- A Finance and General Purposes Committee to be appointed to exercise the powers of the Parish Council on any matters that arise between PC Meetings which cannot wait until the next Meeting for a decision, in particular to deal with:-
- Any matter specifically referred to it by the Parish Council
- To prepare a budget at the appropriate time of the year for approval by the PC.
- To pay any urgent invoices received between PC Meetings.
- The Committees shall normally make recommendations to the full Council. However, this Committee has delegated powers to act in specific cases where the presiding Chairman deems urgent action is required.
- (All business conducted at the F & GP Committee must be reported to the next Meeting of the Parish Council)
Conduct of Meetings
- The person presiding at a meeting may exercise all the powers and duties of the Chairman in relation to the conduct of that Meeting.
- At any stage of a full Council Meeting where the Chairman is present he must assume the Chairman’s role. In his absence the Vice-Chairman must take the Chair. In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman the chairperson shall be chosen by an election of those present.
- Any Committee or Sub-Committee appointed by the Council shall at its first Meeting elect a Chairman and may elect a Vice-Chairman until the next AGM of the full Council. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council ex-officio shall be members of every Committee.
- For Statutory or Regulatory purposes the role of Proper Office shall normally be undertaken by the Clerk.
- The normal method of determining an issue put to a vote is by a show of hands. However, if required by any Members the vote shall be recorded to show who voted on any question and whether they voted for or against.
- Generally in the event of an equality of votes the Chairman may give a casting vote even though he gave no original vote.
- Council Meetings commence at 7.30pm with a period for public participation. This period should not extend beyond 8.00pm unless the Council accepts a proposal from a Member before 8.00pm to continue for a further specified period.
- The formal Council Meeting should not extend beyond 10.00pm except to conclude the item under discussion. However, if a Member proposed to continue with further items and it is agreed that the agenda can be completed by 10.30pm this option can be determined by a vote. No Council Meeting should continue beyond 10.30pm.
- Subject to 7 and 8 above any agenda items outstanding at the closure of the meeting must be dealt with at an adjourned meeting held before the next normal Council Meeting.
Size The Council shall consist of thirteen Councillors (9 for Lenham North & 4 for Lenham South)
Eligibility To be eligible for election to the Parish Council candidates must be on the current list of electors for the Parish or have an approved property interest in the Parish and otherwise comply with the requirement of the Local Government Act 1972.
Term of Appointment All Cllrs. shall normally serve for a period of four years. Their terms to run concurrently unless elected at a bye-election or co-opted.
Date of Election The date of the election for this Parish Council shall be coincident with the date on which the normal election for one-third of Maidstone Borough Councillors is held, normally the first Thursday in May.
Annual Meeting of the Council Each year at the first meeting of the Parish Council after the Borough or County Council election as appropriate, the first item of business will be the election of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman.
Committees At the Annual meeting of Council the following Committees shall be elected by Councillors:-
Note No Committee shall consist of more than six Councillors but all Committees other than the F & GP can include up to one third of their number by co-option. Such co-opted Members will not have the right to vote in determining Committee decisions.
Finance & General Purposes Chairman, Vice-Chairman and four others.
Planning and Implementation Parish Advisory Group on planning applications, implementation of the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan (2021 - 2031), Commerce and Industry. Chair, Vice Chair and four others plus attendance from : LPC Planning Consultant, three members of the public (all non voting)
Transport & Highways Parking regulation and enforcement issues. Public transport consultation, liaison and information. Highways safety and traffic control schemes including Gateway initiatives and Traffic management in the North Downs AONB.
Ad hoc Committees From time to time other Committees will be formed on a temporary basis to meet special needs or developing projects.
At the initial meeting of any Committee the first item of business will be the election of the Chairman
for the rest of the Council year. All Committees must be subject to re-election at the Annual Meeting of the Council.
Spokespersons Individual Cllrs. shall be allocated the following responsibilities:
- Provision for the disabled and Health matters
- Website & Communications
- Youth & Recreation
- Law & Order
- Tourism & Commerce
Representatives on Outside Bodies
- KALC (2)
- Lenham Community Centre Committee (1)
The F & GP Committee shall normally make recommendations to the full Council. However, the Committee has delegated powers to act in specific cases where the presiding Chairman deems urgent action is required.
The Planning & Implementation Committee shall have a continuing delegated power to make representations or recommendations to the MBC Director of Planning when that Committee Chairman considers that action is necessary between meetings. Planning applications which are likely to be controversial or have major impact in the Parish shall always be referred to the full Council.
Financial Standing Orders The financial affairs of this Council must be in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders of this Council.
In circumstances where it is deemed expedient the Clerk of the Council after consultation with the Chairman or Vice-Chairman shall have the delegated power to place orders or actually expend up to £250 in pursuance of Council business. Any such expenditure must be reported to the next full Council or F & GP Committee Meeting, whichever is the earlier.
Suspension of Standing Orders The Council may resolve to suspend any Standing Orders for the duration of one or more meetings.
Legal Documents All legal documentation must be signed by the Parish Council Chairman and one other serving member.
The Standing Orders for the conduct of Council business shall generally accord with those published by NALC in 2022. The principle Orders are reproduced below and include options where they have been taken up.
- The Council meet at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday each month excepting September. Meetings will normally be held in the Community Centre or by electronic means if a physical meeting is not possible
- Additional (extraordinary) meetings may be called giving seven days’ notice by the Chairman or in his absence by the Vice-Chairman. Such meetings can also be called by a request from two Members of the Council.
- The first Council Meeting after the Borough or County elections in May shall be the Annual General Meeting at which the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected and any vacancies may be filled by co-option.
- The Council shall call an open meeting for all electors of the Parish between 1st March and 1st June. At this meeting (the Annual Parish Meeting) the Council is required to report on its conduct of affairs of the Parish in the preceding year.
- The Clerk shall place a notice of each Council Meeting together with agenda on the Parish Council’s official notice boards not less than three clear working days before the meeting. The agendas will also be available on the Parish Website and if the meeting is to be conducted electronically the joining details will also be published.
- Draft minutes of the last meeting will be available at the Library three clear working days before the next meeting and posted to Cllrs. three clear working days before the next meeting. They will be available to residents by annual subscription.
- A quorum for a Council Meeting shall be four Members. For Council Committees half of the Members will be required for meetings to be quorate, subject to a minimum of three.
- Members of the Public can attend Parish Council or Committee Meetings for the purpose of making representations, giving evidence or answering questions.
- The Council undertakes that all its dealings are open to the Public and this includes via electronic methods, but in exceptional circumstances may choose to go into a part 2 session where a matter of staffing, contract and tender or sensitivity to an individual or group of persons is involved, for example, where a release of information could be personally damaging or dangerous to those concerned if generally known. The Council will decide accordingly if the minutes of such an item should remain confidential. Confidential items should be minuted on a different colour paper and filed separately. (The Council will ensure that where confidential information has been received from another Local Authority, for example in relation to enforcement proceedings that this information remains confidential).