Standing Orders

Standing Orders - Reviewed 26th June 2017

Standing Orders constitute the rules by which the council runs its meetings. Under the Local Government Act many of them are mandatory however some have been developed over the years to ensure the meetings of the Council run smoothly and more importantly, fairly. 

The legal copy is held by the Town Clerk and can be viewed at the Council Offices.

SOME OF STANDING ORDERS ARE COMPULSORY AS THEY ARE LAID DOWN IN ACTS OF PARLIAMENT.FOR USERS ASSISTANCE WE HAVE PRINTED THE COMPULSORY STANDING ORDERS IN BOLD TYPE.

MEETINGS

1.  Meetings of the Full Council shall be held at the Town Hall, commencing at 7.30pm. unless the Council decides otherwise. Committee meetings will normally beheld in the Jubilee Room. Printed calendar of meetings will be presented to Full Council for approval prior to the start of each Council Year.

a.  General Purposes Committee - first Monday of each month.

b.  Planning Committee - second Monday of each month.

c.  Policy & Resources Committee - third Monday of each month.

d.  Full Council - fourth Monday of each month.

e.  Staff & Salaries Committee – third Monday, prior to Policy &  Resources, or as required.

f.  Interim Planning Committee Meetings:

  • The Interim Planning Committee meetings will take place either before, or after, Full Council meetings.
  • The start time of this Interim Planning Committee Meeting will be agreed by the Committee Chairman, and published on the agenda / summons notice for the meeting.
  • The ratification of Planning  Committee meetings will take place at the following Full Council meeting with separate entries on the agenda as follows:-

          (a).     The programmed Planning Committee for the month in question.

          (b).     The Interim Planning Committee meeting ahead of the previous Full Council.

2.  The Statutory Annual Town Meeting will be held on the last       Wednesday in April.

3.  The Statutory Annual Council Meeting will be held on the last Monday in May except for the first meeting of the new Four Year Council Term when it will be the first meeting following the Local Council elections.

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

4.  Full Council and Committee meetings shall be held for a period not exceeding 2 hours on each occasion. Should it be necessary to extend due to the volume of business to be conducted then it shall be proposed by the Chairman, seconded by a member, that Standing Orders be suspended. This action shall also be recorded in the minutes for that meeting.

DRESS CODE

5.  As all meetings, unless otherwise stated, are open to attendance by members of the public, it is desirable to maintain an acceptable standard of appearance. Therefore, gentlemen members are expected to attend Committee meetings in a clean and tidy appearance and Full Council with a collar and tie; lady members as appropriate.

CHAIRMAN OF THE MEETING

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

PROPER OFFICER

 7.  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 Clerk, or in his/her absence, the Assistant Town Clerk:

  • To receive declarations of acceptance of office.
  • To receive and record notices disclosing pecuniary and other interests.
  • To receive and retain plans and documents.
  • To sign notices or other documents on behalf of the Council.
  • To receive copies of byelaws made by a District Council.
  • To certify copies of byelaws made by the Council.
  • To sign summonses to attend meetings of the Council.
  • To formulate, authorise and issue licences relevant to private functions being carried out on Council property.
  • To prepare, and publish, draft minutes for all Full Council and Committee meetings

QUORUM

8.  An attendance of five members or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, shall constitute a quorum at meetings of the Council.

 9.  If a quorum is not present when the Council meets, or if during a meeting the number of councillors present falls below the quorum, the business not transacted at that meeting shall be transacted at the next meeting or on such other day as the Chairman may declare.

VOTING

10.  Voting for the appointments of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, individual Committee Chairman and Committee Deputy Chairman shall be by closed, signed ballot.

11. All other voting, apart from that detailed at Paragraph 9 above, shall be by show of voting cards. However, in this case, if so requested by at least two voting members, the vote taken on any particular matter may be by closed, signed ballot.

12.  If a member so requires, the Clerk shall record the names of the members who voted on any question so as to show whether they voted for or against it. Such a request must be made before moving on to the next business.

 

13.a.  Subject to 11b and 11c below, the Chairman 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/she gave no original vote.

b.       If the person presiding at the annual meeting has ceased to be a member of the council but for the statutory provisions which preserve the membership of the chairman and vice-chairman until the end of their term of office he/she may not give an original vote in an election for Chairman.

c.       The person presiding must give a casting vote whenever there is an equality of votes in an election for Chairman.

ORDER OF BUSINESS

In an election year councillors should execute Declarations of Acceptance of Office in each others’ presence, or in the presence of a Proper Officer previously authorised by the council to take such declaration, before the annual meeting commences.

14.  ELECTION OF MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR – REVISED PROCEDURES

The procedure for the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Gillingham for Years 2, 3 and 4 as follows:-

  • Nominations for the forthcoming year will be presented annually to the March meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee. Approved nominations will then be forwarded to the March meeting of the Full Council when a ballot will take place if required.
  • Ratification, preceded by any necessary ballot, taken at the Full Council meeting of March
  • Adopt the appointments of Mayor (elect) and Deputy Mayor (elect).
  • Take office at Annual Council (May).

15.  At each Annual Council Meeting the first business shall be:

 

  • To elect a Chairman
  • To receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
  • In the ordinary year of election of the Council to agree the arrangements for filling any vacancies left unfilled at the election  by reason of insufficient nominations.
  • To elect a Vice-Chairman.
  • To receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office
  • To appoint members to statutory or standing committees.
  • To make ‘Appointments to other Organisations’.
  • To agree retention of Working Parties.
  • To inspect any deeds and trust instruments in the custody of the council.

16.     At every meeting other than the Annual Meeting the first business shall be to appoint a Chairman should the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be absent and to receive such Declarations of Acceptance of Office (if any) as are required by law to be made, or if not then received to decide when they shall be received.

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

a.     To read and consider the Minutes: provided that if a copy has been circulated to each member not later than the day of issue of the summons to attend the meeting, the Minutes may be taken as read.

b.      After consideration, to approve the signature of the Minutes by the presiding Chairman as a correct record. This signature shall be annotated and dated to each and every page in question.

 

c.      To deal with business expressly required by statute detailed in the calling notice (agenda).

18.    A motion to vary the order of business on the ground of urgency:

  • may be proposed by the Chairman or by any member and, if proposed by the Chairman, may be put to the vote without being seconded, and
  • shall be put to the vote without discussion.

RESOLUTIONS MOVED ON NOTICE

19.   Except as provided by these Standing Orders, no resolution may be moved unless the mover has given notice in writing of its terms and has delivered the notice to the Clerk at least five clear days before the next meeting of the Council.

20.   The Clerk shall hold the notice until entered in the next available and suitable summons (Agenda).

21.   The Clerk shall insert in the summons for every meeting all notices of motion or recommendation properly given in the order in which they have been received unless the member giving a notice of motion has stated in writing that he intends to move at some later meeting or that he/she withdraws it.

22.   If the subject matter of a resolution comes within the province of a committee of the Council, it shall, upon being moved and seconded, stand referred without discussion to such committee or to such other committee or working party as the Council may determine for report. This is provided that the Chairman, if he/she considers it to be a matter of urgency, may allow it to be dealt with at the meeting at which it was moved.

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

RESOLUTIONS MOVED WITHOUT NOTICE

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

  • To appoint the Chairman of the meeting.
  • To correct the Minutes.
  • To approve the Minutes.
  • To alter the order of business.
  • To proceed to the next business.
  • To close or adjourn the debate.
  • To refer a matter to a committee or working party.
  • To appoint a committee or working party or any members thereof.
  • To adopt a report.
  • To authorise the sealing of documents.
  • To amend a motion.
  • To give leave to withdraw a motion or an amendment.
  • To extend the time limit for speeches.
  • To consider otherwise than in committee a question affecting an employee of the Council.

(The following resolution is governed by the Standing Order on the admission of the public to meetings.)

  •  To exclude the press and public.

(The resolution is governed by the Standing Order on Disorderly Conduct.)

 

  • To silence or eject from the meeting a member named for misconduct.

(The resolution is governed by the Standing Order on members interested in contracts and other matters.)

  • To invite a member having an interest in the subject matter under debate to remain.
  • To give the consent of the Council where such consent is required by these Standing Orders.
  • To suspend Standing Orders.

 QUESTIONS

25.    A member may ask the Chairman any question concerning the business of the Council.

26.   A member with or without notice may ask the Chairman of a Committee any question upon the Proceedings of the Committee.

27.   Every question shall be put and answered without discussion.

28.   A person to whom a question has been put may decline to answer.

RULES OF DEBATE

29.   No discussion shall take place upon the Minutes except upon their accuracy. Corrections to the Minutes shall be made by resolution and included in the subsequent minutes as a correct record.

 30. a. A resolution or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded, and unless proper notice has already been given, it shall, if required by the Chairman, be produced in writing and handed to him/her before it is further discussed or put to the meeting.

 b.   A member when seconding a resolution or amendment may, if he/she then declare his/her intention to do so, reserve his/her speech until a later period in the debate.

c.   A member shall direct his/her speech to the question under discussion or to a personal explanation or to a question of order.

d.   Any amendment to the proposal may be put before the meeting for  consideration.

e.   An amendment shall not have the effect of negating the motion before the Council unless before the vote is taken, the original motion is withdrawn.

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

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

h.   The mover of a resolution or of an amendment shall have a right of reply.

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

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

 k.   A motion or amendment may be withdrawn by the proposer with the unanimous 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.

l.   When a resolution is under debate no other resolution shall be moved.

m.  There shall appear on each main committee agenda, and that of Full Council, an agenda item as follows: “Matters pertinent to this meeting. Members are advised that inclusion of items is at the Chairman’s discretion and that ‘A Council cannot lawfully decide upon any matter, which is not specified in the agenda.’ ’’  The purpose of this inclusion is to allow items of importance to be raised in order that members are aware of the content and to allow allocation of the matter to the appropriate committee and/or subcommittee. There shall be no discussion whatsoever (matter not included in the original agenda) and no decisions taken.

31.   A member shall stand when speaking, at Full Council only, unless permitted by the Chairman to sit on account of infirmity.

32. a.  The ruling of the Chairman on a point of order or on the admissibility of a personal explanation shall not be discussed.

b.         Members shall address the Chairman.

c.        If two or more members rise, the Chairman shall call upon one of them to speak and the other(s) shall resume their seats.

d.       Whenever the Chairman rises during a debate all other members shall be seated and silent.

CLOSURE

33.  At the end of any speech a member may, without comment, move “that the question be now put”, “that the debate be now adjourned” or “that the Council do now adjourn”. If such motion is seconded and if the Chairman is of the opinion that the question before the Council has been sufficiently debated (but not otherwise), he/she shall forthwith put the motion. If the motion “that the question be now put” is carried, he/she shall call upon the mover to exercise or waive his/her 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.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

34. a. All members must observe the Code of Conduct which was adopted by the council on the 23rd July 2012. 

b.      No member shall at a meeting persistently disregard the ruling of the Chairman, wilfully obstruct business, or behave irregularly, offensively, improperly or in such a manner as to bring the Council into disrepute.

c.      If, in the opinion of the Chairman, a member has so misconducted himself/herself, the Chairman shall express that opinion to the Council. 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. 

d.     If either of the motions mentioned in paragraph (c) above is disobeyed, the Chairman may suspend the meeting or take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce them.

RIGHT OF REPLY

35.  The mover of a resolution shall have the 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

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

RESCISSION OF PREVIOUS RESOLUTION

37. a. A decision (whether affirmative or negative) of the Council shall not be reversed within six calendar months save by a special resolution, the written notice whereof bears the names of at least five members of the Council.

b.      When a special resolution has been disposed of, no similar resolution may be moved within a further six calendar months.

VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS

38.  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

39.  If at a meting there arises any questions relating to the appointment, conduct, promotion,dismissal, salary or conditions of service, of any person employed by the Council, it shall be referred to the Staff & Salaries Committee. Press and Public shall be excluded- (Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960).

RESOLUTIONS ON EXPENDITURE

40.  Any motion which, if carried, would, in the opinion of the Chairman, 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.

EXPENDITURE

 

41.     Orders for the payment of monies shall be authorised by resolution of the Council and signed by two members specified in the bank mandate as well as a duly authorised member of staff.  New Direct Debit/Standing Order payments to be agreed by Policy & Resources Committee prior to them being set up.

COMMITTEES AND WORKING PARTIES

42.  The Council will, at the Annual Meeting, appoint standing committees and may, at any other time, appoint such other committees and/or working parties as are considered advantageous and necessary, but subject to any statutory provision in that behalf:

  • shall not appoint any member of a committee so as to hold office later than the next Annual Meeting, and
  •  may, at any time by resolution, dissolve or alter the membership of the committee.
  • the complement of the individual committees shall be as follows:

          (i).      General Purposes Committee  - 11 members.

          (ii).     Planning  Committee  -  11 members.  In the event of either the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor being members of the North Dorset District Council Development Management Committee then they shall be excluded from this committee and the membership made up from other council members.

(It is essential that each and every Ward be represented within the complement of this Committee.)

          (iii).    Policy & Resources Committee  -  11 members.

         (iv).    Staff & Salaries Committee  - 7 members

          (v).     Full Council    -    All members.

  • With reference to paragraph 42c(ii) above. Any member who has a direct responsibility and/or input to the Development Management Committee of North Dorset District Council shall be invalidated from membership of this Town Council Development Recommendations Committee. This shall determine that there will be no conflict, either stated or inferred, with any recommendation made by this Committee on behalf of Gillingham Town Council.
  • All Committees and Working Parties will set 'Terms of Reference'  relevant to their own specific schedules. (Copies will be held in each appropriate file).

 43.  The Council Chairman and Vice-Chairman (being the Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively) shall be members of every Committee, with the exception of the Planning Committee, when they are already members of the NDDC Development Management Committee.

44.   The Chairman of both General Purposes and Planning Committee shall not automatically be ex-officio members of the Policy & Resources Committee.

45.   Every Committee shall elect a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman at the Annual Council meeting, both of whom shall hold office until the next Annual meeting of the Council.

46.   The Chairman of a Committee or the Chairman of the Council may summon a special meeting of that Committee/Council at any time. A special 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.

47.   Every Committee may appoint working parties for purposes to be specified by the Committee. The working parties shall have:

  • A named member as the lead member and the working party shall all be named and published as such.
  •  The working party shall be awarded a title that shall in all purposes reflect the reasoning as to why the working party was formed.
  • A working party may, at any time by resolution, be disbanded.

 48.   The quorum of a working party shall be one third of the membership of that working party.

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

WARDS

50.   The Wards encompassed by this Council, and their complement of Councillors, shall be named, with the number of Councillors, as follows:

  • Town Ward                     - 9
  • Milton Ward                    - 1
  • Ham Ward                      - 2
  • Wyke Ward                     - 4
  • Rural Ward                      - 1

It is necessary to cross-refer the distribution of Ward representation to the complement of the Development Management Recommendations Committee detailed at 42c(ii) above

VOTING IN COMMITTEES

51.   Members of committees and working parties shall vote by show of cards. This may be amended, by resolution, to a hidden ballot if it is considered be advantageous to do so. This resolution shall be formally recorded in the appropriate minutes.

52.     Chairmen of committees and working parties shall in the case of an equality of votes have a second or casting vote.

PRESENCE OF NON-MEMBERS OF COMMITTEES AT COMMITTEE MEETINGS

53.   A member who has proposed a motion which has been referred to any committee of which he is not a member may explain his motion to the committee but shall not vote.

54.   Any Council member shall, unless the Council otherwise orders, be entitled to be present as a spectator at the meetings of any committee or working parties of which he/she is not a member. He/she may speak to the members present but only with the Chairman recognising the member concerned; but shall not vote on any proposals made at the time.

ESTIMATES

55.   Any committee desiring to incur expenditure to be defrayed out of the Council Tax shall, not later than 31st October, give to the Clerk a written estimate of the expenditure recommended for the coming year. Such estimate shall be put before the Council at its Precept meeting held on an agreed date in December.

56.   RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING PROJECTS FOR WHICH THE COUNCIL IS RESPONSIBLE

The recommendations are as follows:

  •  That no figure be included in any budget or precept without a reasonable estimate of cost having been established.
  • No decisions to be made on projects or purchases without consultation and a properly minuted decision of Full Council to delegate authority on a specific matter.

 

  • That no building, construction, landscaping or service project should be let for tender or estimate without a set of scale drawings and a full specification.

 

  • That the role of the Working Parties should be to research and present projects. If instructed by the parent committee they can be authorised to oversee the work involved within the project but must report all progress and deviations to the parent committee.
  • That a full project file should be maintained.

INTERESTS

 

57.  The Local Authorities (model Code of Conduct) Order(based on the NALC Model Issued under Legal Briefing 09-12 dated 29th June 2012) A - adopted by the Council on the 23rd July 2012

 

Gillingham Town Council  adopted the NALC Model Code of Conduct under Section 27 of the Localism Act 2011 plus appendix A -  to promote and maintain high standards of behaviour by its members and co-opted members whenever they conduct the business of the Council, including the business of the office to which they were elected or appointed, or when they claim to act or give the impression of acting as a representative of the Council”.     

This Code on Conduct is based on the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DEBATES

58.  This facility will normally be limited to a maximum of three minutes per person on the subject being debated.

CANVASSING OF AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY MEMBERS

59. a. Canvassing of members or of any committee, directly or indirectly, for any appointment under the Council shall disqualify the candidate for such appointment. The Clerk shall make known the purport of this sub-paragraph of this Standing Order to every candidate.

b.      A member of the Council shall not solicit for any person any appointment under the Council or recommend any person for such appointment or for promotion; but, nevertheless, a 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

60.   A member may for the purpose of his/her 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.

61. a.  All Minutes kept by the Council and by any Committee shall be open for the inspection of any member of the Council.

b.        The Minutes of the Council shall be open to inspection by any local government elector without charge.

c.        The Minutes of the Council should be published on the Council’s official website.

UNAUTHORISED ACTIVITIES

62.   No member of the Council or of any committee or working parties shall in the name of or on behalf of the Council: inspect any lands or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect; or issue orders; unless authorised to do so by the Council or the relevant committee or working party.

ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS TO MEETINGS

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

        “That in view of the [special][confidential] nature of the business about to be transacted, it is advisable in the public interest that the public and press be temporarily excluded and they are instructed to withdraw.”

(Note: The special reasons should be stated. If a person’s advice or assistance is needed they may be invited (by name) to remain after the exclusion resolution is passed.)Members of the public may be allowed to speak, prior to the consideration of an agenda item, with the permission of the Chairman.

A person may not orally report or comment about a meeting as it takes place if he/she is present at the meeting of GTC or its committees but otherwise may:

  • film, photograph or make an audio recording of a meeting
  • use any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear proceedings at a meeting as it takes place or later
  • report or comment on the proceedings in writing during or after a meeting or orally report or comment after the meeting

At the beginning of the meeting, the Chairman of the meeting will remind everyone in attendance and those participating in the meeting that they may be filmed, recorded, photographed or otherwise reported about.

Any member of the public in attendance that objects to a-c above, and children and vulnerable adults, must inform the Chairman and an area within the Council Chamber will be designated to them.

Any member of the public or press carrying out a – c above must ensure that their activities do not disrupt the proceedings of the meeting or they may be asked to stop or leave.

64.   In accordance with the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the press and public may be excluded if the meeting concerns:

  • Engagement, terms of service, conduct and dismissal of employees.
  •  Terms of tenders and proposals and counter-proposals in negotiation for contracts.
  • Preparation of cases in legal proceedings.
  • The early stages of any dispute.

65.   The Clerk shall afford to the press reasonable facilities for taking their report of any proceedings at which they are entitled to be present.

66.   If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings at any meetings, the Chairman may, after warning, order that he/she be removed from the Council Chamber or that part of the Chamber open to the public be cleared.

CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS

67.   No member of the Council or of any committee or subcommittee shall disclose to any person not a member of the council any business declared to be confidential by the Council, the committee or the working party as the case may be.

PRESS RELEASES

68.   All press releases pertaining to the business of the Council shall be formulated and approved for release by either the Mayor or Deputy Mayor of the day; the release will be conducted by the Proper Officer or duly authorised member of staff. No other member is to discuss the business of the Council with the press unless speaking as a private individual and making this clear to the recipient.

69.   All press articles, pertaining to matters raised by councillors within working parties or committees, to promote work within the Council or to indicate           matters of concern, may be issued, providing the recipient is advised that the comment/s are being made by an individual councillor/s and not as the Full Council.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

70.a. The Clerk shall receive, and record, all planning applications, received from NDDC / DCC, and make them available for public inspection.

b.      The Clerk shall include every planning application on the agenda / summons notice for the next meeting of the Development Management Recommendations Committee. 

PERSISTENT ABSENCE

71. a. If a member fails throughout six consecutive months to attend any meetings of the Council or of its committees or sub-committees of which he/she is a member, he/she ceases automatically to be a member of the Council unless either he/she has a “statutory excuse” or his failure is due to a reason approved by the Council. The period begins with the last meeting attended.

b.      Absences from Council and Standing Committees shall be recorded in Minutes and an annual register of attendance shall be published immediately after the last meeting of the Council in April each year.

TOWN COUNCIL VACANCIES

72.   An election will normally be called to fill any vacancies on the Gillingham Town Council.  Co-option may only take place immediately after the local elections or during the last six months of the four year council term.

FREEDOM OF THE TOWN

73.   That the Freedom of the Town should be bestowed within the third year of the four year council period with the actual presentations being made during the fourth year. (Gillingham Town Council has a policy for bestowing the honour of Freedom of the Town).

In addition, Freeman of the Town nominations, where there are very exceptional circumstances, can be received in any year of the four year period and presented within the same year of nominations.

GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE

74.a. The General Power of Competence (GPC) is a power of first resort, giving a local authority “the power to do anything that individuals generally may do” (Localism Act 2011 s1-8).

b.      Before exercising the General Power of Competence, a meeting of the Full Council shall have passed a resolution to confirm it has satisfied the prescribed statutory criteria required to qualify as an eligible parish council.

c.     To be eligible, the number of councillors elected at the last election (or subsequent byelection) must equal or exceed two thirds of the total numbers of seats on the council and the council must have a qualified clerk. It must confirm it remains eligible at every annual meeting of the council after ordinary elections and can use the GPC as long as it does not break other laws.

VARIATION, REVOCATION AND SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

75.   Any part of the Standing Orders except those in bold type may be suspended by resolution in relation to any specific item of business.

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

STANDING ORDERS TO BE GIVEN TO MEMBERS

77.   A printed copy of these Standing Orders shall be given to each member by the Clerk upon delivery to him/her of the member’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

78.   A resolution may be put forward to change/amend Standing Orders, except those covered by statute.

INDEX

Subject:                                                                Commencing para:

Alteration of Resolution                                                            36

Annual Meeting                                                                        15

Canvassing of and Recommendation by Members                       59

Chairman of the Meeting                                                            6

Closure                                                                                    33

Committees and Working Parties                                                         42

Committee Complements (numbers)                                           42

Confidential Business                                                               67

Disorderly Conduct                                                                             34

Dress Code                                                                                 5

Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor                                          14

Employees; Discussion and Resolutions affecting                       39

Estimates                                                                                 55

Expenditure                                                                              41

Freedom of the Town                                                                18

General Power of Confidence                                                    74

Inspection of Documents                                                           60

Interests                                                                                  57 - 58

Matters pertinent                                                                     30m

Meetings                                                                                    1

Non-Members; Presence at Committee Meetings                        53

Order of Business                                                                     14

Persistent Absence                                                                             71

Planning Applications                                                                70

Press and Public; Admission to Meetings                                   63

Press Releases                                                                         68

Project Recommendations                                                         56

Proper Officer                                                                             7

Public Participation in Debate                                                   14

Questions                                                                                 25

Quorum                                                                                    8

Rescission of Previous Resolution                                                        37     

Resolutions Moved on Notice                                                     19

Resolutions Moved without Notice                                             24

Resolutions on Expenditure                                                       40

Right of Reply                                                                           35

Rules of Debate                                                                        29

Standing Orders; Issue to Members                                           77

Standing Orders: Suspension in terms of time                                     4

Standing Orders; Variation, Revocation and Suspension            74 - 75        

Unauthorised Activities                                                             64

Voting                                                                                                10

Voting in Committees                                                               51

Voting on Appointments                                                            38

Wards, representing members                                                   50

Freedom of the Town                                                                73

Town Council Vacancies                                                           72