Who can check the legality of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations?

0 votes
We're trying to implement new Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.  Our unqualified Clerk is saying we must wait until we have had the opinion of our local association of Town Councils.  I'm not convinced that the officers of the local association have any special qualifications in this area and I'm not sure of their status beyond being a source of advice.  But who is the final arbiter of whether Standing Orders and Financial Regulations are acceptable from a legal point of view?  Can there be other grounds for rejecting these documents e.g. if they are ambiguous?
asked by (690 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
The local association will probably just refer you to the NALC model standing orders and financial regulations.  In these documents, all legally required statements are highlighted in bold and councils have to include them.  Those in plain type can be amended to suit the council.  It shouldbe noted that the model policies are written by a legal team at NALC and therefore should be adopted by your parish council.  Your local association has no final say over the matter on this one, unless they have a solicitor on board who is qualified to check legalities.
answered by (5.9k points)
The Standing Orders and Financial Regulations have indeed been based on the NALC model standing orders and the items in bold have been included without amendment.  So what can possibly go wrong? Well the Clerk says that the local association of parish and town councils "is responsible for the governance of parish and town councils at a local level..... unless there is a CiLCA qualified member amongst you, you have no right to amend these documents of your own volition. It will be necessary for a suitably qualified person to check them before being proposed for adoption."
It appears that your Clerks views are just plain wrong. The Clerk, CiLCA qualified or not, is the 'Proper Officer' of the authority and has a responsibility to guide the council in decisions including those on adoption of policies.  Associations of Local Councils can advise but it is for council Members to decide.

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