The answer may lie in your Council's own policies and procedures. If you're using the NALC model documents, Standing Order 17b states that "All payments by the Council shall be authorised, approved and paid in accordance with the law, proper practices and the Council’s financial regulations."
The model Financial Regulations include the following paragraphs:-
5.8. In respect of grants a duly authorised committee shall approve expenditure within any limits set by council and in accordance with any policy statement approved by council. Any Revenue or Capital Grant in excess of £5,000 shall before payment, be subject to ratification by resolution of the council.
6.2. Following authorisation under Financial Regulation 5 above, the council, a duly delegated committee or, if so delegated, the Clerk or RFO shall give instruction that a payment shall be made.
The issue for you is that your panel isn't duly authorised. If it was, you'd have a piece of paper in your hand telling you what they can or can't do on your behalf.
If this situation persists, write to the internal auditor at the end of March expressing your concerns.