Drybrook Parish Council Standing Orders

Policies Uploaded on September 26, 2023






Paragraph No Subject Page No
Introduction/ How to use these Standing Orders 2
1. Rules of debate at meetings 2
2. Disorderly conduct at meetings 4
3. Meetings generally 4
4. Committees and sub-committees 7
5. Ordinary council meetings 8
6. Extraordinary meetings of the council, committees & sub-committees 9
7. Previous resolutions 10
8. Voting on appointments 10
9. Motions for a meeting that require written notice to be given to the proper officer 10
10. Motions at a meeting that do not require written notice 11
11. Management of information 12
12 Draft minutes 12
13. Code of conduct and dispensations 13
14. Code of conduct complaints 14
15. Proper officer 14
16. Responsible finacial officer 16
17. Accounts and accounting statements 16
18. Financial controls and procurement 16
19. Handling staff matters 18
20. Responsibilities to provide information 18
21. Responsibilities under data protection legislation 19
22. Relations with the press/media 19
23. Execution and sealing of legal deeds 19
24. Communicating with district and county or unitary concillors 19
25. Restrictions on concillor activities 20
26. Standing orders generally 20



These Standing Orders are based upon this is version two of Model Standing Orders 2018 (England) updated on April 2022.


Tese Standing Orders are the written rules of Drybrook Parish Council. Standing orders are essential to regulate the proceedings of a meeting.  The standing orders are not the same as the policies of thecouncil but they may refer to them.

These Standing Orders do not include financial regulations.

The Standing Orders that are in bold type contain legal and statutory requirements and should not be changed.

1.                 RULES OF DEBATE AT MEETINGS

  • 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.
  • A motion (including an amendment) shall not be progressed unless it has been moved and seconded.
  • A motion on the agenda that is not moved by its proposer may be treated by the chairman of the meeting as withdrawn.
  • If a motion (including an amendment) has been seconded, it may be withdrawn by the proposer only with the consent of the seconder and the meeting.
  • An amendment is a proposal to remove or add words to a motion. It shall not negate the motion.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 meeting.
  • 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 meeting.
  • One or more amendments may be discussed together if the chairman of the meeting considers this expedient but each amendment shall be voted upon separately.
  • A councillor may not move more than one amendment to an original or substantive motion.
  • The mover of an amendment has no right of reply at the end of debate on it.
  • 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.
  • Unless permitted by the chairman of the meeting, a councillor may speak once in the debate on a motion except:
  1. to speak on an amendment moved by another councillor;
  2. to move or speak on another amendment if the motion has been amended since he last spoke;
  • to make a point of order;
  1. to give a personal explanation; or
  2. to exercise a right of reply.
  • 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.
  • A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and his decision shall be final.
  • When a motion is under debate, no other motion shall be moved except:
  1. to amend the motion;
  2. to proceed to the next business;
  • to adjourn the debate;
  1. to put the motion to a vote;
  2. to ask a person to be no longer heard or to leave the meeting;
  3. to refer a motion to a committee or sub-committee for consideration;
  • to exclude the public and press;
  • to adjourn the meeting; or
  1. to suspend particular standing order(s) excepting those which reflect mandatory statutory or legal requirements.
  • 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 reply.
  • 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 10 minutes without the consent of the chairman of the meeting.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


3.                 MEETINGS GENERALLY

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 10 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 speaking.

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 present.
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 meeting.

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 agenda.
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 meeting.

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 2 hours.





  1. shall determine their terms of reference;
  2. 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 Council;
  1. shall, subject to standing orders 4(b) and (c), appoint and determine the terms of office of members of such a committee;
  2. 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 3 days before the meeting that they are unable to attend;
  3. shall, after it has appointed the members of a standing committee, appoint the chairman of the standing committee;
  1. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a committee;
  2. 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;
  3. shall determine if the public may participate at a meeting of a sub-committee that they are permitted to attend; and


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.

  1. Consideration of the recommendations made by a committee;
  2. Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, staff and other local authorities;
  3. Review of the terms of reference for committees;
  1. Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders and financial regulations;
  2. Review of arrangements (including legal agreements) with other local authorities, not-for-profit bodies and businesses.
  3. Review of representation on or work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back;
  1. Review of the Council’s and/or staff subscriptions to other bodies;
  1. Review of the Council’s expenditure incurred under s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972 or the general power of competence.


7.                 PREVIOUS RESOLUTIONS

8.                 VOTING ON APPOINTMENTS

A tie in votes may be settled by the casting vote exercisable by the chairman of the meeting.



  1. to refer a motion to a particular committee or sub-committee;
  2. to appoint a person to preside at a meeting;
  3. to change the order of business on the agenda;
  1. to appoint a committee or sub-committee and their members;
  2. to extend the time limits for speaking;
  3. to exclude the press and public from a meeting in respect of confidential or other information which is prejudicial to the public interest;
  1. to suspend a particular standing order (unless it reflects mandatory statutory or legal requirements);


See also standing order 20.


12.              DRAFT MINUTES

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 minutes relate.
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.
g           The draft minutes must be issued to the councillors no later than 7 days following the meeting so they have suficient time to carryout any allocated actions.


See also standing order 3(u).


  1. an explanation as to why the dispensation is sought.


15.              PROPER OFFICER

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;

  1. subject to standing order 9, include on the agenda all motions in the order received unless a councillor has given written notice at least 5 days before the meeting confirming his withdrawal of it;
  1. facilitate inspection of the minute book by local government electors;
  2. receive and retain copies of byelaws made by other local authorities;
  3. hold acceptance of office forms from councillors;
  1. liaise, as appropriate, with the Council’s Data Protection Officer (if there is one);
  2. receive and send general correspondence and notices on behalf of the Council except where there is a resolution to the contrary;
  3. 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);

(see also standing order 23);

  1. refer a planning application received by the Council to the Chairperson or in their absence the Vice-Chairman of the Council



which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.


  1. 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:
  2. the keeping of accounting records and systems of internal controls;
  3. the assessment and management of financial risks faced by the Council;
  1. the inspection and copying by councillors and local electors of the Council’s accounts and/or orders of payments; and
  2. whether contracts with an estimated value below £25,000 due to special circumstances are exempt from a tendering process or procurement exercise.
  3. Financial regulations shall be reviewed regularly and at least annually for fitness of purpose.
  4. 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 referred to in standing order 18(f) is subject to the “light touch” arrangements under Regulations 109-114 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 unless it proposes to use an existing list of approved suppliers (framework agreement).
  5. 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:
  6. a specification for the goods, materials, services or the execution of works shall be drawn up;
  7. 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;
  1. tenders are to be submitted in writing in a sealed marked envelope addressed to the Proper Officer;
  2. 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;
  3. tenders are to be reported to and considered by the appropriate meeting of the Council or a committee or sub-committee with delegated responsibility.
  4. Neither the Council, nor a committee or a sub-committee with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.
  1. Where the value of a contract is likely to exceed the threshold specified by the Office of Government Commerce from time to time, the Council must consider whether the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 or the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 apply to the contract and, if either of those Regulations apply, the Council must comply with procurement rules. NALC’s procurement guidance contains further details.



See also standing order 21.


[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.


(Below is not an exclusive list).


See also standing order 11.




See also standing orders 15(b)(xii) and (xvii).



  1. Unless duly authorised no councillor shall:
  1. inspect any land and/or premises which the Council has a right or duty to inspect; or
  2. issue orders, instructions or directions.