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Some of the Standing Orders are compulsory as they are laid down in Acts of Parliament. These are printed in bold type. These Standing Orders cannot be altered.


If the words “Local Councils” are used, it means Parish and Town Councils in England and Community and Town Councils in Wales.


It is, of course, recognised that local councillors can be male or female.  Therefore, wherever the masculine gender is used in this publication, this should be interpreted as also meaning the feminine gender, where appropriate.




1. Meetings


a)Meetings of the Council shall be held in each year on such dates and times and at such place as the Council may direct.


b)Councillors have a duty to attended meetings when summoned to do so.  


c)Councillors who cannot attend must contact the clerk with an apology and reason.  Reasons will be recorded and approved by the council.


d)Councillors will be disqualified from office if they do not attend at least one meeting during a period of six months – all meetings count, including sub-committees, working parties, site meetings (usually related to a planning issue) and meetings where the councillor represents the council.


e)Smoking is not permitted at any meeting of the Council.


2.The Statutory Annual Meeting


a)In an election year the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the councillors elected take office and


b)in a year which is not an election year the Annual Parish Council Meeting shall be held on such day in May as the Council may direct.


3.(England Only) In addition to the Statutory Annual Parish Council Meeting at least three other statutory meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times and at such place as the Council may direct.


4.   Chairman of the Meeting


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

5.   Proper Officer


Where a statute, regulation or order confers function or duties on the proper officer of the Council in the following cases, he shall be the clerk or nominated officer: -


To receive declarations of acceptance of office.


To receive and record notices disclosing interests at meetings.


To receive and retain plans and documents.


To sign notices or other documents on behalf of the Council.


To receive copies of bylaws made by another local authority.


To certify copies of bylaws made by the Council.


To sign and issue the summons to attend meetings of the Council.


To keep proper records for all Council meetings.




6.   Quorum of the Council


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


4.If a quorum is not present or if during a meeting the number of councillors present (not counting those debarred by reason of a declared interest) falls below the required quorum, the meeting shall be adjourned and business not transacted shall be transacted at the next meeting or on such other day as the Chairman may fix.


8.For a quorum relating to a committee or sub-committee, please refer to Standing Order 48.




Members shall vote by show of hands or, if at least two members so request, by signed ballot.


10.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.


11.(1) Subject to (2) and (3) below the Chairman may give an original vote on any matter put to the vote, and in any case of an equality of votes may give a casting vote whether or not he gave an original vote.


(2) If the person presiding at the annual meeting would have 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 may not give an original vote in an election for Chairman.


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


12. Order of Business


     At each Annual Parish Council Meeting the first business shall be:-


a)To elect a Chairman of the Council


b)To receive the Chairman’s declaration of acceptance of office or, if not then received, to decide when it shall be received.


c)In the ordinary year of election of the Council to fill any vacancies left unfilled at the election by reason of insufficient nominations.


d)To decide when any declarations of acceptance of office which have not been received as provided by law shall be received.


e)To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Council.


f)To appoint representatives to outside bodies.


g)To appoint committees and sub-committees.


h)To consider the payment of any subscriptions falling to be paid annually.


i)To inspect any deeds and trust investments in the custody of the Council as required;


and shall thereafter follow the order set out in the Standing Order 15


13.  At every meeting other than the Annual Parish Council Meeting the first business shall be to appoint a Chairman if the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be absent and to receive such declarations of acceptance of office (if any) and undertaking to observe the Council’s code of conduct as are required by law to be made or, if not then received, to decide when they shall be received.


14. In every year, not later than the meeting at which the estimates for next year are settled, the Council shall review the pay and conditions of service of existing employees.  Standing Order 38 must be read in conjunction with this requirement.


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

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 person presiding as a correct record.

c)To deal with business expressly required by statute to be done.

d)To dispose of business, if any, remaining from the last meeting.

e)To receive such communications as the person presiding may wish to lay before the Council.

f)To answer questions from Councillors.

g)To receive and consider reports and minutes of committees.

h)To receive and consider resolutions or recommendations in the order in which they have been notified.

i)To authorise the sealing of documents.

j)If necessary, to authorise the signing of orders for payment.


16. Urgent Business

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

a)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

b)Shall be put to the vote without discussion.


17. Resolutions Moved On Notice


Except as provided by these Standing Orders, no resolution may be   moved unless the business to which it relates has been put on the Agenda by the Clerk or 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.


18. The Clerk shall date every notice of resolution or recommendation when received by him, shall number each notice in the order in which it was received and shall enter it in a book which shall be open to the inspection of every member of the Council.


19. 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 withdraws it.


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


21. 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 as the Council may determine for report; provided that the Chairman, if he considers it to be a matter of urgency, may allow it to be dealt with at the meeting at which it was moved.


22. Every resolution or recommendation shall be relevant to some subject over which the Council has power or duties, which affects its area.Resolutions Moved Without Notice

a)To appoint a Chairman of the meeting.

b)To correct an inaccuracy in the draft Minutes.

c)To approve the Minutes.

d)To change the order of business on the agenda.

e)To proceed to the next business.

f)To close or adjourn the debate.

g)To refer a matter to a committee.

h)To appoint a committee or any members thereof.

i)To adopt a report.

j)To authorise the sealing of documents.

k)To amend a motion.

l)To give leave to withdraw a resolution or amendment.

m)To extend the time limit for speeches.

n)To exclude the press and public. (see Order 68 below)

o)To silence or eject from the meeting a member named for misconduct. (see order 33 below)

p)To give the consent of the Council where such consent is required by these Standing Orders.

q)To suspend any Standing Order. (see Order 79 below)

r)To adjourn the meeting or to close a meeting.


Signed Audits Continuation...