How to use model standing orders

Standing orders are the written rules of a local council. They are used to confirm a council’s internal organisational, administrative and procurement procedures and procedural matters for meetings. They are not the same as the policies of a council but they may refer to them. A local council must have standing orders for the procurement of contracts. 

Meetings of full council, councillors, the Responsible Financial Officer and Proper Officer are subject to many statutory requirements. A council should have standing orders to confirm those statutory requirements. A council should have standing orders to control the number, place, quorum, notices and other procedures for committee and sub-committee meetings because these are subject to fewer statutory requirements. If it does not, committees and sub-committees may adopt their own standing orders.

Model standing orders that are in bold type contain statutory requirements. It is recommended that councils adopt them without changing them. Other model standing orders not in bold are designed to help councils operate effectively but do not contain statutory requirements so they may be adopted as drafted or amended to suit a council’s needs. For convenience, the word “councillor” is used in model standing orders and includes a non-councillor with or without voting rights unless otherwise stated.

A model standing order that includes brackets like this ‘(   )’ requires information to be inserted by a council. A model standing order that includes the term ‘OR’ provides alternative options for a council to choose from when determining standing orders. 

The model standing orders do not include model financial regulations. Financial regulations are standing orders to regulate and control the financial affairs and accounting procedures of a local council. The financial regulations, as opposed to the standing orders of a council, include most of the requirements relevant to the Responsible Financial Officer.

Model financial regulations are available to councils in membership of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) or One Voice Wales (OVW).

List of model standing orders

  1. Rules of debate at meetings 
  1. Disorderly conduct at meetings
  1. Meetings generally 
  1. Committees and sub-committees
  1. Ordinary council meetings 
  1. Extraordinary meetings of the council and committees 

and sub-committees 

  1. Previous resolutions
  1. Voting on appointments
  1. Motions for a meeting that require written notice

to be given to the Proper Officer

  1. Motions at a meeting that do not require written notice 
  1. Handling confidential or sensitive information
  1. Draft minutes 
  1. Code of conduct and dispensations 
  1. Code of conduct complaints 
  1. Proper Officer 
  1. Responsible Financial Officer  
  1. Accounts and accounting statements
  1. Financial controls and procurement  
  1. Handling staff matters
  1. Requests for information   
  1. Relations with the press/media
  1. Execution and sealing of legal deeds
  1. Communicating with District and County or

Unitary councillors        

  1. Restrictions on councillor activities 
  1. Standing orders generally 

Model standing orders 

  1. Rules of debate at meetings
  1. Motions on the agenda shall be considered in the order that they appear unless the order is changed at the discretion of the chairman of the meeting.
  1. A motion (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been moved and seconded. 
  1. A motion on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by the chairman of the meeting as withdrawn.

 

  1. If a motion (including an amendment) has been seconded, it may be withdrawn by the proposer only with the consent of the seconder and the meeting.
  1. An amendment is a proposal to remove or add words to a motion. It shall not negate the motion. 
  1. If an amendment to the original motion is carried, the original motion becomes the substantive motion upon which further amendment(s) may be moved.
  1. An amendment shall not be considered unless early verbal notice of it is given at the meeting and, if requested by the chairman of the meeting, is expressed in writing to the chairman. 
  1. A councillor may move an amendment to his own motion if agreed by the meeting. If a motion has already been seconded, the amendment shall be with the consent of the seconder and the meeting.
  1. If there is more than one amendment to an original or substantive motion, the amendments shall be moved in the order directed by the chairman.
  1. Subject to standing order 1(k) below, only one amendment shall be moved and debated at a time, the order of which shall be directed by the chairman of the meeting. 
  1. One or more amendments may be discussed together if the chairman of the meeting considers this expedient but each amendment shall be voted upon separately.
  1. A councillor may not move more than one amendment to an original or substantive motion. 
  1. The mover of an amendment has no right of reply at the end of debate on it. 
  1. Where a series of amendments to an original motion are carried, the mover of the original motion shall have a right of reply either at the end of debate of the first amendment or at the very end of debate on the final substantive motion immediately before it is put to the vote.
  1. Unless permitted by the chairman of the meeting, a councillor may speak once in the debate on a motion except:
  1.     to speak on an amendment moved by another councillor; 
  2. to move or speak on another amendment if the motion has been amended since he/she last spoke; 
  3. to make a point of order; 
  4. to give a personal explanation; or 
  5. in exercise of a right of reply.
  1. During the debate of a motion, a councillor may interrupt only on a point of order or a personal explanation and the councillor who was interrupted shall stop speaking. A councillor raising a point of order shall identify the standing order which he/she considers has been breached or specify the other irregularity in the proceedings of the meeting he is concerned by. 
  1. A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and his/her decision shall be final. 
  1. When a motion is under debate, no other motion shall be moved except: 
  1. to amend the motion;
  2. to proceed to the next business;
  3. to adjourn the debate;
  4. to put the motion to a vote;
  5. to ask a person to be no longer heard or to leave the meeting;
  6. to refer a motion to a committee or sub-committee for consideration; 
  7. to exclude the public and press;
  8. to adjourn the meeting; or
  9. to suspend particular standing order(s) excepting those which reflect mandatory statutory requirements.

s Before an original or substantive motion is put to the vote, the chairman of the meeting shall be satisfied that the motion has been sufficiently debated and that the mover of the motion under debate has exercised or waived his/her right of reply. 

t Excluding motions moved understanding order 1(r) above, the contributions or speeches by a councillor shall relate only to the motion under discussion and shall not exceed (3) minutes without the consent of the chairman of the meeting.

  1. Disorderly conduct at meetings
  1. No person shall obstruct the transaction of business at a meeting or behave offensively or improperly. If this standing order is ignored, the chairman of the meeting shall request such person(s) to moderate or improve their conduct.
  1. If person(s) disregard the request of the chairman of the meeting to moderate or improve their conduct, any councillor or the chairman of the meeting may move that the person be no longer heard or excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.
  1. If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) above is ignored, the chairman of the meeting may take further reasonable steps to restore order or to progress the meeting. This may include temporarily suspending or closing the meeting.
  1. Meetings generally

  Full Council meetings 

 Committee meetings

 Sub-committee meetings 

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  1. Committees and sub-committees
  1. Unless the council determines otherwise, a committee may appoint a sub-committee whose terms of reference and members shall be determined by the committee.
  1. The members of a committee may include non-councillors unless it is a committee which regulates and controls the finances of the council.
  1. Unless the council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory committee and a sub-committee of the advisory committee may be non-councillors.
  1. The council may appoint standing committees or other committees as may be necessary, and:
  1. shall determine their terms of reference;
  2. shall determine the number and time of the ordinary meetings of a standing committee up until the date of the next annual meeting of full council;
  3. shall permit a committee, other than in respect of the ordinary meetings of a committee, to determine the number and time of its meetings;
  4. shall, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c) above, appoint and determine the terms of office of members of such a committee;
  5. may, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c) above, appoint and determine the terms of office of the substitute members to a committee whose role is to replace the ordinary members at a meeting of a committee if the ordinary members of the committee confirm to the Proper Officer (3) days before the meeting that they are unable to attend;
  6. shall, after it has appointed the members of a standing committee, appoint the chairman of the standing committee;
  7. shall permit a committee other than a standing committee, to appoint its own chairman at the first meeting of the committee; 
  8. shall determine the place, notice requirements and quorum for a meeting of a committee and a sub-committee which shall be no less than three;
  9. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a committee;
  10. shall determine if the public and press are permitted to attend the meetings of a sub-committee and also the advance public notice requirements, if any, required for the meetings of a sub-committee; 
  11. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a sub-committee that they are permitted to attend; and
  12. may dissolve a committee.
  1. Ordinary council meetings 
  1. In an election year, the annual meeting of the council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the new councillors elected take office.
  1. In a year which is not an election year, the annual meeting of a council shall be held on such day in May as the council may direct.
  1. If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the council shall take place at 7pm.
  1. In addition to the annual meeting of the council, at least three other ordinary meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times as the council directs.
  1. The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the council shall be the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Council.
  1. The Mayor of the Council, unless he/she has resigned or becomes disqualified, shall continue in office and preside at the annual meeting until his/her successor is elected at the next annual meeting of the council. 
  1. The Deputy Mayor of the Council, unless he/she resigns or becomes disqualified, shall hold office until immediately after the election of the Mayor of the Council at the next annual meeting of the council.
  1. In an election year, if the current Mayor of the Council has not been re-elected as a member of the council, he/she shall preside at the meeting until a successor Mayor of the Council has been elected. The current Mayor of the Council 

shall not have an original vote in respect of the election of the new Mayor of the Council but must give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.

  1. In an election year, if the current Mayor of the Council has been re-elected as a member of the council, he/she shall preside at the meeting until a new Mayor of the Council has been elected. He/she may exercise an original vote in respect of the election of the new Mayor of the Council and must give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
  1. Following the election of the Mayor of the Council and Deputy Mayor of the Council at the annual meeting of the council, the business of the annual meeting shall include:
    1. In an election year, delivery by the Mayor 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 Mayor of the Council of his/her acceptance of office form unless the council resolves for this to be done at a later date;
    2. Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the council;
  1. Extraordinary meetings of the council and committees and sub-committees
  1. The Mayor of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the council at any time. 
  1. If the Mayor 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. The chairman of a committee may convene an extraordinary meeting of the committee at any time. 
  1. If the chairman of a committee does not or refuses to call an extraordinary meeting within (7) days of having been requested by to do so by (2) members of the committee, any (2) members of the committee may convene an extraordinary meeting of a committee. 
  1. Previous resolutions
  1. A resolution shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special motion, which requires written notice by a majority of councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9 below, or by a motion moved in pursuance of the recommendation of a committee or a sub-committee.
  1. When a motion moved pursuant to standing order 7(a) above has been disposed of, no similar motion may be moved within a further six months.
  1. Voting on appointments
  1. Where more than two 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 shall be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken. This process shall continue until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person. A tie in votes may be settled by the casting vote exerciseable by the chairman of the meeting.
  1. Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the Proper Officer 
  1. A motion shall relate to the responsibilities of the meeting which it is tabled for and in any event shall relate to the performance of the council’s statutory functions, powers and obligations or an issue which specifically affects the council’s area or its residents. 
  1. No motion may be moved at a meeting unless it is on the agenda and the mover has given written notice of its wording to the Proper Officer at least (7) clear days before the meeting. Clear days do not include the day of the notice or the day of the meeting.
  1. The Proper Officer may, before including a motion on the agenda received in accordance with standing order 9(b) above, correct obvious grammatical or typographical errors in the wording of the motion. 
  1. If the Proper Officer considers the wording of a motion received in accordance with standing order 9(b) above is not clear in meaning, the motion shall be rejected until the mover of the motion resubmits it in writing to the Proper Officer so that it can be understood at least (7) clear days before the meeting. 
  1. If the wording or subject of a proposed motion is considered improper, the Proper Officer shall consult with the chairman of the forthcoming meeting or, as the case may be, the councillors who have convened the meeting, to consider whether the motion shall be included in the agenda or rejected. 
  1. Subject to standing order 9(e) above, the decision of the Proper Officer as to whether or not to include the motion on the agenda shall be final. 
  1. Motions received shall be recorded in a book for that purpose and numbered in the order that they are received.
  1. Motions rejected shall be recorded in a book for that purpose with an explanation by the Proper Officer for their rejection. 
  1. Motions at a meeting that do not require written notice 
  1. The following motions may be moved at a meeting without written notice to the Proper Officer;
  1.       to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes of a meeting;
  2. to move to a vote; 
  3. to defer consideration of a motion; 
  4. to refer a motion to a particular committee or sub-committee;
  5. to appoint a person to preside at a meeting;
  6. to change the order of business on the agenda; 
  7. to proceed to the next business on the agenda; 
  8. to require a written report;
  9. to appoint a committee or sub-committee and their members;
  10. to extend the time limits for speaking;
  11. to exclude the press and public from a meeting in respect of confidential or sensitive information which is prejudicial to the public interest;
  12. to not hear further from a councillor or a member of the public;
  13. to exclude a councillor or member of the public for disorderly conduct; 
  14. to temporarily suspend the meeting; 
  15. to suspend a particular standing order (unless it reflects mandatory statutory requirements);
  16. to adjourn the meeting; or
  17. to close a meeting. 
  1. Handling confidential or sensitive information 
  1. The agenda, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
  1. Councillors and staff shall not disclose confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
  1. Draft minutes 
  1. If the draft minutes of a preceding meeting have been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, they shall be taken as read.
  1. There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of a preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy. A motion to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes shall be moved in accordance with standing order 10(a)(i) above.
  1. The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate. 
  1. If the chairman of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, he shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:

“The chairman of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the (   ) held on [date] in respect of (   ) were a correct record but his/her view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”

  1. Upon a resolution which confirms the accuracy of the minutes of a meeting, the draft minutes or recordings of the meeting for which approved minutes exist shall be destroyed.
  1. Code of conduct and dispensations

See also standing order 3(t) above. 

  1. All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the council.
  1. Unless he/she has been granted a dispensation, a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he/she has a disclosable pecuniary interest. He/she may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he/she had the interest.
  1. Unless he/she has been granted a dispensation, a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights shall withdraw from a meeting when it is considering a matter in which he/she has another interest if so required by the council’s code of conduct. He/she may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he/she had the interest.
  1. Dispensation requests shall be in writing and submitted to the Proper Officer as soon as possible before the meeting, or failing that, at the start of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.
  1. A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by the Proper Officer and that decision is final.
  1. A dispensation request shall confirm:
    1. the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates; 
    2. whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a discussion only or a discussion and a vote;
    3. the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding four years) for which the dispensation is sought; and 
    4. an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.

g       Subject to standing orders 13(d) and (f) above, dispensations requests shall be               

         considered by the Proper Officer before the meeting or, if this is not possible, at the start

         of the meeting for which the dispensation is required.         

                                       

h       A dispensation may be granted in accordance with standing order 13(e)                  

          above if having regard to all relevant circumstances the following applies:             

    1.       without the dispensation the number of persons prohibited from participating in the particular business would be so great a proportion of the meeting transacting the business as to impede the transaction of the business or
    2. granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the council’s area or
    3. it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
  1. Code of conduct complaints 
  1. Upon notification by the District Council that it is dealing with a complaint that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the council’s code of conduct, the Proper Officer shall, subject to standing order 11 above, report this to the council.
  1. Where the notification in standing order 14(a) above relates to a complaint made by the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Mayor of Council of this fact, and the Chairman shall nominate another staff member to assume the duties of the Proper Officer in relation to the complaint until it has been determined and the council has agreed what action, if any, to take in accordance with standing order 14(d) below.
  1. The council may:
    1.       provide information or evidence where such disclosure is necessary to progress an investigation of the complaint or is required by law;
    2. seek information relevant to the complaint from the person or body with statutory responsibility for investigation of the matter;
  2. Upon notification by the District or Unitary Council that a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights has breached the council’s code of conduct, the council shall consider what, if any, action to take against him/her. Such action excludes disqualification or suspension from office.
  1. Proper Officer 
  1. The Proper Officer shall be either (i) the clerk or (ii) other staff member(s) nominated by the council to undertake the work of the Proper Officer when the Proper Officer is absent. 
  1. The Proper Officer shall:

At least three clear days before a meeting of the council and a committee serve on councillors a summons, by email, confirming the time, place and the agenda provided any such email contains the electronic signature and title of the Proper Officer. 

See standing order 3(b) above for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a full council and standing order 3 (c) above for a meeting of a committee.

    1. give public notice of the time, place and agenda at least three clear days before a meeting of the council or a meeting of a committee (provided that the public notice with agenda of an extraordinary meeting of the council convened by councillors is signed by them);

See standing order 3(b) above for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a full council and standing order 3(c) above for a meeting of a committee.

    1. subject to standing order 9 above, include on the agenda all motions in the order received unless a councillor has given written notice at least (7) days before the meeting confirming his withdrawal of it;
    2. convene a meeting of full council for the election of a new Mayor of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in his office;
    3. facilitate inspection of the minute book by local government electors;
    4. receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities;
    5. retain acceptance of office forms from councillors;
    6. retain a copy of every councillor’s register of interests;
    7. assist with responding to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998, in accordance with and subject to the council’s policies and procedures relating to the same;
    8. receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;
    9. manage the organisation, storage of, access to and destruction of information held by the council in paper and electronic form;
    10. arrange for legal deeds to be executed; 

See also standing order 22 below.

    1. arrange or manage the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction regarding any payments to be made by the council in accordance with the council’s financial regulations;
    2. record every planning application notified to the council and the council’s response to the local planning authority in a book for such purpose;
    3. refer a planning application received by the council to the Chairman of the Planning Committee or in his/her absence Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee within two working days of receipt to facilitate an extraordinary meeting if the nature of a planning application requires consideration before the next ordinary meeting of the Planning committee;
    4. manage access to information about the council via the publication scheme; and

See also standing order 22 below.

  1. Responsible Financial Officer 
  1. The council shall appoint appropriate staff member(s) to undertake the work of the Responsible Financial Officer when the Responsible Financial Officer is absent.
  1. Accounts and accounting statements
  1. “Proper practices” in standing orders refer to the most recent version of Governance and Accountability for Local Councils – a Practitioners’ Guide.
  1. All payments by the council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the council’s financial regulations. 
  1. The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor as soon as practicable after 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year a statement to summarise:
      1. the council’s receipts and payments for each quarter; 
      2. the council’s aggregate receipts and payments for the year to date;
      3. the balances held at the end of the quarter being reported

and which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.

  1. As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide:
      1.       each councillor with a statement summarising the council’s receipts and payments for the last quarter and the year to date for information; and 
      2. to the full council the accounting statements for the year in the form of Section 1 of the annual return, as required by proper practices, for consideration and approval.
  1. The year end accounting statements shall be prepared in accordance with proper practices and applying the form of accounts determined by the council (receipts and payments, or income and expenditure) for a year to 31 March. A completed draft annual return shall be presented to each councillor before the end of the following month of May. The annual return of the council, which is subject to external audit, including the annual governance statement, shall be presented to council for consideration and formal approval before 30 June.
  1. Financial controls and procurement
  1. The council shall consider and approve financial regulations drawn up by the Responsible Financial Officer, which shall include detailed arrangements in respect of the following:
  1. the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;
  2. the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the council;
  3. the work of the independent internal auditor in accordance with proper practices and the receipt of regular reports from the internal auditor, which shall be required at least annually;
  4. the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the council’s accounts and/or orders of payments; and 
  5. procurement policies (subject to standing order 18(c) below) including the setting of values for different procedures where a contract has an estimated value of less than £1,000.
  1. Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.
  1. Financial regulations shall confirm that a proposed contract for the supply of goods, materials, services and the execution of works with an estimated value in excess of £1,000 shall be procured on the basis of a formal tender as summarised in standing order 18(d) below.
  1. Subject to additional requirements in the financial regulations of the council, the tender process for contracts for the supply of goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall include, as a minimum, the following steps:
  1. a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall be drawn up;
  2. an invitation to tender shall be drawn up to confirm (i) the council’s specification (ii) the time, date and address for the submission of tenders (iii) the date of the council’s written response to the tender and (iv) the prohibition on prospective contractors contacting councillors or staff to encourage or support their tender outside the prescribed process;
  3. tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope addressed to the Proper Officer; 
  1. tenders shall be opened by the Proper Officer in the presence of at least one councillor after the deadline for submission of tenders has passed; 
  2. tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting of the council or a committee with delegated responsibility.
  1. Neither the council, nor a committee with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.
  1. Where the value of a contract is likely to exceed £138,893 (or other threshold specified by the Office of Government Commerce from time to time) the council must consider whether the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI No. 5, as amended) and the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI No. 6, as amended) apply to the contract and, if either of those Regulations apply, the council must comply with EU procurement rules.
  1. Handling staff matters
  1. A matter personal to a member of staff that is being considered by a meeting of council or the HR committee is subject to standing order 11 above.
  1. Subject to the council’s policy regarding absences from work, the council’s most senior member of staff shall notify the Mayor of the Council or, if he/she is not available, the Deputy Mayor of absence occasioned by illness or other reason and that person shall report such absence to the HR committee at its next meeting.
  1. The chairman of the HR committee or in his/her absence, the vice-chairman together with the Mayor shall upon a resolution conduct a review of the performance and annual appraisal of the work of the Town Clerk. The reviews and appraisal shall be reported in writing and is subject to approval by resolution by the HR committee. 
  1. Subject to the council’s policy regarding the handling of grievance matters, the council’s most senior employee (or other employees) shall contact the chairman of the HR committee or in his/her absence, the vice-chairman of the HR committee in respect of an informal or formal grievance matter, and this matter shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of the HR committee.
  1. Subject to the council’s policy regarding the handling of grievance matters, if an informal or formal grievance matter raised by the Town Clerk relates to the chairman or vice-chairman of the HR committee, this shall be communicated to another member of the HR committee, which shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of the HR committee. 
  1. Any persons responsible for all or part of the management of staff shall treat the written records of all meetings relating to their performance, capabilities, grievance or disciplinary matters as confidential and secure.

 

  1. The council shall keep all written records relating to employees secure. All paper records shall be secured and locked and electronic records shall be password protected and encrypted.
  1. Only persons with line management responsibilities shall have access to staff records referred to in standing orders 19(f) and (g) above if so justified. 
  1. Access and means of access by keys and/or computer passwords to records of employment referred to in standing orders 19(f) and (g) above shall be provided only to (post holder) and/or the Chairman of the HR committee.
  1. Requests for information 
  1. Requests for information held by the council shall be handled in accordance with the council’s policy in respect of handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
  1. Correspondence from, and notices served by, the Information Commissioner shall be referred by the Proper Officer to the chairman of the Property and Finance committee. The said committee shall have the power to do anything to facilitate compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
  1. Relations with the press/media
  1. Requests from the press or other media for an oral or written comment or statement from the Council, its councillors or staff shall be handled in accordance with the Council’s policy in respect of dealing with the press and/or other media.
  1. Execution and sealing of legal deeds 

See also standing orders 15(b)(xii) and (xvii) above.

  1. A legal deed shall not be executed on behalf of the council unless authorised by a resolution.

Subject to standing order 22(a) above, any two councillors may sign, on behalf of the council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall witness their signatures. 

The above is applicable to a council without a common seal.

  1. Communicating with District and County or Unitary councillors
  1. An invitation to attend a meeting of the council shall be sent, together with the agenda, to the ward councillor(s) of the District and County Council representing the area of the council. 
  1. Unless the council determines otherwise, a copy of each letter sent to the District and County Council shall be sent to the ward councillor(s) representing the area of the council.
  1. Restrictions on councillor activities
  1. Unless authorised by the Proper officer, no councillor shall:
  1.       inspect any land and/or premises which the council has a right or duty to inspect; or
  2. issue orders, instructions or directions.
  1. Standing orders generally
  1. All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory requirements, may be suspended by resolution in relation to the consideration of an item on the agenda for a meeting.
  1. A motion to add to or vary or revoke one or more of the council’s standing orders, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory requirements, shall be proposed by a special motion, the written notice by at least (2) councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9 above.
  1. The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the council’s standing orders to a councillor as soon as possible after he/she has delivered his/her acceptance of office form.
  1. The decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.
  1. A councillor’s failure to observe standing orders more than 3 times in one meeting may result in him/her being excluded from the meeting. 
  1. The Council is a non political organisation. 

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