SWAFFHAM TOWN COUNCIL COMMITTEE STRUCTURE - DELEGATED AUTHORITY
Terms of Reference to Committees
The Town Council Committee Structure was agreed on 22nd July 2019: -
- The Full Council shall meet on the second Wednesday of each month to discuss their normal business and receive any reports from Committees. The Annual Town Assembly takes place in April and the Annual meeting of the Town Council in May each year.
- REPRESENTATIVES OF OUTSIDE BODIES shall report to the Council on a monthly basis (as per Committee Structure chart for full list)
- The meeting cycle shall be published at the start of each calendar year, should there be a need to change the dates for any reason to deal with urgent business or cancellation due to a lack of business, or being inquorate, notification will be sent via the Town Hall office.
- The Town Clerk (or designated Lead Officer) shall liaise regularly as appropriate with the Chair and/or Vice Chair of each Committee as deemed necessary, for the smooth running of meetings and/or preparation of agenda.
- Terms of reference of each Committee are a guide to Members of their overall responsibility in order to avoid duplication between Committees.
- Each Committee shall have its specified number of members as per the terms of reference. Substitute Town Councillor members shall be allowed for each Committee (i.e. any Councillor not on the Committee), to ensure that meetings can be quorate. Substitutes can be selected/notified by the apologising Councillor, or the Town Hall office, if notification of a substitute has not been received/confirmed.
- Apologies for absence shall only be recorded if received by the Town Clerk or Deputy Clerk 24 hours prior to the meeting (with reasons for absence), to allow a substitute to be used, or in the event of unforeseen circumstances i.e. emergency, illness, family bereavement etc.
- All Standing Orders & Financial Regulations Apply to all Committees, Quorum (as per Standing Orders below):
- (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.
- 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) below for the quorum of a committee or sub-committee meeting.
- 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.
- A meeting shall not exceed a period of (2) hours (excluding the public participation of 15 minutes).
- The Council shall determine the place, notice requirements and quorum for a meeting of a committee and a sub-committee which shall be no less than three Councillors;
Generic terms of reference for ALL Committees are as follow: -
- All Committees can make recommendations to the full Council on any changes to the delegated authority approved as the terms of reference.
- All Councillors can make a request to a Committee to refer an agenda item to full Council; providing they do not have a pecuniary interest in the issue.
- All Councillors can call-in a Committee decision to the Full Council for a review/scrutiny. A brief summary or reason is required, call-in within 28 days of decision for next available Full Council agenda.
- All Councillors are entitled to attend Committee meetings as non-voting members of the public (with the exception of the HR Committee). Non-Committee Councillors can speak on a specific item on the agenda only at the discretion of the Chairman by prior notification or at a designated agenda item “to receive and consider Non-Committee Councillors questions.”
- All Committees have full decision-making powers, unless their specific terms of reference states otherwise.
- All Committees have the power to spend within an agreed budget and be responsible for monitoring during the financial year.
- Additional expenditure not within the Committee budget must be referred to the Full Council for approval, unless this is funded from income generated by the Committee, in which case the Committee would have the power to spend within the extended budget.
- All Committees have the option of referring any issue to the full Council for an opinion before making a decision or deferring the decision to the full Council.
- All Committees (with the exception of the HR Committee) can co-opt non-Councillor members in an Advisory capacity i.e. non-voting. All Advisory non-voting members shall be entitled to participate in any open debate but shall not participate in any confidential discussions.
- All Committee members Councillors and non-Councillors who have voting rights are duty bound to fill in the register of interests’ form held by Breckland Council, Declare Personal and Prejudicial Interests within the meeting and abide by the Code of Conduct
- All non – Committee Councillors shall sit away from the meeting table, unless invited to the table by the Chairman to address the Committee in the Public Forum session (maximum of 15 minutes) or to speak to the Committee on a specified item on the agenda (prior notification required).
- All Committees shall be quorate if no less than one third of their voting members are present, including no less than three elected Councillors.
- Councillors can only be a full member on four Committees, they can be substitute members for all Committees and members of Sub-Committees, or Working Groups.
- Non – Councillors who have voting rights can be elected Chair or Vice Chair of the said Committee.