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0 votes

Our Standing Orders haven't been reviewed in at least 6 years.

We have a far more engaged and dynamic group of Cllrs than previously but are hamstrung by not being able to get Committee meetings scheduled and by a lack of training generally.

  • How often should SO's be reviewed?
  • is any training available to help?
  • what else can you advise?

NB our local ALCs seem to be in disarray....so not sure if they can help

by (230 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
The model standing orders includes a list of items to be considered as part of the annual meeting each May, one of which is a review of standing orders and financial regulations. It's good practice to adhere to this list in full, as it provides a regular health check for the council.

The NALC model standing orders are revised on a regular basis in line with new or revised legislation. The most recent amendments have been adopted in 2020 and 2018, so you may wish to consider adopting the current model.
by (54.1k points)
+1 vote
I have had the same experience. We now have some new and proactive councillors and gradually things are changing for the better. Any Councillor can put an item on the agenda so maybe you could put 'review of standing orders' on. We have a Governance Committee, who appear to have done very little over the years but I joined and put this on the agenda. We have now adopted the 2020 Standing orders, the previous ones were from 2018, so 3 years late! We have also adopted the latest Finance regulations via the Finance Committee. I was made Chair of this committee thanks to the support of some of the new councillors.

Training should be available through NALC. I'm in Wales and our advisory body is One Voice Wales. They have a lot of training sessions covering every subject possible. NALC should have at least some that are useful, especially to new councillors. Your Chair and Clerk should be encouraging training and there should be a budget. Recent legislation changes here mean that as from the end of this year we have to publish a training schedule. I'm afraid I don't know if this applies to England.
Committees are formed at the start of the year by full Council. They should have Terms of Reference, which along with what they can do should state how often they meet. So your Clerk should be organising these meetings accordingly. I am of course presuming there's enough members for the committees to be quorate and they have items to form an agenda.
by (2.8k points)
thanks for that useful answer.

I very much like the sound of publishing a training schedule.
Training should be offered to all, not only the newbies, as the old hands also need to refresh.
(I wish there were a way to make some training compulsory!)

I will look at the NALC courses and suggest one or two.
I cannot tell you how many times I've commented to my Deputy that I wished some training was compulsory. We can but hope that it happens one day.
It’s up to the Electorate to choose their representatives at all levels nice as it would be to enforce training it’s just not possible
At Borough level we have constant training and most Councillors attend plus our training records are published
The other month our Chair attacked me at a meeting and one of her many complaints was I’d done little training with the Parish
I did a quick count afterwards and as far as I can tell since May 2019 I’ve done more training sessions than all the other 19 or so Parish Councillors together
I hate being stuck in a routine which dictates that it has always been done this way. Is there any manifest reason why SOs cannot be reviewed for individual items throughout the year?   Also I am a great fan of PCs who use the existing SOs as a  starting point and construct a new document in Plain English

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