A Council`s Standing Orders are the general principles on how a Council conducts its business. The Blaengwrach Community Council Standing Orders are as follows:
1. Meetings of the Council shall be held in the Welfare Hall in Cwmgwrach on the third Thursday of every month, commencing at 6.30 p.m, unless the Council decide otherwise at a previous meeting.
2. The Statutory Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held:
a) No later than the fourteenth day following the day of the Local Elections to Council &
b) In the month of May in a non-election year.
CHAIRING of MEETINGS:
3. The person presiding at a meeting may exercise the powers and duties of the Chairperson in relation to the conduct of the meeting.
4. Where the statue, regulation or order confers functions and duties on the Proper Officer of the Council in the following cases, the Proper Officer shall be the Clerk to the Council:
a) To receive declaration(s) of acceptance of office from Councillors;
b) To receive and record notices disclosing pecuniary interests;
c) To receive and retain plans and documents;
d) To sign notices or other documents on behalf of the Council;
e) To receive copies of byelaws made by a County Council (Unitary Authority);
f) To certify copies of any byelaws made by this Community Council;
g) To sign summonses to Councillors to attend meetings;
h) To provide minutes recording the proceedings of all Council meetings.
In other cases the Proper Officer shall be the person nominated by the Council and, in default of nomination, the Clerk.
5. Three (3) members of the Council (Councillors) shall constitute a quorum, but a motion to suspend Standing Orders shall not be moved without written notice signed by twice as many members (Councillors) as constitute a quorum.
6. If a quorum is not present when the Council meets or if during a meeting the number of Councillors falls below the quorum, the business not transacted at that meeting shall be transacted at the next meeting or on such a day as the Chairperson may fix.
7. Members shall vote by a show of hands or, if at least two (2) members so request, by signed ballot.
8. If a member so requests/requires, the Clerk shall record the names of the members who voted on a question to show whether they were for or against it.
9. The Chairperson`s casting vote:
a) Subject to (b) and (c) below, the Chairperson may give an original vote on any matter which is put to a vote;
b) Subject to (c) below, the Chairperson may not give an original vote in the election of the Chairperson on any occasion when they will themself immediately after such election will retire from the Council;
c) In any case of an equality of votes, the Chairperson may give a casting vote.
ORDER OF BUSINESS:
10. At the first Annual General Meeting following a Local Election the first business shall be:
a) To accept apologies for absence;
b) For all Councillors to sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office (which can be witnessed by the Clerk/Proper Officer);
c) To elect the Chair and Vice/Deputy Chair of the Council;
d) To elect Councillors to sub groups/committees (both Internal and External Committees);
e) The Adoption of the Council Standing Orders;
f) The Adoption of the Council Financial Regulations;
g) The Adoption of all other Policies of the Council;
h) To appoint bank signatories etc. for the Council accounts;
i) The appointment/reappointment of the Council`s Responsible Financial Officer.
11. At every meeting other than the AGM, the first business shall be to appoint a Chair if the Chair and the Vice/Deputy Chair are absent.
12. After the first business has been completed, the order of business, unless the Council otherwise decides on the grounds of urgency, shall be as follows:
a) To receive apologies for absence;
b) Observations from the Public, if present, on any matters from the “Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting” and “New” Agenda Items (NOTE: A MAXIMUM TIME LIMIT OF FIFTEEN (15) MINUTES TO TAKE THE OBSERVATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC WILL BE SET ASIDE);
c) County Councillor`s Report (if the County Councillor is present);
d) To read and consider the minutes of the last meeting held and to approve those minutes as a True Record of that Meeting (the Chair will then sign a copy of those minutes);
e) To deal with business expressly required by statute to be done;
f) To consider the “Matters Arising” from the last meeting and to dispose of any business on which a decision is made from that meeting;
g) To consider motions or recommendations (i.e. “New” Agenda Items”), in the order in which they have been notified;
h) Any other business specified in the summons (Agenda).
13. The item “Any Other Business”, if requested, may be included in any agenda for a meeting of the Council. If any items raised under “Any Other Business” conceals rather than specifies business to be transacted, no lawful decision can be made and will be specified on the agenda of the next available meeting.
14. A motion to vary the order of business on the grounds of urgency:
a) May be proposed by the Chair or any Councillor and, if proposed by the Chair, may be put to the vote without being seconded, and
b) Shall be put to the vote without discussion.
15. Any business which is specified on the agenda and has not been dealt with by 9.00 p.m. shall be deferred until the next ordinary meeting of the Council unless a motion, after being proposed and seconded, is carried to suspend this Standing Order for the remaining duration of the meeting.
MOTIONS MOVED ON NOTICE:
16. Except as provided in these Standing Orders, no motion may be moved unless the mover has given notice, in writing, of its terms and has delivered the notice to the Clerk at least seven (7) clear days before the scheduled date of the meeting at which it is to be considered.
17. The Clerk shall insert in the summons for every meeting all notices of motion properly given in the order in which they have been received unless the Councillor(s) giving notice of a motion has stated, again in writing, that they intend to move at a later meeting or withdraw it completely.
18. If a motion specified in the summons be not moved, it shall, unless postponed by the Council, be treated as withdrawn and shall not be moved without fresh notice.
19. If the subject matter of a motion comes within the province of a Committee of the Council, it shall be moved and seconded, stand referred without discussion to such Committee or to such other Committees as the Council may determine for report, provided that the Chair, if they consider it to be a matter of urgency, may allow it to be dealt with at the meeting at which it was moved.
20. Every motion shall be relevant to some question over which the Council has power or which affects its area.
MOTIONS MOVED WITHOUT NOTICE:
21. Motions dealing with the following matters may be moved without notice:
a) To appoint a chair at a meeting;
b) To correct minutes;
c) To approve minutes;
d) To alter the order of business;
e) To proceed to the next item of business;
f) To close or adjourn a debate;
g) To refer a matter to a Committee;
h) To appoint a Committee and any members thereof;
i) To adopt a report;
j) To authorise the sealing/signing of documents etc;
k) To amend a motion;
l) To give leave to withdraw a motion or amendment;
m) To consider otherwise than in a Committee a question affecting an employee of the Council (NOTE: This will be heard and discussed in the Council`s “Closed Session”);
n) To exclude the press;
o) To exclude the public;
p) To silence or eject from a meeting a Councillor for misconduct;
q) To invite a Councillor who has declared an interest in any item under debate to remain in a meeting;
r) To give the consent of the Council where such consent is required by these Standing Orders.
22. A Councillor may ask the Chair any question concerning the business of the Council.
23. A Councillor, with or without notice, may ask the Chair of a Committee any question upon the proceedings of the Committee then before the Council.
24. Every question shall be put and answered without discussion.
25. A person to whom the question has been put may decline to answer.
RULES OF DEBATE:
26. No discussion shall take place upon the minutes except on their accuracy. Corrections to the minutes shall be made by resolution and must be initialled by the Chair.
a) A motion or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded and unless proper notice has been given, it shall, if required by the Chair, be reduced to writing and handed to the Chair before it is further discussed or put to the meeting;
b) A Councillor shall direct their speech to the question under discussion or to a personal explanation or to a question of order;
c) An amendment shall be either:
i. To leave words out;
ii. To leave out words and insert or add others;
iii. To insert or add words;
d) An amendment shall not have the effect of negating the motion before the Council;
e) If an amendment is carried, the motion, as amended, shall take further place of the original motion and shall become the motion upon which any further amendment be moved;
f) A further amendment shall not be moved until the Council has disposed of every amendment previously moved;
g) The mover of a motion or an amendment shall have the right of reply;
h) A Councillor, other than the mover of a motion shall not, without the leave of the Council, speak more than once on any motion except to move an amendment or further amendment, or on a point of order, or in personal explanation, or to move the closure;
i) 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 Councillor may speak upon it after permission has been asked for its withdrawal unless such permission has been refused;
j) When a motion is under debate no other motion shall be moved except the following:
i. to amend the motion;
ii. to proceed to the next business;
iii. to adjourn the debate;
iv. that the question not be put;
v. that the Councillor named to be further heard;
vi. that the Councillor named does not leave the meeting;
vii. that the motion be referred to a Committee;
viii. to exclude the press, the public or both;
ix. to adjourn the meeting.
k) Councillors should always address the Chair;
l) If two or more Councillors wish to speak, the Chair shall rule in which order each Councillor will speak;
m) Whenever the Chair is speaking during a debate all other members shall remain silent until called upon to speak.
28. DISORDERLY CONDUCT:
a) No Councillor shall misconduct themselves at a meeting by persistently disregarding the ruling of the Chair, by wilfully obstructing business or behaving irregularly, offensively, improperly or in such a manner as to scandalise the Council or bring it into contempt or ridicule;
b) If, in the opinion of the Chair, a Councillor has so misconducted themselves, the Chair shall express that opinion to the Council and thereafter any Councillor may move that the Councillor named no longer be heard or that the Councillor named do leave the meeting, and the motion, if seconded, shall be put forthwith and without discussion;
c) If either of the motions mentioned in paragraph b is disobeyed, the Chair may suspend the meeting or take such further steps as may reasonably be necessary to enforce them
29. THE RIGHT OF REPLY:
One mover of a motion shall have the right of reply immediately before the motion 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. After the right of reply has been exercised or waived, a vote shall be taken without further discussion.
30. ALTERATION OF A MOTION:
A Councillor may, with the consent of their seconder, move on their motion.
31. VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS:
Where two or more persons have been nominated for any positions to be filled by the Council and of the votes given there is no 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.
32. DISCUSSION and MOTIONS AFFECTING EMPLOYEES of the COUNCIL:
If at a meeting there arises any question relating to the appointment, conduct, promotion, dismissal, salary/wages or conditions of service, of any person employed by the Council, it shall NOT be considered until the Council or Committee has decided that the press and the public shall be excluded.
Orders for payment of money shall be authorised by approval of the Council and signed by the Clerk and/or the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) and/or the Chair.
34. COMMITTEES and SUB-COMMITTEES:
The Council may at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) appoint standing committees and may at any other time appoint such other committees as are necessary, but subject to any statutory provision in that behalf:
a) Shall not appoint any member of a committee so as to hold office later than the next AGM; and
b) May at any time dissolve or alter the membership of every/any committee.
36. Either the Chair or the Deputy Chair shall be members of every committee.
37. Every committee at its first meeting and before proceeding to any other business, shall elect a Chair and if required, a Deputy Chair who shall hold office until the next AGM.
38. The Chair of a committee or the Chair of the Council may summon a special meeting of that committee at any time. A special meeting shall be summoned on the requisition, in writing, of not less than two (2) members of that 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.
39. Every committee may appoint a sub-committee, the members of which must be specified by that committee.
40. The Chair and/or Deputy Chair of the committee shall be members of every sub-committee appointed by it unless they specify that they do not wish to serve.
41. The quorum of a committee or sub-committee shall be two of three of its members.
42. Standing Orders on rules of debate (except those parts relating to speaking more than once) and the Standing Orders on Interest of Councillors in contracts and other matters shall apply to all Committee and Sub-Committee meetings in so far as they are appropriate.
VOTING IN COMMITTEE:
43. Members of Committees and Sub-Committees shall vote by show of hands.
44. The Chair of Committees and Sub-Committees shall have a second vote as the casting vote if any vote is tied.
THE PRESENCE of NON-MEMBERS of COMMITTEES at COMMITTEE MEETINGS:
45. A member of a Committee that has proposed a motion which has been referred to any Committee of which they are not a member, may explain their motion to the Committee but shall not vote on the motion.
46. Any Councillor, unless the Council otherwise orders, is entitled to be present as a spectator at meetings of any Committee or Sub-Committee of which they are not a member.
47. ACCOUNTS and FINANCIAL STATEMENTS:
a) Except as provided in paragraph b of this Standing Order or by statute, all accounts for payment and claims on the Council shall be laid before the Council for authorisation;
b) Where it is necessary to make payment before it has been authorised by the Council, such payments shall be certified as to its correctness and urgency by the Clerk and/or the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO). (This applies if the Clerk is NOT the Council`s RFO);
c) All payments made under paragraph b shall be laid before the Council for authorisation at its next meeting.
The Clerk and/or the RFO shall supply to each Councillor by the June meeting each year a record of payments made and income received for the preceding Financial Year so that the statutory Annual Return can be authorised.
48. If any Councillor has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, within the meeting of Sections 94-95 of the Local Government Act 1972, on any contract or other matters, they shall, whilst it is under consideration by the Council, withdraw from the meeting unless:
a) The disability imposed upon them by those sections has been removed by the Community Council; or;
b) The Council has invited them to remain; or;
c) The contract, proposed contract or other matter is under consideration as part of a report of a Committee and is not itself part of the debate.
49. The Clerk shall record, to be kept for the purpose, particulars of any notice given by any Councillor or any Officer of the Council of a pecuniary interest in a contract, and the records should be available for inspection by Councillors.
50. If a candidate for any appointment under the Council is to their knowledge related to any Councillor or Council Officer, they and the person to whom they are related shall disclose the relationship to the Clerk. A candidate who fails to do so shall be disqualified for such an appointment, and if appointed, may be dismissed without notice. The Clerk shall report to the Council any such disclosures. Where a relationship to a Councillor is disclosed the Standing Order on Interests of Councillors in contracts and other matters shall apply.
51. The Clerk shall make known the purport of the Standing Order to every candidate.
52. CANVASSING of/and RECOMMENDATIONS by COUNCILLORS:
a) Canvassing of Councillors, directly or indirectly, for any appointment under the Council shall disqualify the candidate for such appointment. The Clerk shall make known the purpose of this sub-paragraph of this Standing Order to every candidate;
b) A Councillor shall not solicit for any person, any appointment under the Council or recommend any person for such appointment or for promotion; but, nevertheless, a Councillor may give a written testimonial of a candidate`s ability, character or experience for submission to the Council with an application for appointment.
53. Standing Orders 49 and 50 shall apply to tenders as if the person making the tender were a candidate for an appointment.
54. INSPECTION of DOCUMENTS:
A Councillor may for the purpose of their duty as such (but not otherwise), inspect the document in the possession of the Council or a Committee, and if copies are available, shall on request, be supplied for the like purpose with a copy.
55. All minutes kept by the Council and by any Committee member shall be open for inspection by any Councillor.
56. The minutes of the Council shall be open to inspection by any elector.
57. UNAUTHORISED ACTIVITIES:
No Councillor or Committee member shall in the name of the Council:
a) Inspect any land or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect;
b) Issue orders;
Unless authorised to do so by the Council or relevant Committee.
58. ADMISSION of the PUBLIC and PRESS to MEETINGS:
The public and the press shall be admitted to all meetings of the Council and/or its Committees, which may however, temporarily exclude the public and the press or both by means of the following resolution: –
“That in the view of the 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.”
59. The Clerk shall afford the press reasonable facilities for taking their report of any proceedings at which they are entitled to be present.
60. If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings at any meeting, the Chair may, after issuing a warning, order that they be removed from the meeting and if this instruction is not complied with, the Chair can suspend or close the meeting.
61. CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS:
No Councillor or Committee member shall disclose to any person not a Councillor, Council Officer or Council Committee member any business declared to be confidential by the Council or Council Committee.
62. LIAISON with COUNTY COUNCILLORS:
A notice of the meeting shall be sent, together with an invitation to attend, to the County Borough Councillor who represents the community of Blaengwrach/Cwmgwrach.
63. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The Clerk shall refer every planning application for the Blaengwrach and Glynneath West Ward to each Community Councillor, via email, as soon as possible after receiving it. The Chair may convene a Special Meeting of the Council to consider any planning application the Community Councillors consider to be of a controversial nature and is due to be determined by the Local Planning Authority prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Community Council.
64. STANDING ORDER on CONTRACTS:
Where it is intended to enter into a contract exceeding £5,000.00 (five thousand pounds) in value for the supply of goods or materials, or for the execution of works, the Clerk shall invite not less than three (3) contractors to submit written estimates/quotes of the costs.
65. The tenders/estimates/quotes must be submitted to the Clerk by the specified date in a sealed envelope.
66. The envelopes containing the tenders/estimates/quotes shall be opened by the Clerk or the Chair at a full Council meeting.
67. If no tenders/estimates/quotes are received or if all of them are identical, the Council may make such arrangements for procuring the goods or material or executing the works, as it thinks fit.
68. Any notice issued under this Standing Order shall contain a statement for the effect of Standing Orders 48, 49, 50 and 51.
69. VARIATION, REVOCATION and SUSPENSION of STANDING ORDERS:
Any part of these Standing Orders except numbers 2, 3, 8, 9, 10a, 11, 12c, 12d, 31, 42,47, 53,56 and 57 may be suspended by resolution in relation to any specific item of business.
70. A motion to permanently vary or revoke a Standing Order shall when proposed and seconded, stand adjourned without discussion to the next schedule full Council meeting.
71. COPIES OF STANDING ORDERS for COUNCILLORS/COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
A printed copy of these Standing Orders shall be given to each/every Councillor or Council Committee Member by the Clerk upon delivery of the Councillor`s/Committee Member`s signed Declaration of Acceptance of/to Office.
NOTE: THESE STANDING ORDERS ARE ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING IN MAY OF EACH YEAR.