Print

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
  1. STANDING ORDER 2 - PROCEDURES FOR COUNCIL MEETINGS
  1. STANDING ORDER 3 – ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

 

 

 

 

  1. STANDING ORDER 4 - ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

  1. STANDING ORDER 5 – PROPER OFFICER
  1. STANDING ORDER 6 – PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND TREE WORKS NOTICES
  1. STANDING ORDER 7 – AGENDA-SETTING
  1. STANDING ORDER 8 - RULES OF DEBATE
  1. STANDING ORDER 9 – REVERSAL OF DECISIONS
  1. STANDING ORDER 10 – CODE OF CONDUCT
  1. STANDING ORDER 11 – MINUTES
  1. STANDING ORDER 12 – DISORDERLY CONDUCT
  1. STANDING ORDER 13 – VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS
  1. STANDING ORDER 14 – EXECUTION OF LEGAL DEEDS
  1. STANDING ORDER 15 – COMMITTEES AND WORKING PARTIES

 

  1. STANDING ORDER 16 – INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS
  1. STANDING ORDER 17 – UNAUTHORISED ACTIVITIES
  1. STANDING ORDER 18 – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
  1. STANDING ORDER 19 – RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS/MEDIA
  1. STANDING ORDER 20 – LIAISON WITH DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS
  1. STANDING ORDER 21 – COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

  1. STANDING ORDER 22 – VARIATION, REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS
  1. STANDING ORDER 23 – ADHERENCE TO 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

or

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.