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Is retrospective approval allowed?

0 votes
The clerk is asking our Finance Committee to approve two items, which technically are outside their remit, and then ask for retrospective approval from full Council.

The two items are needed quite quickly and as the next meeting at the start of May is our Annual Town Council meeting we cannot(?) discuss them then. The two items are: to upgrade our broadband which will entail a change to our standing order payment. She is struggling with online meetings as the current broadband is not fibre! The second is to buy new containers for the floral displays we provide annually. We have a contract but the needed containers will be a one off additional payment. The contractor would like to have them before June in order to get them ready. The total amount is approx £800, which should go to full council.

I agree that the items are both needed and before they can be taken to the June full meeting but can also see that once they are approved by Finance Committee 'retrospective approval' by full Council is pointless. You can't undo it!
asked by (850 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Ideally no, however, there are a number of caveats

A) Covid-19, Council's were given the power to delegate substantial powers to the Clerk for decision making and spending.

B) Most standing orders allow the Clerk to make purchases upto £500 with retrospective approval on the basis of immediate need. Larger councils may have larger amounts.

But ideally replacement spending e.g  flower pots should, ideally, be planned spending
answered by (8.2k points)
Agreed (a) & (b) and that these sound very much like ‘routine’ items of business rather than ‘urgent.’

Do you always skip a TC meeting because you have an annual meeting? Why not just open, do the business of ATM then close it and then open a TC meeting, conduct business then close it. Both are separate meetings and it would save having to ‘miss’ a periodic May TC meeting every 4 years.
Or maybe just an extraordinary meeting after ATM with just those items on the agenda?
We would typically have two meetings on the same night the Annual meeting of the Parish at 6:30pm and the AGM at 7:15PM.

We run our AGM agenda first (election of chair, Committee memberships etc) and then run straight into normal bi-monthly business.

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