Legalities

Penwortham Town Council

Audited Accounts 2015 – 2016

Penwortham Town Council

STANDING ORDERS

Standing Subject Order
1 – 3 Meetings
4 Chairman of Meeting
5 Proper Officer
6 – 7 Quorum
8 – 10 Voting
11 – 14 Order of Business
15 Formal Questions to the Council
16 – 19 Notices of Motion
20 Resolutions Moved Without Notice
21 – 23 Rules of Debate
24 Closure
25 Disorderly Conduct
26 Right of Reply
27 Alteration of Resolution
28 Rescission of Previous Resolution
29 Voting on Appointments
30 Discussions, Resolutions Affecting Employees
31 Resolutions on Expenditure
32 Financial Controls – General Principles
33 Retention of Documents/Receipts
34 Accounting Records
35 Expenditure
36 Reporting for Each Committee and the Council
37 Budgetary Process
38 Reimbursement of Mileage Costs
39 – 44 Committees
45 – 46 Voting in Committees
47 Presence of Non-Members of Committees at Meetings
48 – 49 Accounts and Financial Statement
50 Estimates
51 – 53 Interests
54 Canvassing of Members
55 – 56 Inspection of Documents
57 Admission of the Public and Press to Meetings
58 – 60 Public Participation in Meetings
61 Address by Members of the Public
62 Liaison with District Councillors
63 Code of Conduct on Complaints
64 – 65 Variation, Revocation, Suspension of Standing Orders
66 Correspondence from Penwortham Town Council
67 Standing Orders to be Given to Members

MEETINGS

Meetings of the Council shall be held at Penwortham Community Centre, Kingsfold Drive, Penwortham at 7.00pm on the first Tuesday of each month (excluding August), unless the Council determines otherwise. The meeting in March, however, shall be held at 7.30pm or immediately after the Annual Town Meeting, whichever is the later.

Smoking is not permitted at any meeting of the Council or at any Committee meeting.

The Statutory Annual Meeting shall be held at 7.00pm on the first Tuesday in May.

CHAIRMAN OF MEETING

The person presiding at a meeting may exercise all the powers and duties of the Town Mayor in relation to the conduct of the meeting.

Proper Officer

Where a statute, regulation or order confers functions or duties on the proper officer of the Council in the following cases, he/she shall be the Town Manager or the Democratic Services Officer;

(i)         to receive declarations of acceptance of office;

(ii)        to receive and record notices disclosing pecuniary interests;

(iii)       to receive and retain plans and documents;

(iv)       to sign notices or other documents on behalf of the Council;

(v)        to receive copies of bye-laws made by a district council;

(vi)       to certify copies of byelaws made by the Council;

(vii)      to sign summonses to attend meetings of the Council.

Quorum

One third of members (6) shall constitute a quorum.

If a quorum is not present when the Council meets, or if during a meeting the number of councillors present and not debarred by reason of a declared personal or prejudicial interest falls below the quorum, the business not transacted at that meeting shall be transacted at the next meeting or such other day as the Town Mayor may fix.

VOTING

Members shall vote by show of hands.

If three or more members so formally request by a show of hands, the Town Manager or the Democratic Services officer shall record the names of the members who voted on any question so as to show whether they voted for or against it, or abstained.

(i) Subject to (2) below the Town Mayor may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote and, in the case of an equality of votes, may give a casting vote even though he gave no original vote.

(ii) The person presiding must give a casting vote whenever there is an equality of votes in an election for Town Mayor.

ORDER OF BUSINESS

(In an election year councillors should execute Declarations of Acceptance of Office in each other’s presence, or in the presence of a proper officer previously authorised by the Council to take such declarations, before the annual meeting commences.   Any councillor elected at a by-election must make a Declaration of Acceptance of Office before partaking in any Council business).

At each statutory Annual Meeting the first business shall be

(i)         to elect a Town Mayor;

(ii)        to receive the Town Mayor’s declaration of acceptance of office or, if not then received, to decide when it shall be received;

(iii)       in the ordinary year of election of the Council, to fill any vacancies left unfilled at the election by reason of insufficient nominations;

(iv)       to elect a Deputy Town Mayor;

(v)        to consider any vacancies for school governors;

(vi)       to appoint committees and their membership and terms of reference

(vii)      to consider the payment of any annual subscriptions.

and shall thereafter follow the order set out in Standing Order14.

At every meeting other than the Annual Meeting, the first business shall be to appoint a Chairman, if the Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor be absent, and to receive such declarations of acceptance of office (if any) as are required by law to be made.

After the first business has been completed, the order of business, unless the Council otherwise decides on the ground of urgency, shall be as follows:-

(i)         to consider the minutes of the last meeting for approval and signing as a correct record by the person presiding.

(ii)        To deal with business expressly required by statute to be done;

(iii)       to dispose of business, if any, remaining from the last meeting;

(iv)       to receive such communication as the person presiding may wish to lay before the Council;

(v)        to answer questions from Councillors;

(vi)       to receive and consider reports and minutes of    committees;

(vii)      to receive and consider reports from officers of the Council;

viii)     to answer questions from the public;

(ix)       to consider resolutions or recommendations in the order in which they have been notified;

(x)      Any other business specified in the summons(see above, paragraph 37).

A motion to vary the order of business on the ground of urgency

(i)         may be proposed by the Town Mayor or by any member and, if proposed by the Town Mayor, may be put to the vote without being seconded, and

(ii)        shall be put to the vote without discussion.

FORMAL QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL

(i) Subject to paragraph (ii) below, if a member of the council wishes to ask a formal question at a meeting of the council of

(a)       the Town Mayor;

(b)       the chairman of any committee;

(c)        a member who represents the council on an outside organisation

a member of the council may ask without notice a question of those persons specified in (i) above, but in those circumstances there shall be no requirement for an answer to be given.

(ii)        The Town Mayor or other member specified in (i) above shall not be required to answer the question if the information requested is confidential.

(iii)       Every question shall be relevant to some matter in relation to which      the Council has functions, or which affects Penwortham.

(iv)       A member asking the question may, in doing so, address the council for not more than three minutes for each question.

(v)        A member of the council may address to the concerned person supplementary questions, or make supplementary comments, which must be directly relevant to the original question. The time limit on any such supplementary question or discussion is at the discretion of the Town Mayor.

(vi)       An answer may take the form of:

(a)       a direct oral answer;

(b)       where the desired information is contained in a    publication of the council, a reference to that publication;

(c)        where the reply to the question cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer to the member asking the question, and circulated to all members of the council.

NOTICES OF MOTION

Except as provided by these standing orders, no resolution may be moved unless the business to which it relates has been put on the agenda by the Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer or the mover has given notice in writing of its terms, signed it and has delivered the notice to the Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer at least 7 clear days before the next meeting of the Council. Any items on the report of the Town Manager are to be considered as in integral part of the agenda for the purpose of resolution”.
The Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer shall insert in the agenda for every meeting all notices of motion properly given and in the order in which they have been received, unless the member giving a notice of motion withdraws it.

If a resolution or recommendation specified in the summons is not moved either by the member who gave notice of it or by any other member, it shall, unless postponed by the Council, be treated as withdrawn and shall not be moved without fresh notice.

Every resolution or recommendation shall be relevant to some subject over which the Council has power or which affects its area.

Resolutions moved without notice

Resolutions dealing with the following matters may be moved without notice:-

(i)         to appoint a Chairman of the meeting;
(ii)        to correct the minutes;
(iii)       to approve the minutes;
(iv)       to alter the order of business;
(v)        to proceed to the next business;
(vi)       to close or adjourn the debate;
vii)      to refer a matter to a committee;
(viii)     to adopt a report;
(ix)       to authorise the sealing of documents;
(x)        to amend a motion;
(xi)       to give leave to withdraw a resolution or an amendment;
(xii)      to extend the time limit for speeches;
(xiii)     to exclude the public;
(xiv)     to suspend any Standing Order;
(xv)      to adjourn the meeting.

Rules of debate

No discussion shall take place upon the minutes except upon their accuracy. Corrections to the minutes shall be made by resolution.

(i) A resolution or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded.

(ii) A member when seconding a resolution or amendment may, if he then declares his intention to do so, reserve his speech until a later period of debate.

(iii) A member shall direct his speech to the question under discussion or to a personal explanation or to a question of order.

(iv) No speech by a mover of a resolution shall exceed 5 minutes, and no other speech shall exceed 5 minutes except by consent of the Council.

(v)  An amendment shall be either:-

(a)       to leave out words;

(b)       to leave out words and insert or add others; or

(c)        to insert or add words.

(vi)       An amendment shall not have the effect of negating the resolution before the Council.

(vii)      If an amendment is carried, the resolution, as amended, shall take the place of the original resolution and shall become the resolution upon which any further amendment may be moved.

(viii)     A further amendment shall not be moved until the Council has disposed of every amendment previously moved.

(ix)       The mover of a resolution or of an amendment shall have a right of reply, not exceeding 5 minutes.

(x)        A member, other than the mover of a resolution, shall not, without leave of the Council, speak more than once on any resolution except to move an amendment, or on a point of order, or in personal explanation, or to move a closure.

(xi)       A member may rise to make a point of order or a personal explanation.  A member rising for these purposes shall be heard forthwith.  A personal explanation shall be confined to some material part of a former speech by him which may have been misunderstood.

(xii)      A motion or amendment may be withdrawn by the proposer with the consent of the Council, which shall be signified without   discussion, and no member may speak upon it after permission has been asked for its withdrawal unless such permission has been refused.

(xiii)     When a resolution is under debate no other resolution shall be moved except the following:-

(a)       To amend the resolution.

(b)       To proceed to the next business.

(c)        To adjourn the debate.

(d)       That the question be now put.

(e)       That a member named be not further heard.

(fi)        That a member named do leave the meeting.

(g)       That the resolution be referred to a committee.

(h)        To exclude the public and press.

(i)         To adjourn the meeting.

(i) The ruling of the Town Mayor on a point of order or on the admissibility of a personal explanation is final.

(ii)        Members shall address the Town Mayor.

(iii)       Whenever the Town Mayor rises during a debate all other members shall be seated and silent.

Closure

At the end of any speech a member may, without comment, move “that the question now be put”, “that the debate now be adjourned” or “that the Council now do adjourn”.  If such motion is seconded the Town Mayor shall put the motion but, in the case of a motion “to put the question”, only if he is of the opinion that the question before the Council has been sufficiently debated.  If the motion “that the question now be put” is carried, he shall call upon the mover to exercise or waive his right of reply and shall put the question immediately after that right has been exercised or waived.  The adjournment of a debate or of the Council shall not prejudice the mover’s right of reply at the resumption.

(Note:  Where a meeting is adjourned the subsequent proceedings are part of the original meeting and no new notices or agendas need to be issued except a notification to members not present of the date of the continuation of the meeting.)

Disorderly Conduct

 (i) No member or member of the public shall at a meeting persistently disregard the ruling of the Town Mayor, wilfully obstruct business, or behave irregularly, offensively, improperly or in such a manner as to bring the council into contempt.

(ii)        If, in the opinion of the Town Mayor, a person has broken the provisions of paragraph (a) of this Standing Order, the Town Mayor shall express that opinion to the Council and thereafter any member may move that the member named be no longer heard or that the member named do leave the meeting, and the motion, if seconded, shall be put forthwith and without discussion.

iii)       If either of the motions mentioned in paragraph (b) is disobeyed, the Town Mayor may suspend the meeting or take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce them.

RIGHT OF REPLY

The mover of a resolution shall have a right to reply immediately before the resolution is put to the vote. If an amendment is proposed the mover of the amendment shall be entitled to reply immediately before the amendment is put to the vote.  A member exercising a right of reply shall not introduce new matter.  After the right of reply has been exercised or waived, a vote shall be taken without further discussion.

ALTERATION OF RESOLUTION

 A member may, with the consent of his seconder, move amendments to his own resolution.

RESCISION OF PREVIOUS RESOLUTION

A decision (whether affirmative or negative) of the Council shall not be reversed within six months.

VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS

Where more than two persons have been nominated for any position to be filled by the Council and of the votes given there is not an absolute majority in favour of one person, the name of the person having the least number of votes shall be struck off the list and a fresh vote taken, and so on until a majority of votes is given in favour of one person.

DISCUSSIONS AND RESOLUTIONS AFFECTING EMPLOYEES OF THE COUNCIL

 If at a meeting there arises any question relating to the appointment, conduct, promotion, dismissal, salary or conditions of service, of any person employed by the Council, it shall not be considered until the Council or committee (as the case may be) has decided whether or not the public shall be excluded.

RESOLUTIONS ON EXPENDITURE

Any resolution which is moved otherwise than in pursuance of a recommendation of the Finance and Strategy Committee or of another committee after recommendation by the Finance and Strategy Committee and which, if carried, would, in the opinion of the Town Mayor, substantially increase the expenditure upon any service which is under the management of or reduce the revenue at the disposal of any committee, or which would involve capital expenditure shall, when proposed and seconded, stand adjourned without discussion to the next ordinary meeting of the Council, and any committee affected by it shall consider whether it        desires to report thereon and the Finance and Strategy Committee shall report on the financial aspect of the matter.

FINANCIAL CONTROLS – GENERAL PRINCIPLES

The principles underlying financial controls are segregation of duties and responsibilities within the council, keeping of accurate and complete accounting records, a strong emphasis on budgetary control and reporting and compliance with statutory and audit requirements

RETENTION OF DOCUMENTS/RECEIPTS

All financial transactions of the council should be accompanied by a relevant document (invoice, receipt etc). Wherever possible, receipts should be VAT receipts to allow the council to recover VAT.  Invoices should be addressed to Penwortham Town Council and not individual council members or officers.

ACCOUNTING RECORDS

(i) Proper accounting records will be kept by the Town Manager.

(ii)        A full bank reconciliation will be completed on a monthly basis by the Town Manage

(ii)        Any discrepancies will be reported to the chairman of Finance and Strategy Committee and the Town Mayor immediately.

EXENDITURE

(i)         Expenditure will need to be approved by the Town Council.

(ii)        If it is necessary to make urgent payments before authorisation, the Town Manager in consultation with the Town Mayor, can approve expenditure up to £500.  All such instances must be reported back to the Council.

(iii)       Payment on behalf of the Town Council will normally be cheque. All cheques must be signed by two councillors and by the Town Manager.

REPORTING FOR EACH COMMITTEE AND THE COUNCIL

The Town Manager shall produce a quarterly financial report for the Council giving details of the budget, actual spend to date, committed cost and a forecast outturn for the remainder of the year.

BUDGETARY PROCESS

The financial year will run from 1 April to 31 March.

This budget process will be coordinated by the Finance and Strategy Committee.

REIMBURSEMENT OF MILEAGE COSTS

The reimbursement of mileage costs for officers of the council will be the agreed NALC published rates for local council clerks.

COMMITTEES

The Council will, at its Annual Meeting, appoint to 6 committees namely;

Finance and Strategy,
Events,
Planning,
Community Centre Management Committee,
Cemeteries
Environment Committee

and may, at any other time, appoint such other committees as are necessary but, subject to any statutory provision in that behalf:-

(i)         shall not appoint any member of a committee so as to hold office later than the next Annual Meeting,

(ii)        may at any time dissolve or alter the membership of a committee.

Every committee shall at its first meeting after the Annual Meeting of the council before proceeding to any other business, elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman who shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting of the Council.

The Chairman of a committee or the Town Mayor may summon a meeting of that committee at any time. An additional meeting shall also be summoned on the requisition in writing of not less than a quarter of the members of the committee. The summons shall set out the business to be considered at the special meeting and no other business shall be transacted at that meeting.

The quorum of a committee or sub-committee shall be one third of its members. In all cases the legal minimum quorum for any meeting is never fewer than 3 members.

Each committee will consist of eight named elected members of the council and substitutes will be allowed to attend in the absence of a committee member.

Substitutes do not need to be named and must be announced at the start of the meeting.

(ii)  Substitutes will be allowed to vote in the normal manner at all committee meetings.

(iii)  The name of the councillor not attending the meeting and the name of the substitute will be recorded in the minutes of that meeting.

The Standing Orders on rules of debate (except those parts relating to standing and to speaking more than once) and the Standing Order on interests of members in contracts and other matters shall apply to committee meetings.

VOTING IN COMMITTEES

Members of committees shall vote by show of hands.

Chairmen of committees and sub-committees shall in the case of an equality of votes have a second or casting vote.

PRESENCE OF NON-MEMBERS OF COMMITTEES AT COMMITTEE MEETINGS

A member who has proposed a resolution which has been referred to any committee of which he is not a member, may explain his resolution to the committee but shall not vote. Members of the council are eligible to attend and speak at all committee meetings, at the discretion of the chairman.

ACCOUNTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (ii) of this Standing Order or by statute, all accounts for payment and claims upon the Council shall be laid before Council or appropriate committee.

(ii) Where it is necessary to make a payment before it has been authorised by the Council, such payment, for sums up to £500 only, shall be certified as to its correctness and urgency by the Town Manager in         consultation with the Town Mayor or Deputy Town Mayor.

(iii) All payments ratified under sub-paragraph (ii) of this Standing Order shall be separately included in the next schedule of payments laid before the Council.

The Town Manager shall supply to each member at the ordinary meeting next after the end of the Financial Year a statement of receipts and payments.

ESTIMATES

The Council shall approve written estimates for the coming financial year at its meeting in the month of December.

INTERESTS

Now in the Code of Conduct for Elected members.

The Town Manager shall record in a book to be kept for the purpose, particulars of any notice given by any member or any officer of the Council of a pecuniary interest in a contract, and the book shall be open during reasonable hours of the day for the inspection of any member.

 If a candidate for any appointment under the Council is to his knowledge related to any member of or the holder of any office under the Council, he and the person to whom he is related shall disclose the relationship in writing to the Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer. A candidate who fails so to do shall be disqualified for such appointment, and, if appointed, may be dismissed without notice. The Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer shall report to the Council or to the appropriate committee any such disclosure. Where relationship to a member is disclosed Standing Order 63 shall apply.

The Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer shall make known the purport of this Standing Order to every candidate.

 CANVASSING OF AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY MEMBERS

 (i) Canvassing of members of the Council or of any committee,     directly or indirectly, for any appointment under the Council shall disqualify the candidate for such appointment.  The Town Manager shall make known the purport of this sub-paragraph of this Standing Order to every candidate.

(ii) A member of the Council or of any committee shall not solicit for any person any appointment under the Council or recommend any person for such appointment or for promotion; but, nevertheless, any such member may give a written testimonial of a candidate’s ability, experience or character for submission to the Council with an application for appointment.

INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS

A member may for the purpose of his duty as such (but not otherwise), inspect any document in possession of the Council or a committee, and if copies are available shall, on request, be supplied for the like purpose with a copy.

All minutes kept by the Council and by any committee shall be open for the inspection of any member of the Council or the public.

ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS TO MEETINGS

The public shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council and its committees which may, however, temporarily exclude the public by means of the following resolution:

“That in view of the nature of the business the public be excluded from the proceedings during consideration of the following item(s) because, if members of the public were present, it is likely that there would be a disclosure to them of exempt information as set out in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972”.

The special reason(s) under the Local Government Act 1972 should be stated.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN MEETINGS

(i)         Questions, statement or comments from members of the public and all members of the council will be allowed during all council and committee meetings.  These shall relate only to items on the agenda.  Members of the council will normally be allowed to speak only after members of the concerned committee have first been given the opportunity to do so.  This shall be at the discretion of the chairman.

(ii)        Each speaker shall be restricted to a total of five minutes.

iii)        Questions shall be directed to the chairman.

(iv)       The chairman will disallow any question, statement or comment which in his or her opinion is scurrilous, improper irrelevant repetitive or objectionable.

If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings at any meeting, the chairman may, after warning, order that he be removed from the meeting.

The Town Manager/Democratic Services Officer shall afford to the press reasonable facilities for taking their report of any proceedings at which they are entitled to be present.

ADDRESS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

(i)        Members of the public may address the council on any matter in relation to which the council has functions, or which affects the area of Penwortham.

ii)        Notice of the subject matter of the address must be given in writing to the Town Manager of Democratic Services Officer at least seven clear days before the meeting at which it is to be raised.

(iii)       the subject matter shall be indicated on the agenda for the meeting of the council.

(iv)       Members of the public may address the council without notice on any matter in relation to which the council has functions, but if the subject matter has not been included on the agenda it may not be discussed unless the Mayor determines that it is appropriate to do so.

(v)        Each speaker shall be restricted to a total of five minutes.

(vi)       The Mayor shall determine whether a discussion on the matter shall take place and any response to the address may take the form of:

(a)       a direct oral answer;

(b)       where the desired information is contained in a    publication of the council, a reference to that publication; or

(c)        where the reply cannot conveniently be given orally, a written answer shall be sent to the member(s) of             the public addressing the council, and circulated to all members off the council.

LIAISON WITH DISTRICT COUNCILLORS

A notice of meeting shall be sent together with an invitation to attend to South Ribble Borough Councillors and Lancashire County Councillors wholly or partly within the wards/divisions in the Town council area

CODE OF CONDUCT ON COMPLAINTS

The Council shall deal with complaints of maladministration allegedly committed by the Council or by any officer or member in the manner recommended by the National Association of Local Councils.

VARIATION, REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

Any or every part of the Standing Orders except the following may be suspended by resolution in relation to any specific item of business:

Standing Orders nos.  3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11 (i– iii), 12, 13 (i and ii), 51, 52, 55, 56, 57 and 60.

A resolution permanently to add, vary, or revoke a Standing Order shall when proposed and seconded, stand adjourned without discussion to the next ordinary meeting of the Council.

CORRESPONDENCE FROM PENWORTHAM TOWN COUNCIL

(i) All correspondence sent by the Town Council should be signed by one of the following

Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer

Town Mayor (or Deputy Town Mayor)

Chairman of a committee when related to business of that committee.

Copies of all correspondence should be retained by the Democratic Service Officer for a period of at least 12 months. This can be electronic or hard copy format.

(ii)        Responses by committee Chairmen, Town Mayor and deputies to e-mail messages should be copied to the Town Manager or Democratic Services Officer (and appropriate committee chairmen as necessary).

STANDING ORDERS TO BE GIVEN TO MEMBERS

A copy of these Standing Orders shall be given to each member by the Town Manager/Democratic Services Officer upon delivery to him of the member’s declaration of acceptance of office.

Signed by           Councillor David Howarth           Steve Caswell

                              Town Mayor                                      Town Manager  

Approved by the Penwortham Town Council on 7th July 2015