Summary of how Parish Council's work   

 

Role of the Clerk

 

  • The clerk provides advice and administrative support and takes action to implement council decisions. She can only act on resolved matters. The clerk is not a secretary and is not at the beck and call of the chairman or other councillors. The clerk is answerable only to the council as a whole.

  • The Clerk is the PROPER OFFICER of the council in law.She is responsible for ensuring that council acts within the law and the Council’s which set out how the council conducts its business. She is also the responsible financial officer. The clerk is readily available to discuss any issues with councillors. This can be important before meetings if members need to clarify minutes or discuss the issues associated with agenda items. The APPROPRIATE PAPERS ARE SENT TO COUNCLLORS AT LEAST 3 WORKING DAYS BEFORE THE MEETING. This is to give councillors time to read through them and contact the clerk, chairman of council or chairman of a subcommittee for any clarification. This results in members being fully prepared for the meeting which is part of their duties as a councillor.

 

Legal Requirements/regulations

 

  • Councils must do what the law requires them to do… e.g. comply with the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act and Equality Act, Employment Law and The Localism Act.

  • Consider the impact of decisions on reducing crime and disorder in the area

  • They must ensure that all rules for the administration of the council are followed egg appoint a chairman, a responsible financial officer, appoint an auditor, adopt a Code of Conduct and hold a minimum of 4 meetings a year, one of which must be the Annual Meeting of the Council

  • These rules are set out in law to guide the procedures of the council and a council can add its own regulations. Together these rules make up Standing Orders.

 

Standing Orders

 

  • Standing Orders govern the way council meetings are conducted. They are not always remembered or fully understood. The clerk and the chairman are responsible for the meeting being conducted according to Standing Orders…they cannot be ignored or changed unless agreed by council.  The motion for alteration must be proposed and seconded in a written motion as an agenda item at a full council meeting. This will then be moved at the council meeting as an agenda item. At the following council meeting, the motion will be discussed and then voted on and adopted if the council agrees to the change.  Some standing orders are explained below.

  • 6 month rule…A resolution cannot be reversed within 6 months except either by special motion by written notice bearing the names of at least 5 councillors, or by a motion moved in pursuance of the report or recommendation of the committee. If a special motion has been disposed of no similar motion can be moved for a further 6 months.

  • Public speaking in council meetings… standing orders can be raised for a maximum of 15 minutes to allow the public to speak. Each speaker should speak for no longer than three minutes and only once. Any questions asked by the public shall not require a response or debate; however the Chairman may direct that a response be referred to a councillor or the clerk for an oral response.

  • Amendments…. An amendment to a motion can be moved after the original motion has been seconded, but before the vote is taken. However it cannot negate the original motion, but it can be to leave out words, add words or both.

  • Attend meetings when summoned. The notice to attend a council meeting is, in law, a summons, because you have a duty to attend.

  • Prepare for the meeting in advance by considering the agenda and related documents before the meeting

  • Take part in the meeting and consider all the facts.

  • Vote according to conscience after listening to and considering all opinions

     

Code of Conduct

 

  • All councils must adopt and publicise a Code of Conduct based on the seven Nolan Principles which apply to the conduct of people in public life. All councillors sign to abide by the Code of Conduct.

  • Selflessness....you should act in the public interest

  • Integrity....do not put yourself in any obligation to others, allow them to improperly influence you, or seek benefit for yourself, family, friends or close associates.

  • Objectivity…act impartially, fairly and on merit

  • Accountability....be prepared to submit to public scrutiny

  • Openness… Be open and transparent in your actions and decisions unless lawful reasons for non- disclosure

  • Honesty… always be truthful

  • Leadership… promote, support and exhibit high standards and be willing to challenge poor behaviour

  • Declarations of Pecuniary Interest are required.

     

Kinver Parish Council  Committees

 

  • Councillors can serve on the committees below, depending on their interests. All except Personnel have up to 10 council members

  • Planning and Development Committee... 10 members. The committee recommends directly to District on planning application and enforcement matters. It does not have decision making powers but as a consultee itcan recommend approval or refusal on applications fromwithin the parish. It also deals with transport issues.

  • Leisure and Amenities Committee 10 members. This committee makes recommendations to full Parish Council on projects to improve the parish. For example recently……. Improvements to Jubilee and Daneford Gardens, reinstating the view of the Church, New Kinver Gatepost signs, new noticeboards.

  • Burial Ground Committee 10 members. This committee oversees and managesComber Ridge Burial Ground. It makes recommendations to full Parish Council with reference to its maintenanceand any issues/problems atthat occur with its function as a burial ground.

  • Finance and General PurposesCommittee….10 members… This committee makes recommendations to full Parish Council on financial matters including setting the budget as recommended by the Clerk as the Financial Officer ,requests for internal and external grants, and other expenditure.

  • Personnel Committee…5 members…Parish Chairman and Vice chairman and Chairmen of Leisure and Amenities, Burial Ground and Finance.This committee deals with any issues regarding Parish Council employees. This committee is usually held in private as it will often involve matters of a sensitive and confidential nature.

  • Full Council Meetings and  committee meetings are open to the press and public unless confidential issues are being discussed. This  particularly applies to  the  Personnel  Committee for reasons indicated above, and may apply occasionally to some agenda items  to be discussed in other meetings.

  • In committee meetings the public can speak to councillors before the  start of the meeting,  but not during the discussions during the meeting. In full Council Meetings there is an opportunity for the public to speak to the council for a limited time as mentioned above under Standing Orders.

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