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2018-19 Annual Return and Audit
Ladock Parish Council Register of Interests
1 The Finance Committee (SO 7 (b)) will present a written report by the December meeting of the Council which will include:-
1.1 recommendations to the Council in regard to the annual precept and other related matters, including the Clerk’s Salary
1.2 review and report on the Council’s Asset Register and the related insurance arrangements
1.3 recommendations regarding the appointment of an internal auditor and
1.4 review of the current Financial Regulations with recommendation regarding any amendments which may be deemed necessary.
1.5 review the effectiveness of its systems of internal control which shall be in accordance with proper practices.
2 The Finance Committee shall satisfy themselves that all income has been received.
The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) holds a statutory office to be appointed by the Council. The Clerk has been appointed as RFO for this council and these regulations will apply accordingly.
3 As soon as possible after the financial year end at 31 March, the Responsible Financial Officer shall provide:
3.1 each councillor with a statement summarising the council’s receipts and payments for the year to date for information; and
3.2 to the full council the accounting statements for the year in the form of Section 1 of the annual return, as required by proper practices, for consideration and approval.
4 At each financial year end a member other than the Chairman shall be appointed to verify all bank reconciliations produced by the RFO. The member shall sign the reconciliations and the original bank statements as evidence of verification. This activity shall on conclusion be reported including any exceptions, to and noted by the Finance Committee.
5 The RFO shall, without undue delay, bring to the attention of all councillors any correspondence or report from internal or external auditors.
6 All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the Council’s financial regulations.
7 To indicate agreement of the details shown on the cheque with the counterfoil and the invoice or similar documentation, the signatories shall each also initial the cheque counterfoil.
8 Payment of accounts in excess of £100 (one hundred) which have not previously been approved (EG in the budget estimate for the current year) must be approved by resolution of the Council.
9 All payments shall be made by cheque drawn on the Council’s bank account and shall be signed by two members of the Finance Committee.
10 If the Clerk deems it necessary/prudent to make payment before it can be authorised by the Council, such payment shall be certified as to its correctness and urgency by two members of the Finance Committee who will then, if satisfied, sign the cheque.
11 The collection of all sums due to the council shall be the responsibility of and under the supervision of the RFO.
12 The RFO shall promptly complete any VAT Return that is required. Any repayment claim due in accordance with VAT Act 1994 section 33 shall be made at least annually coinciding with the financial year end.
13.1 Where it is intended to enter into a contract which, it is estimated, will amount to less than £2000 for supply of goods or materials or the execution of works the Clerk shall invite tenders by notices posted in the same manner as for meeting of the Council (SO 4(b)) giving at least four weeks notice for return of tenders.
13.2 If it is anticipated that the value of the contract is likely to exceed £2000 the Council will invite not less than three appropriate Companies to tender for the contract. That invitation shall specify the date by which such tenders must be received by the Clerk.
13.3 The Council will not be obliged to accept the lowest, or any, tender.
Full account of Governance and Accountability for Local Councils to be taken into consideration.
Revised and adopted 11 September 2017
LADOCK PARISH COUNCIL
The Standing Orders contained in this document deal with matters relevant to the organisation and management of the business of Ladock Parish Council.
A copy of ‘Standing Orders for Local Councils’, which deals with regulations/orders applicable to Local Councils in general, is held by the Clerk and is available for inspection on application.
The Council will, at all times, endeavour to act in accordance with the ten General Principles incorporated in the Code of Conduct (Annex 1) for members of local authorities which all members, on acceptance of office, are required to sign.
The full Council shall comprise 10 (ten) duly elected (qualified) Councillors.
These Rules or Standing Orders (SOs), which shall apply to meetings and functions of the Council, shall be not altered or deleted without the agreement of at least two-thirds of the Members present at the meeting of the Council at which such change(s) are proposed.
1 Rules for debate at meetings
1.1 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.
1.2 A motion or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has first been property proposed and seconded.
1.3 Unless permitted by the chairman of the meeting, a councillor may speak once in the debate on a motion except:
1.3.1 to speak on an amendment moved by another councillor;
1.3.2 to move or speak on another amendment if the motion has been amended since he last spoke;
1.3.3 to make a point of order;
1.3.4 to give a personal explanation; or
1.3.5 in exercise of a right of reply.
1.4 During a debate of 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.
2 Disorderly conduct at meetings
2.1 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.
2.2 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 excluded from the meeting. The motion, if seconded, shall be put to the vote without discussion.
2.3 If a resolution made under standing order 2.2 above 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.
3 Meetings generally
3.1 The Council shall meet at least bi-monthly. Members shall be notified of the dates scheduled for those meetings at the Annual Meeting of the Council. The venue of the Annual Parish Meeting will alternate between Ladock and Grampound Road, unless specifically agreed otherwise at the ordinary meeting preceding the Annual Parish Meeting.
3.2 Notwithstanding SO 3.1, all meetings of the Council at which decisions may be made shall be summoned by the Clerk with not less than three days’ notice to be either sent or delivered to each member of the Council; such notice to contain an agenda of business to be transacted at the meeting. Notices, with invitation to attend, will also be sent to the member of Cornwall Council representing the Parish.
3.3 Notices of such meetings will be displayed on Ladock-PC website and public notice boards within the Parish. Notices, with invitation to attend, will also be sent to the member of Cornwall Council representing the parish.
3.4 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 the meeting shall be by a resolution which shall give reasons for the public’s exclusion.
3.5 The period of time designated for public participation at a meeting shall not exceed 15 minutes unless directed by the chairman of the meeting.
3.6 Subject to standing order 3.5 above, a member of the public shall not speak for more than 3 minutes.
3.7 A person shall raise his hand when requesting to speak.
3.8 A person who speaks at a meeting shall direct his comments to the chairman of the meeting.
3.9 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 speaking.
3.10 Photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting by any means is not permitted without the council’s prior consent.
3.11 The chairman, if present, shall preside at a meeting. If the chairman is absent from a meeting the vice chairman, 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 meeting.
3.12 Subject to a meeting being quorate, all questions at a meeting shall be decided by a majority of the councillors present and voting.
3.13 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.
3.14 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 agenda.
3.15 A councillor 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.
3.16 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 4.
3.17 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.
3.18 A meeting shall not exceed a period of 2 hours.
3.19 The chairman or any 3 members of the council may, by written requisition, authorise the chairman or clerk to summon a special meeting of the council at a minimum of 3 days, notice to members. Such requisition shall set out the business for which the meeting is to be summoned and no business no other than that specified shall be transacted at that meeting.
3.20 Any matter(s) which a member wishes to be included in the agenda of a forthcoming meeting must be delivered to the Clerk, In writing or via email, at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of that meeting.
3.21 Consideration of item not appearing on the agenda will not be allowed unless the chairman is prepared to certify that a proposed item is ‘urgent’ in which case the special circumstances which make it so must be explained and recorded in the minutes.
3.22.1 Subject to SO 3.22.2, only members of the council may speak at a meeting of the council unless the meeting is properly adjourned by resolution.
3.22.2 Appointees of the council and members of public bodies who are in attendance may be invited to speak at the chairman’s discretion.
3.23 A decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.
4 Committees and sub-committees
The Planning (Contingency) Committee will deal with (a) planning applications and related matters and (b) other miscellaneous matters which require a response by a date prior to that which can be met by the next scheduled meeting of the Council. A quorum will be 4 (four) members.
The Finance Committee will comprise the Chairman, Vice Chairman and 2 (two) other members who will be appointed at the AGM. A quorum will be 3 (three)members.
4.3 The Council may set up such other committees as may be deemed necessary. These will report back to the full Council.
4.4 The Chairman and Vice Chairman, if not specifically named as members, shall be considered ‘ex-officio’ members of all other committees and sub-committees.
5 Ordinary council meetings
5.1 In an election year the annual meeting of the council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the new councillors elected take office.
5.2 In a year which is not an election year the annual meeting of a council shall be held on such day in May as the council may direct.
5.3 If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the council shall take place at 7pm.
5.4 The first business conducted at the annual meeting of the council shall be the election of the chairman and vice-chairman of the council.
5.5 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.
5.6 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 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 must give a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
6 Extraordinary meetings of the council and committees and sub-committees
6.1 The chairman of the council may convene an extraordinary meeting of the council at any time.
7 Previous resolutions
7.1 A resolution shall not be reversed within six months except either by a special motion which requires written or email notice by at least 4 councillors to be given to the Proper Officer in accordance with standing order 8 below, or by a motion moved in pursuance of the recommendation of a committee or a sub-committee.
7.2 When a motion moved pursuant to standing order 7.1 above has been disposed of, no similar motion may be moved within a further six months.
8 Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the Proper Officer
8.1 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 10 days before the meeting.
8.2 The decision of the proper officer as to whether or not to include the motion on the agenda shall be final.
9 Handling confidential or sensitive information
9.1 The agendas, papers that support the agenda and the minutes of a meeting shall not disclose or otherwise undermine confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
9.2 Councillors and staff shall not disclose confidential or sensitive information which for special reasons would not be in the public interest.
10.1 Notes of all business transacted at meetings of the Council, committees and sub-committees shall be taken by the Clerk and recorded as minutes of the meeting. These shall include the names of all members present and apologies for absence received from any members not present.
10.2 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.
10.3 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 minutes relate.
10.4 A report of meeting(s) of any committee(s) since the last council meeting, including any decisions taken, shall be presented at the next meeting of the council and duly recorded in the minutes.
10.5 Formal records, eg minute books, which are no longer required shall be deposited in the County Records Office.
10.6 Declarations of interest(s) made by members, as required by the code of conduct, shall be recorded by the clerk in the report on the relevant item.
11 Code of conduct, complaints and dispensations
11.1 The council has adopted the Cornwall Code of Conduct for City, Community, Parish and Town Councils which will apply to all councillors ad members of the public co-opted to serve on committees and sub-committees of the council in respect of the entire meeting. All interests arising from the Code of Conduct adopted by the council will be recorded in the minutes giving the existence and nature of the interest. All councillors shall observe the code of conduct adopted by the council.
11.2 Members must have particular regard to their obligation to record and leave the room for certain matters in which they have an interest a defined by the Code of Conduct or by relevant legislation.
11.3 The council shall maintain for public inspection, a Register of Members, interests that is compliant with the Code of Conduct and with relevant legislation.
Members and the Code of Conduct
11.4 All councillors shall maintain a Register of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, and must update their register by notifying the Monitoring Officer and the Clerk of any changes within 28 days.
11.5 All councillors should undertake training in the code of conduct within 6 month of the delivery of their declaration of acceptance of office.
11.6 At the start of the meeting the chairman will call for declarations of interest in items on the agenda. Members should declare any interest at this point, either disclosable pecuniary interest, non-registerable interest , regardless of whether the interest has already been recorded on the Cornwall Council register, and any gift received to a value of £50. Unless granted a dispensation the councillor shall leave the room whenever the item is being discussed, including any part of the meeting where the public are entitled to speak.
Allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct
11.7 Notification of any complaint shall remain confidential to the Proper Officer of the council until such time as the matter has been concluded, when the outcome of the complaint shall be reported to a meeting of full council.
11.8 Upon notification by the Monitoring Officer of the Unitary Council that a councillor has breached the council’s code of conduct, the council shall consider any recommendations of the Monitoring Officer and what, if any, action to take against him in accordance with the recommendations.
11.9 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.
11.10 A decision as to whether to grant a dispensation shall be made by the council and that decision is final.
11.11 A dispensation request shall confirm:
11.11.1 the description and the nature of the disclosable pecuniary interest or other interest to which the request for the dispensation relates;
11.11.2 whether the dispensation is required to participate at a meeting in a discussion only or a discussion and a vote;
11.11.3 the date of the meeting or the period (not exceeding 4 years) for which the dispensation is sought; and
11.11.4 an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.
11.12 Subject to SOs 11.9 and 11.11 above, dispensations requests shall be considered at the beginning of the meeting of the council for which the dispensation is required.
11.13 A dispensation may be granted in accordance with SO 11.10 above if having regard to all relevant circumstances the following applies:
11.13.1 without the dispensation the number of persons prohibited from participating in the particular business wold be so great a proportion of the meeting transacting the business as to impede the transaction of the business, or
11.13.2 granting the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in the council’s area, or
11.13.3 it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
12 Handling staff matters
12.1 A matter personal to a member of staff that is being considered by a meeting of the council is subject to SO 9 above.
13 Requests for information
13.1 Requests for information held by the council shall be handled in accordance with the council’s policy in respect of handling requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
13.2 Correspondence from, and notices served by, the Information Commissioner shall be referred by the Proper Officer to the chairman. The council shall have the power to do anything to facilitate compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
13.3 All current books, documents and papers, the property of the council, shall remain in the custody of the clerk and shall, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2007, be available for inspection by members of the council and electors of the parish by prior appointment. The clerk shall not part with any such documents except for the temporary use by a member of the council. Any papers so taken shall be returned as soon as possible thereafter or immediately on order of the council. A register shall be kept of all such requests and/or complaints.
14 Standing orders generally
14.1 All or part of a standing order, except one that incorporates mandatory statutory requirements, may be suspended by resolution in relation to the consideration of an item on the agenda for a meeting.
14.2 The decision of the chairman of a meeting as to the application of standing orders at the meeting shall be final.
Revised and Adopted 11 September 2017