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what legislation dictates this

3 Answers

0 votes
If you are using the model Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, Standing Order 9b states that no motion may be moved at a meeting unless it is on the agenda and Financial Regulation 5.2 covers the procedure for authorising payments via the agenda.

This is one of the core principles of open and transparent government and relates to all decisions, not just financial ones.
answered by (15.9k points)
0 votes

In addition to the correct answer given by Dave the Clerk, you can find details of law cases that set precedents on this question at https://towncouncillor.com/2724/access-to-case-law

This principle does not affect the list of motions that can be put without notice. It can be found in the model standing orders, and reflects the statutes. The motions in this group are procedural and affect the conduct of the meeting rather than being decisions on practical matters beyond the meeting.

answered by (28.1k points)
Dave. Could you please explain for my benefit.  You say that a motion cannot be put unless it is on the Agenda. Does that have to be in an advised form of words i.e. on the agenda?  I ask this as we quite often have items on the agenda out of which comes an "it was resolved" decision . Is there a difference between a motion and a resolution  and can you have one without the other ? As an example we would have an item say "to consider the report of the proposed new Scout hut" which was minuted "it was resolved that the PC would support the project up to £5k providing match funding was forthcoming". This seems a basic question and something I have never considered before. My view is that motions give all Cllrs time to consider whereas resolutions are often made on the basis of who shouts loudest. Para 10 appears to indicate the reasons behind motions not requiring written notice but they don't include making definitive decisions about agenda items. Just need things spelling out
0 votes

Our Chair persistently authorises payments using the discretion afforded to him in the Financial Regulations. These range from paying his window cleaner to clean our bus shelter to buying a picture for the local history society. These are never discussed until they appear in the list of expenditures at the following meeting. I have queried on each occasion whether this was a correct use of the discretion but am advised by the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the Clerk that it is.

I was particularly hurt at the last meeting when we were discussing paying for an item in the meeting. The Vice-Chair suggested that the Chair didn't need to put it to the vote as he could use his discretion. The Chair turned to the Vice-Chair and muttered (but loud enough for me and parishioners to hear) "Don't go there, you know where that leads..". 

I am now considering resigning as we only have a small precept and I am not comfortable with the Chair's use of his discretion over this.

answered by (690 points)
As I understand it, the discretion relates to authorising payments only. That is not the same as authorising expenditure. The council (or a committee or a delegated officer) must make decisions on expenditure. The procedure you describe appears unlawful and could be referred to the auditors.

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