facilitate a meeting of the Planning Committee if the nature of a planning application requires consideration before the next ordinary meeting of the Council.
  • The Proper Officer will refer any notification of tree works received by the Council to the Chairman of the Council or, in his or her absence, the Chairman of the Planning Committee, within two working days of receipt. The Proper Officer will also, in turn, consult the Tree Warden where possible, and, if the deadline is short, circulate his or her agreed recommendation to Councillors by email.  This will then be accepted as the Council’s decision, unless one or more Councillors disagrees, in which case a meeting will be called.
  1. STANDING ORDER 7 – AGENDA-SETTING
  • The Chairman and the Proper Officer will consider items for inclusion on the agenda of a full Council meeting at least 3 clear days before the next meeting, assisted by anyone requested by the Chairman.
  • Any Councillor can put forward an item for inclusion on the agenda, provided he or she or she or she gives a minimum of seven days’ notice in writing or by electronic means to the Proper Officer.  No motion, other than one put forward by the Chairman, may be moved at a meeting unless the item to which it pertains has been included in the agenda.
  • The Proper Officer may, before including a motion in the agenda, correct obvious grammatical or typographical errors in the wording of the motion and will reject any motion that he or she or she or she considers to be unclear.
  • Every motion rejected in accordance with the Council’s Standing Orders will be duly recorded by the Proper Officer.
  • Every motion and resolution must relate to the Council’s statutory functions, powers and lawful obligations or to an issue that specifically affects the Council’s area or its residents.
  1. STANDING ORDER 8 - RULES OF DEBATE
  • Any resolution must be proposed and seconded, and, after discussion, be put to the vote, unless it is withdrawn by the proposer.
  • Any amendment to the resolution must be proposed and seconded and will be discussed and put to the vote before the original resolution.
  • Councillors will address the Chairman, and will be silent when the Chairman speaks.
  • Any Councillor may request that the question be now put, or the debate adjourned, and, if the Chairman considers that there has been adequate discussion, a vote will be taken.
  1. STANDING ORDER 9 – REVERSAL OF DECISIONS
  • A decision of the Council may not be reversed within 6 months except by a special resolution written and signed by 5 Councillors, or by a resolution following the recommendation of a Committee or Working Party.
  1. STANDING ORDER 10 – CODE OF CONDUCT
  • All Councillors will observe the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council, which is attached to these Standing Orders.
  • Councillors with a prejudicial interest in relation to any item of business being transacted at a meeting may make representations, answer questions and give evidence relating to the business being transacted but must, thereafter, leave the room.
  • Councillors may exercise the rights contained in Standing Order 10.2 only if Members of the public are permitted to make representations, answer questions and give evidence relating to the business being transacted.
  1. STANDING ORDER 11 – MINUTES
  • If a copy of the draft Minutes of a preceding meeting has been circulated to Councillors no later than the day of service of the summons to attend the scheduled meeting they will be taken as read.
  • No discussion of the draft Minutes of a preceding meeting will take place except in relation to their accuracy.
  • Minutes, including any amendment to correct their accuracy, will be confirmed by resolution and will be signed by the Chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the Minutes relate.
  • Once the accuracy of the Minutes of a meeting has been agreed, any previous draft Minutes or recordings of the meeting will be destroyed.
  1. STANDING ORDER 12 – DISORDERLY CONDUCT
  • No person may obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly.
  • If, in the opinion of the Chairman, there has been a breach of Standing Order 12.1 the Chairman will express that opinion and thereafter any Councillor (including the Chairman) may move that the person be silenced or excluded from the meeting, and the motion, if seconded, will be put forthwith and without discussion.
  • If a resolution made in accordance with Standing Order 12.2 is disobeyed, the Chairman may take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce it and/or may adjourn the meeting.
  1. STANDING ORDER 13 – VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS
  • Where more than 2 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 will be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken. This process will continue until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person.  Any tie may be settled by the Chairman’s casting vote.
  1. STANDING ORDER 14 – EXECUTION OF LEGAL DEEDS
  • A legal deed will not be executed on behalf of the Council unless it has been authorised by a resolution.
  • In accordance with a resolution made under Standing Order 15.1, any 2 Members of the Council may sign, on behalf of the Council, any deed required by law, and the Proper Officer will witness their signatures.
  1. STANDING ORDER 15 – COMMITTEES AND WORKING PARTIES
  • The Council may, at its Annual Meeting, appoint standing Committees and Working Parties (normally Planning Committee, Finance Working Party, Open Spaces & Footpaths Working Party, and Communications Working Party) and may at any other time appoint such other Working Parties as may be necessary. The Council may also dissolve a Committee or Working Party at any time.  If such Committees or Working Parties are appointed, the Council will:
    • Determine their composition.
    • Appoint their Chairman.
    • Agree their terms of reference (if required).
    • Recommend the frequency of meetings.
  • Working Parties may consist of both Councillors and non-Councillors, but non-Councillors will not be required to make a declaration of acceptance of office or a general declaration of interests. However, all members of Committees and Working Parties must observe the guidelines regarding declaration of interest in relation to any items raised at a meeting of a Committee or Working Party.  Working Parties will not be empowered to make decisions, except when specific limited powers have been delegated by the Council, and their main role will be to make recommendations for endorsement by the Council.

 

  1. STANDING ORDER 16 – INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS
  • Subject to Standing Orders to the contrary or in respect of matters that are confidential, a Councillor may, for the purpose of his or her official duties (but not otherwise), inspect any document in the possession of the Council or a Working Party and request a copy for the same purpose. The Minutes of meetings of the Council will be available for inspection by all Councillors.
  1. STANDING ORDER 17 – UNAUTHORISED ACTIVITIES
  • Unless authorised by a resolution, no individual Councillor will, in the name of or on behalf of the Council or a Working Party:
    • Inspect any land and/or premises that the Council has a right or duty to inspect.
    • Issue orders, instructions or directions.
  1. STANDING ORDER 18 – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
  • All requests for information held by the Council will be processed in accordance with the Council’s policy in respect of handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • Correspondence from, and notices served by, the Information Commissioner will be referred by the Proper Officer to the Chairman of the Council. The Chairman, with the assistance of any Councillors that they request, will have the power to do anything to facilitate compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 including requiring the Proper Officer to deal with Freedom of Information requests set out under Standing Order 5.2.9.
  1. STANDING ORDER 19 – RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS/MEDIA
  • In accordance with the Council’s policy in respect of dealing with the press and/or other media, Councillors will not, in their official capacity, provide oral or written statements or written articles to the press or other media unless authorised to do so by the Chairman or as the result of a resolution at a meeting of the full Council.
  1. STANDING ORDER 20 – LIAISON WITH DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS
  • An invitation to attend a meeting of the Council will be sent, together with the agenda, to the Councillor of the District and County Councils representing its electoral ward. If such a Councillor attends a meeting of the Parish Council, he or she or she will be treated as a guest and will have no more rights with regard to the business of the meeting than a Member of the public.
  • Unless the Council orders otherwise, a copy of all letters concerning policy matters sent to the District or County Councils will be sent to the District or County Councillor representing its electoral ward.
  1. STANDING ORDER 21 – COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

  • Complaints about the Council’s procedures or administration not relating to the Code of Conduct will be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure. This procedure does not cover complaints about the conduct of a Member of the Parish Council, which should be made to the TVBC Monitoring Officer, and complaints about a policy decision made by the Council will be referred back to the Council for consideration.
  • If a complaint is notified verbally to the Chairman, a Councillor or the Proper Officer, a written record of the complaint will be made, noting the name and contact details of the complainant and the nature of the complaint. The complainant must then put the complaint in writing to the Proper Officer, and it will then be dealt with within ten working days of receipt.  However, if the complainant prefers not to put the complaint to the Proper Officer (for example, because the matter relates to him or her) he or she will be advised to write to the Chairman.
  • On receipt of a written complaint, the Proper Officer (except where the complaint is about his or her own actions) or Chairman (if the complaint relates to the Proper Officer) will seek to settle the complaint directly with the complainant. This will not be done without first notifying any person complained about and giving him or her an opportunity to comment.  Efforts will be made to resolve the complaint at this stage.
  • The Proper Officer (or Chairman) will report any complaint disposed of by direct action with the complainant to the next meeting of the Council.
  • The Proper Officer (or Chairman) will report any complaint that has not been resolved to the next meeting of the Council. The Proper Officer will also notify the complainant of the date on which the complaint will be considered and the complainant will be offered an opportunity to explain the complaint to the Council verbally.
  • The Council may consider whether the circumstances of any complaint warrant the matter being discussed in the absence of the press and public, but any decision on the complaint will be announced at a Council meeting in public. As soon as possible after the decision has been made (and in any event not later than ten working days after the meeting) the complainant will be notified in writing of the decision and any action to be taken.
  • The Council may defer dealing with any complaint if it is of the opinion that issues arise on which further advice is necessary. The advice will be considered and the complaint dealt with at the next meeting after the advice has been received.
  1. STANDING ORDER 22 – VARIATION, REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS
  • Any or every part of the Standing Orders, except those that are mandatory by law, may be suspended by resolution in relation to any specific item of business.
  • A motion to permanently add to, vary or revoke one or more of the Council’s Standing Orders not mandatory by law will not be carried unless two-thirds of the Councillors at a meeting of the full Council vote in favour of the same.
  1. STANDING ORDER 23 – ADHERENCE TO STANDING ORDERS
  • The Proper Officer will provide a copy of the Council’s Standing Orders to a Councillor on delivery of their declaration of acceptance of office.
  • The Chairman’s decision as to the application of Standing Orders at meetings will be final.
  • A Councillor’s failure to observe Standing Orders more than 3 times in one meeting may result in them being excluded from the meeting in accordance with Standing Orders.

  APPROVED: 11 May 2020

Attachments:

Election and Co-option Procedure.

Code of Conduct.

 

ELECTION AND CO-OPTION PROCEDURE

LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

 

ELECTION AND CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLORS

  1. The Parish Council is elected for a term of 4 years, at which point all Councillors vacate their seats and ‘ordinary’ elections are held. However, over the course of its term of office, because of resignations and other changes, it may comprise both elected and co-opted Members.  ‘Ordinary’ elections coincide with District Council (TVBC) elections and are conducted in accordance with the Representation of the People Act.  TVBC is the Authority responsible for overseeing Parish Council Elections.
  1. When the number of candidates nominated for election is too few to warrant an election or to fill all the vacant seats, any vacancy can be dealt with immediately by co-option, after consultation with TVBC.
  1. When a casual vacancy arises between elections, the Proper Officer will inform TVBC, who will provide a notice to be posted in the village notifying that a casual vacancy has arisen and that the Council will be authorised to co-opt unless 10 or more electors claim a poll within 14 days. TVBC will organise a contested bye-election within 60 days, but this is a rare occurrence.
  1. The Council is responsible for the process once co-option has been authorised and must fill the vacancy as soon as possible if the vacancy has 6 or more months to run before the next ‘ordinary’ election. Where the vacancy occurs within the 6 month point, the Council may co-opt to fill the vacancy, but is not obliged to do so.
  1. Once co-option has been authorised, the Proper Officer, in conjunction with the Chairman, will:
    • Set and publish a closing date for applications, including notification in Hill & Valley, that the vacancy is being filled by co-option.
    • Check the eligibility of candidates.
    • Obtain and circulate a short candidate CV to Councillors with the meeting papers ahead of the co-option meeting.
    • Provide each candidate with a copy of Standing Orders in advance of the co-option meeting.
  1. The Chairman, the Vice Chairman, or a selection panel if one is constituted, will interview each candidate to explain the responsibilities and work of the Council and its committees/working parties. Care will be taken to explain the procedure that will be adopted at the co-option meeting, particularly when there are more candidates than vacancies, because of the sensitivities involved.  The possibility of an unsuccessful candidate joining a working party, thereby participating in the work of the Council, will also be explored.  However, there is no rule that unsuccessful candidates at previous elections must be chosen first when a subsequent vacancy arises.  If time permits, candidates will be invited to attend a Council meeting prior to the co-option meeting.

 

 

CO-OPTION MEETING AND ADOPTION PROCEDURE

  1. At the beginning of the co-option meeting, the Chairman will remind Councillors and candidates of the selection process, and, if there are more candidates than vacancies, emphasise the sensitivities involved. He or she will also explain why the meeting will be closed to the public during the debate and voting process.
  1. Each candidate must be nominated and seconded by a Councillor present at the meeting. If there is a single vacancy, a Councillor may nominate or second only one candidate.  If there is more than one vacancy, a Councillor may nominate or second one candidate for each seat.
  1. Candidates will be invited to briefly introduce themselves to the meeting, expanding on their CVs. This will be done in alphabetical order if there is more than one candidate for a vacancy.  Any supporter wishing to speak on behalf of a candidate may do so by invitation of the Chairman.  The candidate will then be asked to withdraw.
  1. If there is only one candidate for a vacancy the voting will be by show of hands. The Chairman will declare the successful candidate co-opted and summoned to attend the next meeting.  He or she may then join the meeting, but not as a voting Member.
  1. If there are more candidates than vacancies, candidates will be asked to withdraw after the introductions and the meeting will be closed to the public during the debate and voting by secret ballot conducted by the Proper Officer[2]. In the event of a tie, the Chairman will have the casting vote.  The Chairman will declare the successful candidate co-opted and summoned to attend the next meeting as a Councillor.  Candidates will be notified of the result by the Chairman after the meeting.
  1. Before a successful candidate can participate in Council business, he or she must sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the Proper Officer. The Proper Officer will also ensure that all new Councillors:
    • Register their interests within 28 days of appointment to office.
    • Read and understand Standing Orders.

 

LONGPARISH PARISH COUNCIL

MEMBERS’ (PARISH COUNCILLORS’) CODE OF CONDUCT

 

PART 1 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

  1. This Code applies to you as a holder of public office - a Member of Longparish Parish Council (‘the Authority’) - when acting in your role as a Member.
  2. This Code is adopted pursuant to the Council’s statutory duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Members of the Authority, complies with the requirements of Section 28 of the Localism Act 2011, and is consistent with the principles set out in that Section listed in Paragraph 4 below.
  1. This Code is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the legal and constitutional obligations placed on Members of the Authority. It is your responsibility to comply with the provisions of this Code as well as other legal obligations beyond the scope of this Code.
  1. This Code is based on, and is consistent with, the following principles:

 

SELFLESSNESS

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.  They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits.

 

INTEGRITY

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

 

OBJECTIVITY

In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public. 

 

OPENNESS

Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take.  They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

 

HONESTY

Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts that may arise as a consequence in a way that protects the public interest.

 

LEADERSHIP

Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

PART 2 – GENERAL OBLIGATIONS FOR MEMBERS

  1. When acting in your role as a Member of the Authority:
    • Do treat others with respect.
    • Do ensure that you are aware of, and comply with, the requirements that the Bribery Act 2010 places on you in your role as a Member and on the Council as a whole.
    • Do not do anything that may cause your Authority to breach any of the equality enactments (as defined in Section 33 of the Equality Act 2006(a)).
    • Do not bully any person (bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating behaviour that is directed at someone over whom you have some actual or potential influence).
    • Do not intimidate, or try to intimidate, anyone who has complained about you or who may be involved with a complaint about you
    • Do not do anything that compromises, or is likely to compromise, the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, your Authority.
    • Do not disclose information given to you in confidence by anyone, or information acquired by you that you believe, or ought reasonably to be aware, is of a confidential nature, except where:
      • You have the consent of a person authorised to give it.
      • You are required by law to do so.
      • The disclosure is made to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional legal advice provided that the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person.
      • The disclosure is:
        • Reasonable and in the public interest.
        • Made in good faith and in compliance with the reasonable requirements of the Authority.
      • Do not prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.
      • Do not use or try to use your position improperly to obtain an advantage for yourself or advantage or disadvantage for any other person or body.

 

  1. When making decisions on behalf of or as part of the Authority Do give reasons for the decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and any reasonable additional requirements imposed by the Authority.
  1. When using, or authorising the use by others of, the resources of the Authority:
    • Do act in accordance with the Authority’s reasonable requirements, and comply with any of the Authority’s relevant policies, which you are deemed to have read.
    • Do make sure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes).
    • Do not improperly use knowledge gained solely as a result of your role as a Member for the advancement of your Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.

PART 3 - INTERESTS

  1. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are defined in ‘The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012’ (the Regulations) and details are set out in the Schedule to this Code.

  1. Code of Conduct Interests

These are pecuniary interests, which may be of the nature set out in the Schedule to this Code, that affect you (but are not Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) or relate to or affect a relevant person as defined in the Regulations, a Member of your family or a close friend.

  1. Sensitive Interests

These are interests where you consider that disclosure of the details of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or a Code of Conduct Interest could lead to you, or a person connected with you, being subject to violence or intimidation, and the Proper Officer agrees. If the interest is entered on the register, copies of the register that are made available for inspection and any published version of the register will exclude details of the interest, but may state that you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, the details of which are withheld under Section 32(2) of the Localism Act 2012.

  1. Registration of Interests
    You must, within 28 days of:
    • This Code being adopted,

or

  • Your acceptance of office as a Member,

or

  • Disclosure of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest not on the Council’s Register of Interests or the subject of a pending registration,

notify the Proper Officer of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest where the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is yours or is the pecuniary interest of your spouse or civil partner, or somebody with whom you are living as husband or wife or as if you are civil partners.

  1. Disclosure of Interests
    If you are present at a meeting of the Council, or any committee or working party of the Authority and you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or a Code of Conduct Interest in any matter to be considered or being considered at the meeting:
    • You must disclose the existence and nature of that interest to the meeting.
    • You may not participate in any discussion or vote taken on the matter at the meeting.
    • You must leave the room where the meeting is held before any discussion or voting takes place.
    • If the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and is not registered or is not the subject of a pending registration you must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days.
    • If the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest you must not make a statement on the matter in which you have an interest before leaving the room.
    • If the interest is a Code of Conduct Interest you may make a statement on the matter in which you have an interest before leaving the room, in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.

 

  1. Offences
    It is a criminal offence to:
    • Fail to notify the Monitoring Officer of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest within 28 days of election.
    • Fail to disclose a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest at a meeting if it is not on the register.
    • Fail to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is not on the register that you have disclosed to a meeting.
    • Participate in any discussion or vote on a matter in which you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest
    • As an executive Member discharging a function acting alone, and having a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in such a matter, fail to notify the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of the interest.
    • Knowingly or recklessly provide information that is false or misleading in notifying the Monitoring Officer of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or in disclosing such interest to a meeting.
  1. The criminal penalties available to a court are to impose a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale and disqualification from being a councillor for up to 5 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE

Set out below is an extract from The Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012.  In this extract ‘M’ means you and ‘relevant person’ means you, your spouse or civil partner, or somebody with whom you are living as husband or wife or as if you are civil partners.

Subject

Prescribed Description

Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

Sponsorship

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by M in carrying out duties as a Member, or towards the election expenses of M.

This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

Contracts

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority:

a. Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed,

and

b. Which has not been fully discharged.

Land

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

Licences

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

Corporate tenancies

Any tenancy, where (to M’s knowledge):

a. The landlord is the relevant authority,

and

b. The tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

Securities

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where:

a. That body (to M’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority,

and

b. Either:

   i. The total nominal value of the securities                exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body,

   or

   ii. if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

These descriptions of interests are also subject to the following definitions:

“The Act” means the Localism Act 2011.

“Body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest” means a firm in which the relevant person is a partner or a body corporate of which the relevant person is a director, or in the securities of which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

“Director” includes a Member of the committee of management of an industrial and provident society.

Land” excludes an easement, servitude, interest or right in or over land which does not carry with it a right for the relevant person (alone or jointly with another) to occupy the land or to receive income.

“Member” includes a co-opted Member.

“Relevant authority” means the authority of which M is a Member.

“Relevant period” means the period of 12 months ending with the day on which M gives a notification of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest on taking office or at a meeting where the interest arises as appropriate.

 “Securities” means shares, debentures, debenture stock, loan stock, bonds, units of a collective investment scheme within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and other securities of any description, other than money deposited with a building society.

[1]  To be read in conjunction with the separate Financial Regulations.

[2]See Standing Order 13.