COMBE MARTIN PARISH COUNCIL STANDING ORDERS
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
Rules of debate at meetings…………………………………………………………………… 3
Disorderly conduct at meetings ………………………………………………………………. 5
Meetings generally ……………………………………………………………………………….. 5
Committees and sub-committees ……………………………………………………………. 8
Ordinary council meetings ……………………………………………………………………… 9
Extraordinary meetings of the council, committees and sub-committees ……… 11
Previous resolutions ……………………………………………………………………………. 11
Voting on appointments……………………………………………………………………….. 11
Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the proper
officer ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Motions at a meeting that do not require written notice……………………………… 12
Management of information………………………………………………………………….. 13
Draft minutes……………………………………………………………………………………… 14
Code of conduct and dispensations……………………………………………………….. 14
Code of conduct complaints …………………………………………………………………. 15
Proper officer……………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Responsible financial officer…………………………………………………………………. 17
Accounts and accounting statements …………………………………………………….. 18
Financial controls and procurement……………………………………………………….. 18
Handling staff matters………………………………………………………………………….. 20
Responsibilities to provide information …………………………………………………… 21
Responsibilities under data protection legislation …………………………………….. 21
Relations with the press/media……………………………………………………………… 22
Execution and sealing of legal deeds …………………………………………………….. 22
Communicating with district and county or unitary councillors ……………………. 22
Restrictions on councillor activities ………………………………………………………… 22
Standing orders generally…………………………………………………………………….. 22
These model standing orders update the National Association of Local Council
(NALC) model standing orders contained in “Local Councils Explained” by Meera
Tharmarajah (© 2013 NALC). This publication contains new model standing orders
which reference new legislation introduced after 2013 when the last model standing
orders were published.
How to use model standing orders
Standing orders are the written rules of a local council. Standing orders are essential
to regulate the proceedings of a meeting. A council may also use standing orders to
confirm or refer to various internal organisational and administrative arrangements.
The standing orders of a council are not the same as the policies of a council but
standing orders may refer to them.
Local councils operate within a wide statutory framework. NALC model standing
orders incorporate and reference many statutory requirements to which councils are
subject. It is not possible for the model standing orders to contain or reference all the
statutory or legal requirements which apply to local councils. For example, it is not
practical for model standing orders to document all obligations under data protection
legislation. The statutory requirements to which a council is subject apply whether or
not they are incorporated in a council’s 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
council’s Responsible Financial Officer. Model financial regulations are available to
councils in membership of NALC.
Model standing orders that are in bold type contain legal and statutory requirements.
It is recommended that councils adopt them without changing them or their meaning.
Model standing orders not in bold are designed to help councils operate effectively
but they do not contain statutory requirements so they may be adopted as drafted or
amended to suit a council’s needs. It is NALC’s view that all model standing orders
will generally be suitable for councils.
For convenience, the word “councillor” is used in model standing orders and, unless
the context suggests otherwise, includes a non-councillor with or without voting
A model standing order that includes brackets like this ‘( )’ requires information to be
inserted by a council. A model standing order that includes brackets like this ‘[ ]’ and
the term ‘OR’ provides alternative options for a council to choose from when
determining standing orders.
Rules of debate at meetings
a 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.
b A motion (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been
moved and seconded.
c A motion on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by
the chairman of the meeting as withdrawn.
d 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.
e An amendment is a proposal to remove or add words to a motion. It shall not
negate the motion.
f If an amendment to the original motion is carried, the original motion (as
amended) becomes the substantive motion upon which further amendment(s)
may be moved.
g 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.
h 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.
i 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 of the
j Subject to standing order 1(k), only one amendment shall be moved and
debated at a time, the order of which shall be directed by the chairman of the
k One or more amendments may be discussed together if the chairman of the
meeting considers this expedient but each amendment shall be voted upon
l A councillor may not move more than one amendment to an original or
m The mover of an amendment has no right of reply at the end of debate on it.
n 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 on the
first amendment or at the very end of debate on the final substantive motion
immediately before it is put to the vote.
o Unless permitted by the chairman of the meeting, a councillor may speak once
in the debate on a motion except:
i. to speak on an amendment moved by another councillor;
ii. to move or speak on another amendment if the motion has been
amended since he last spoke;
iii. to make a point of order;
iv. to give a personal explanation; or
v. to exercise a right of reply.
p During the debate on 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 considers has been breached or specify the other irregularity in
the proceedings of the meeting he is concerned by.
q A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and his
decision shall be final.
r When a motion is under debate, no other motion shall be moved except:
i. to amend the motion;
ii. to proceed to the next business;
iii. to adjourn the debate;
iv. to put the motion to a vote;
v. to ask a person to be no longer heard or to leave the meeting;
vi. to refer a motion to a committee or sub-committee for consideration;
vii. to exclude the public and press;
viii. to adjourn the meeting; or
ix. to suspend particular standing order(s) excepting those which reflect
mandatory statutory or legal 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 right of
t Excluding motions moved under standing order 1(r), 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.
Disorderly conduct at meetings
a 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.
b 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 be excluded from the meeting. The
motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.
c If a resolution made under standing order 2(b) 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.
Full Council meetings ●
Committee meetings ●
Sub-committee meetings ●
● a Meetings shall not take place in premises which at the time of the
meeting are used for the supply of alcohol, unless no other premises
are available free of charge or at a reasonable cost.
● b The minimum three clear days for notice of a meeting does not include
the day on which notice was issued, the day of the meeting, a Sunday, a
day of the Christmas break, a day of the Easter break or of a bank
holiday or a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.
● c The minimum three clear days’ public notice for a meeting does not
include the day on which the notice was issued or the day of the
meeting unless the meeting is convened at shorter notice.
d Meetings shall be open to the public unless their presence is prejudicial
to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the
business to be transacted or for other special reasons. The public’s
exclusion from part or all of a meeting shall be by a resolution which
shall give reasons for the public’s exclusion.
e Members of the public may make representations, answer questions and give
evidence at a meeting which they are entitled to attend in respect of the
business on the agenda.
f The period of time designated for public participation at a meeting in
accordance with standing order 3(e) shall not exceed 30 minutes unless
directed by the chairman of the meeting.
g Subject to standing order 3(f), a member of the public shall not speak for
more than 3 minutes.
h In accordance with standing order 3(e), a question shall not require a
response at the meeting nor start a debate on the question. The chairman of
the meeting may direct that a written or oral response be given.
i A person shall raise his hand when requesting to speak and stand when
speaking (except when a person has a disability or is likely to suffer
discomfort). The chairman of the meeting may at any time permit a person to
be seated when speaking.
j A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct his comments to the chairman
of the meeting.
k Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. If more than one person
wants to speak, the chairman of the meeting shall direct the order of
l Subject to standing order 3(m), a person who attends a meeting is
permitted to report on the meeting whilst the meeting is open to the
public. To “report” means to film, photograph, make an audio recording
of meeting proceedings, use any other means for enabling persons not
present to see or hear the meeting as it takes place or later or to report
or to provide oral or written commentary about the meeting so that the
report or commentary is available as the meeting takes place or later to
persons not present.
m A person present at a meeting may not provide an oral report or oral
commentary about a meeting as it takes place without permission.
n The press shall be provided with reasonable facilities for the taking of
their report of all or part of a meeting at which they are entitled to be
● o Subject to standing orders which indicate otherwise, anything
authorised or required to be done by, to or before the Chairman of the
Council may in his absence be done by, to or before the Vice-Chairman
of the Council (if there is one).
● p The Chairman of the Council, if present, shall preside at a meeting. If
the Chairman is absent from a meeting, the Vice-Chairman of the
Council (if there is one) if present, shall preside. If both the Chairman
and the Vice-Chairman are absent from a meeting, a councillor as
chosen by the councillors present at the meeting shall preside at the
q Subject to a meeting being quorate, all questions at a meeting shall be
decided by a majority of the councillors and non-councillors with voting
rights present and voting.
r The chairman of a meeting may give an original vote on any matter put
to the vote, and in the case of an equality of votes may exercise his
● casting vote whether or not he gave an original vote.
See standing orders 5(h) and (i) for the different rules that apply in the
election of the Chairman of the Council at the annual meeting of the Council.
● s Unless standing orders provide otherwise, voting on a question shall be
by a show of hands. At the request of a councillor, the voting on any
question shall be recorded so as to show whether each councillor
present and voting gave his vote for or against that question. Such a
request shall be made before moving on to the next item of business on the
t The minutes of a meeting shall include an accurate record of the following:
i. the time and place of the meeting;
ii. the names of councillors who are present and the names of councillors
who are absent;
iii. interests that have been declared by councillors and non-councillors
with voting rights;
iv. the grant of dispensations (if any) to councillors and non-councillors
with voting rights;
v. whether a councillor or non-councillor with voting rights left the meeting
when matters that they held interests in were being considered;
vi. if there was a public participation session; and
vii. the resolutions made.
u A councillor or a non-councillor with voting rights who has a
disclosable pecuniary interest or another interest as set out in the
Council’s code of conduct in a matter being considered at a meeting is
subject to statutory limitations or restrictions under the code on his
right to participate and vote on that matter.
● v No business may be transacted at a meeting unless at least one-third of
the whole number of members of the Council are present and in no case
shall the quorum of a meeting be less than three.
See standing order 4d(viii) for the quorum of a committee or sub-committee
w If a meeting is or becomes inquorate no business shall be transacted
and the meeting shall be closed. The business on the agenda for the meeting
shall be adjourned to another meeting.
x A meeting shall not exceed a period of 3 hours.
Committees and sub-committees
a Unless the Council determines otherwise, a committee may appoint a
sub-committee whose terms of reference and members shall be
determined by the committee.
b The members of a committee may include non-councillors unless it is a
committee which regulates and controls the finances of the Council.
c Unless the Council determines otherwise, all the members of an advisory
committee and a sub-committee of the advisory committee may be noncouncillors.
d The Council may appoint standing committees or other committees as may be
i. shall determine their terms of reference;
ii. shall determine the number and time of the ordinary meetings of a
standing committee up until the date of the next annual meeting of the
iii. shall permit a committee, other than in respect of the ordinary meetings
of a committee, to determine the number and time of its meetings;
iv. shall, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c), appoint and determine the
terms of office of members of such a committee;
v. may, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c), 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 ( ) days before
the meeting that they are unable to attend;
vi. shall, after it has appointed the members of a standing committee,
appoint the chairman of the standing committee;
vii. shall permit a committee other than a standing committee, to appoint its
own chairman at the first meeting of the committee;
viii. shall determine the place, notice requirements and quorum for a meeting
of a committee and a sub-committee which, in both cases, shall be no
less than three;
ix. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a committee;
x. 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;
xi. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a subcommittee that they are permitted to attend; and
xii. may dissolve a committee or a sub-committee.
Ordinary council meetings
a In an election year, the annual meeting of the Council shall be held on or
within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take
b In a year which is not an election year, the annual meeting of the Council
shall be held on such day in May as the Council decides.
c If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the Council shall take
place at 6pm.
d 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 decides.
e The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the Council shall
be the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman (if there is one) of the
f The Chairman of the Council, unless he has resigned or becomes
disqualified, shall continue in office and preside at the annual meeting
until his successor is elected at the next annual meeting of the Council.
g The Vice-Chairman of the Council, if there is one, unless he resigns or
becomes disqualified, shall hold office until immediately after the election
of the Chairman of the Council at the next annual meeting of the Council.
h In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has not been
re-elected as a member of the Council, he shall preside at the annual
meeting until a successor Chairman of the Council has been elected. The
current Chairman of the Council shall not have an original vote in respect
of the election of the new Chairman of the Council but shall give a casting
vote in the case of an equality of votes.
i In an election year, if the current Chairman of the Council has been reelected as a member of the Council, he shall preside at the annual
meeting until a new Chairman of the Council has been elected. He may
exercise an original vote in respect of the election of the new Chairman of
the Council and shall give a casting vote in the case of an equality of
j Following the election of the Chairman of the Council and Vice-Chairman (if
there is one) of the Council at the annual meeting, the business shall include:
i. In an election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council and
councillors of their acceptance of office forms unless the Council
resolves for this to be done at a later date. In a year which is not an
election year, delivery by the Chairman of the Council of his
acceptance of office form unless the Council resolves for this to be
done at a later date;
ii. Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the
iii. Receipt of the minutes of the last meeting of a committee;
iv. Consideration of the recommendations made by a committee;
v. Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, staff
and other local authorities;
vi. Review of the terms of reference for committees;
vii. Appointment of members to existing committees;
viii. Appointment of any new committees in accordance with standing order 4;
ix. Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial
x. Review of arrangements (including legal agreements) with other local
authorities, not-for-profit bodies and businesses.
xi. Review of representation on or work with external bodies and
arrangements for reporting back;
xii. In an election year, to make arrangements with a view to the Council
becoming eligible to exercise the general power of competence in the
xiii. Review of inventory of land and other assets including buildings and
xiv. Confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all
xv. Review of the Council’s and/or staff subscriptions to other bodies;
xvi. Review of the Council’s complaints procedure;
xvii. Review of the Council’s policies, procedures and practices in respect of
its obligations under freedom of information and data protection
legislation (see also standing orders 11, 20 and 21);
xviii. Review of the Council’s policy for dealing with the press/media;
xix. Review of the Council’s employment policies and procedures;
xx. Review of the Council’s expenditure incurred under s.137 of the Local
Government Act 1972 or the general power of competence.
xxi. Determining the time and place of ordinary meetings of the Council up to
and including the next annual meeting of the Council.
Extraordinary meetings of the council, committees and sub-committees
a The Chairman of the Council may convene an extraordinary meeting of
the Council at any time.
b If the Chairman of the Council does not 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 shall be signed by the two councillors.
c The chairman of a committee or a sub-committee may convene an
extraordinary meeting of the committee [or the sub-committee] at any time.
d If the chairman of a committee or a sub-committee does not call an
extraordinary meeting within 7 days of having been requested to do so by 2
members of the committee or the sub-committee, any 2 members of the
committee or the sub-committee may convene an extraordinary meeting of the
committee or a sub-committee.
a A resolution shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special
motion, which requires written notice by at least 3 councillors to be given to the
Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 9, or by a motion moved in
pursuance of the recommendation of a committee or a sub-committee.
b When a motion moved pursuant to standing order 7(a) has been disposed of,
no similar motion may be moved for a further six months.
Voting on appointments
a 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 exercisable by the chairman of the meeting.
Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the proper
a A motion shall relate to the responsibilities of the meeting for which it is tabled
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.
b 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.
c The Proper Officer may, before including a motion on the agenda received in
accordance with standing order 9(b), correct obvious grammatical or
typographical errors in the wording of the motion.
d If the Proper Officer considers the wording of a motion received in accordance
with standing order 9(b) is not clear in meaning, the motion shall be rejected
until the mover of the motion resubmits it, so that it can be understood, in
writing, to the Proper Officer at least 7 clear days before the meeting.
e 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.
f The decision of the Proper Officer as to whether or not to include the motion on
the agenda shall be final.
g Motions received shall be recorded and numbered in the order that they are
h Motions rejected shall be recorded with an explanation by the Proper Officer of
the reason for rejection.
Motions at a meeting that do not require written notice
a The following motions may be moved at a meeting without written notice to the
i. to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes of a meeting;
ii. to move to a vote;
iii. to defer consideration of a motion;
iv. to refer a motion to a particular committee or sub-committee;
v. to appoint a person to preside at a meeting;
vi. to change the order of business on the agenda;
vii. to proceed to the next business on the agenda;
viii. to require a written report;
ix. to appoint a committee or sub-committee and their members;
x. to extend the time limits for speaking;
xi. to exclude the press and public from a meeting in respect of confidential
or other information which is prejudicial to the public interest;
xii. to not hear further from a councillor or a member of the public;
xiii. to exclude a councillor or member of the public for disorderly conduct;
xiv. to temporarily suspend the meeting;
xv. to suspend a particular standing order (unless it reflects mandatory
statutory or legal requirements);
xvi. to adjourn the meeting; or
xvii. to close the meeting.
Management of information
See also standing order 20.
a The Council shall have in place and keep under review, technical and
organisational measures to keep secure information (including personal
data) which it holds in paper and electronic form. Such arrangements
shall include deciding who has access to personal data and encryption of
b The Council shall have in place, and keep under review, policies for the
retention and safe destruction of all information (including personal data)
which it holds in paper and electronic form. The Council’s retention
policy shall confirm the period for which information (including personal
data) shall be retained or if this is not possible the criteria used to
determine that period (e.g. the Limitation Act 1980).
c The agenda, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting
shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential information or
personal data without legal justification.
d Councillors, staff, the Council’s contractors and agents shall not disclose
confidential information or personal data without legal justification.
Full Council meetings ●
Committee meetings ●
Sub-committee meetings ●
a 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.
b 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).
c 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
d 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 view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes
are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”
e If the Council’s gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is
higher) does not exceed £25,000, it shall publish draft minutes on a
website which is publicly accessible and free of charge not later than
one month after the meeting has taken place.
f Subject to the publication of draft minutes in accordance with standing order
12(e) and standing order 20(a) and following 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.
Code of conduct and dispensations
See also standing order 3(u).
a All councillors and non-councillors with voting rights shall observe the code of
conduct adopted by the Council.
b Unless he 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 has a disclosable pecuniary interest. He may return to the meeting
after it has considered the matter in which he had the interest.
c Unless he 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 has another interest if so required by the Council’s code of conduct.
He may return to the meeting after it has considered the matter in which he had
d 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.
e A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by the Proper
Officer and that decision is final.
f A dispensation request shall confirm:
i. the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or
other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;
ii. whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a
discussion only or a discussion and a vote;
iii. the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding four years) for which
the dispensation is sought; and
iv. an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.
g Subject to standing orders 13(d) and (f), a dispensation request 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] OR [at the
beginning of the meeting of the Council, or committee or sub-committee for
which the dispensation is required].
h A dispensation may be granted in accordance with standing order 13(e) if
having regard to all relevant circumstances any of the following apply:
i. 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;
ii. granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the
Council’s area; or
iii. it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
Code of conduct complaints
a Upon notification by the District or Unitary 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, report this to the Council.
b Where the notification in standing order 14(a) relates to a complaint made by
the Proper Officer, the Proper Officer shall notify the Chairman 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).
c The Council may:
i. provide information or evidence where such disclosure is necessary to
investigate the complaint or is a legal requirement;
ii. seek information relevant to the complaint from the person or body with
statutory responsibility for investigation of the matter;
d 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. Such action excludes disqualification or suspension from office.
a 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.
b The Proper Officer shall:
i. at least three clear days before a meeting of the council, a
committee or a sub-committee,
• serve on councillors by delivery or post at their residences or by
email authenticated in such manner as the Proper Officer thinks
fit, a signed summons confirming the time, place and the agenda
(provided the councillor has consented to service by email), and
• Provide, in a conspicuous place, public notice of the time, place
and agenda (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) for the meaning of clear days for a meeting of a
full council and standing order 3(c) for the meaning of clear days for a
meeting of a committee;
ii. subject to standing order 9, include on the agenda all motions in the order
received unless a councillor has given written notice at least ( ) days
before the meeting confirming his withdrawal of it;
iii. convene a meeting of the Council for the election of a new Chairman
of the Council, occasioned by a casual vacancy in his office;
iv. facilitate inspection of the minute book by local government
v. receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local
vi. hold acceptance of office forms from councillors;
vii. hold a copy of every councillor’s register of interests;
viii. assist with responding to requests made under freedom of information
legislation and rights exercisable under data protection legislation, in
accordance with the Council’s relevant policies and procedures;
ix. liaise, as appropriate, with the Council’s Data Protection Officer (if there
x. receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the
Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;
xi. assist in the organisation of, storage of, access to, security of and
destruction of information held by the Council in paper and electronic
form subject to the requirements of data protection and freedom of
information legislation and other legitimate requirements (e.g. the
Limitation Act 1980);
xii. arrange for legal deeds to be executed;
(see also standing order 23);
xiii. arrange or manage the prompt authorisation, approval, and instruction
regarding any payments to be made by the Council in accordance with its
xiv. record every planning application notified to the Council and the Council’s
response to the local planning authority in a book for such purpose;
xv. refer a planning application received by the Council to the Chairman or in
his absence the Vice-Chairman of the Council] 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
xvi. manage access to information about the Council via the publication
xvii. retain custody of the seal of the Council (if there is one) which shall not
be used without a resolution to that effect.
(see also standing order 23).
Responsible financial officer
a The Council shall appoint appropriate staff member(s) to undertake the work of
the Responsible Financial Officer when the Responsible Financial Officer is
Accounts and accounting statements
a “Proper practices” in standing orders refer to the most recent version of
“Governance and Accountability for Local Councils – a Practitioners’ Guide”.
b All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in
accordance with the law, proper practices and the Council’s financial
c 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:
i. the Council’s receipts and payments (or income and expenditure) for
ii. the Council’s aggregate receipts and payments (or income and
expenditure) for the year to date;
iii. 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.
d As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible
Financial Officer shall provide:
i. each councillor with a statement summarising the Council’s receipts and
payments (or income and expenditure) for the last quarter and the year to
date for information; and
ii. to the Council the accounting statements for the year in the form of
Section 2 of the annual governance and accountability return, as required
by proper practices, for consideration and approval.
e The year-end accounting statements shall be prepared in accordance with
proper practices and apply the form of accounts determined by the Council
(receipts and payments, or income and expenditure) for the year to 31 March.
A completed draft annual governance and accountability return shall be
presented to all councillors at least 14 days prior to anticipated approval by the
Council. The annual governance and accountability return of the Council, which
is subject to external audit, including the annual governance statement, shall
be presented to the Council for consideration and formal approval before 30
Financial controls and procurement
a. 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:
i. the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;
ii. the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the Council;
iii. 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;
iv. the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the
Council’s accounts and/or orders of payments; and
v. whether contracts with an estimated value below £25,000 due to special
circumstances are exempt from a tendering process or procurement
b. Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for
fitness of purpose.
c. A public contract regulated by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 with
an estimated value in excess of £25,000 but less than the relevant
thresholds in standing order 18(f) is subject to Regulations 109-114 of the
Public Contracts Regulations 2015 which include a requirement on the
Council to advertise the contract opportunity on the Contracts Finder
website regardless of what other means it uses to advertise the
opportunity unless it proposes to use an existing list of approved
suppliers (framework agreement).
d. 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:
i. a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of
works shall be drawn up;
ii. 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;
iii. the invitation to tender shall be advertised in a local newspaper and in
any other manner that is appropriate;
iv. tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope
addressed to the Proper Officer;
v. 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;
vi. tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting
of the Council or a committee or sub-committee with delegated
e. Neither the Council, nor a committee or a sub-committee with delegated
responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value
f. A public contract regulated by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
with an estimated value in excess of £189,330 for a public service or
supply contract or in excess of £4,733,252 for a public works contract; or
£663,540 for a social and other specific services contract (or other
thresholds determined by the European Commission every two years and
published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)) shall
comply with the relevant procurement procedures and other
requirements in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 which include
advertising the contract opportunity on the Contracts Finder website and
g. A public contract in connection with the supply of gas, heat, electricity,
drinking water, transport services, or postal services to the public; or the
provision of a port or airport; or the exploration for or extraction of gas,
oil or solid fuel with an estimated value in excess of £378,660 for a
supply, services or design contract; or in excess of £4,733,252 for a
works contract; or £663,540 for a social and other specific services
contract (or other thresholds determined by the European Commission
every two years and published in OJEU) shall comply with the relevant
procurement procedures and other requirements in the Utilities Contracts
Handling staff matters
a A matter personal to a member of staff that is being considered by a meeting of
the full Council or the Personnel Committee is subject to standing order 11.
b Subject to the Council’s policy regarding absences from work, the Council’s
most senior member of staff shall notify the chairman of the Personnel
Committee or, if he is not available, the vice-chairman (if there is one) of the
Personnel Committee of absence occasioned by illness or other reason and
that person shall report such absence to the Personnel Committee at its next
c The chairman of the Personnel Committee or in his absence, the vice-chairman
shall upon a resolution conduct a review of the performance and annual
appraisal of the work of the Clerk. The reviews and appraisal shall be reported
in writing and are subject to approval by resolution by the Personnel
d Subject to the Council’s policy regarding the handling of grievance matters, the
Council’s most senior member of staff (or other members of staff) shall contact
the chairman of the Personnel Committee or in his absence, the vice-chairman
of the Personnel Committee in respect of an informal or formal grievance matter,
and this matter shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of the
e Subject to the Council’s policy regarding the handling of grievance matters, if
an informal or formal grievance matter raised by [the member of staff’s job title]
relates to the chairman or vice-chairman of the Personnel Committee, this shall
be communicated to another member of the Personnel Committee, which shall
be reported back and progressed by resolution of the Personnel Committee.
f Any persons responsible for all or part of the management of staff shall treat as
confidential the written records of all meetings relating to their performance,
capabilities, grievance or disciplinary matters.
g In accordance with standing order 11(a), persons with line management
responsibilities shall have access to staff records referred to in standing order
Responsibilities to provide information
See also standing order 21.
a In accordance with freedom of information legislation, the Council shall
publish information in accordance with its publication scheme and
respond to requests for information held by the Council.
b. [If gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is higher) does not exceed
£25,000] The Council shall publish information in accordance with the
requirements of the Smaller Authorities (Transparency Requirements)
(England) Regulations 2015.
[If gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is the higher) exceeds
£200,000] The Council, shall publish information in accordance with the
requirements of the Local Government (Transparency Requirements)
(England) Regulations 2015.
Responsibilities under data protection legislation
Below is not an exclusive list. See also standing order 11.
a The Council may appoint a Data Protection Officer.
b The Council shall have policies and procedures in place to respond to an
individual exercising statutory rights concerning his personal data.
c The Council shall have a written policy in place for responding to and
managing a personal data breach.
d The Council shall keep a record of all personal data breaches comprising
the facts relating to the personal data breach, its effects and the remedial
e The Council shall ensure that information communicated in its privacy
notice(s) is in an easily accessible and available form and kept up to date.
f The Council shall maintain a written record of its processing activities.
Relations with the press/media
a 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
Execution and sealing of legal deeds
See also standing orders 15(b)(xii) and (xvii).
a A legal deed shall not be executed on behalf of the Council unless authorised
by a resolution.
Subject to standing order 23(a), any two councillors may sign, on behalf
of the Council, any deed required by law and the Proper Officer shall
witness their signatures.
Communicating with district and county or unitary councillors
a 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 OR Unitary
Council representing the area of the Council.
b Unless the Council determines otherwise, a copy of each letter sent to the
District and County Council OR Unitary Council shall be sent to the ward
councillor(s) representing the area of the Council.
Restrictions on councillor activities
a. Unless duly authorised no councillor shall:
i. inspect any land and/or premises which the Council has a right or duty to
ii. issue orders, instructions or directions.
Standing orders generally
a All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory
statutory or legal requirements, may be suspended by resolution in relation to
the consideration of an item on the agenda for a meeting.
b A motion to add to or vary or revoke one or more of the Council’s standing
orders, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory or legal requirements,
shall be proposed by a special motion, the written notice by at least 3
councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order
c The Proper Officer shall provide a copy of the Council’s standing orders to a
councillor as soon as possible.
d The decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing
orders at the meeting shall be final.
© NALC 2020. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or used for commercial purposes without the written permission of NALC save that
councils in membership of NALC have permission to edit and use the model
standing orders in this publication for their governance purposes.
The Model Standing Orders 2018 for England were revised in 2020.
COMBE MARTIN PARISH COUNCIL STANDING ORDERS