First published July 2001
15th revision November 2006
CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNCIL
NB: Each Part contains its own sequence of page numbers.
To print individual pages, please go to file then print and type into the pages field (see page
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e.g. if you want pages 2-5 of Section 5, you type p2s5-p5s5.
PART 1: SUMMARY AND EXPLANATION ........................................................................... 4
THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION .............................................................................................. 5
WHAT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION? ........................................................................................... 5
HOW THE COUNCIL OPERATES................................................................................................ 6
HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE ..................................................................................................... 6
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ...................................................................................................... 6
AREA COMMITTEES .................................................................................................................... 7
THE COUNCIL’S STAFF ............................................................................................................... 7
CITIZENS’ RIGHTS ....................................................................................................................... 7
PART 2: ARTICLES OF THE CONSTITUTION .................................................................... 1
ARTICLE 1 – THE CONSTITUTION ............................................................................................ 2
ARTICLE 2 – MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL (COUNCILLORS) ............................................. 3
ARTICLE 3 - CITIZENS AND THE COUNCIL ............................................................................ 5
ARTICLE 4 - THE COUNCIL ........................................................................................................ 6
ARTICLE 5 - THE MAYOR ........................................................................................................... 8
ARTICLE 6 - OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ............................................................................... 9
ARTICLE 7 - POLICY AND REGULATORY COMMITTEES ................................................. 11
ARTICLE 8 - THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE ....................................................................... 12
ARTICLE 9 - AREA COMMITTEES ........................................................................................... 13
ARTICLE 10 - JOINT ARRANGEMENTS .................................................................................. 14
ARTICLE 11 - OFFICERS ............................................................................................................ 15
ARTICLE 12 - DECISION MAKING........................................................................................... 18
ARTICLE 13 - FINANCE, CONTRACTS AND LEGAL MATTERS ........................................ 19
ARTICLE 14 - REVIEW AND REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION ..................................... 20
ARTICLE 15 - SUSPENSION, INTERPRETATION AND PUBLICATION OF THE
CONSTITUTION .......................................................................................................... 21
SCHEDULE 1: DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS ............................... 22
PART 3: RESPONSIBILITY FOR FUNCTIONS ..................................................................... 1
(a) DIAGRAM OF COMMITTEE STRUCTURE ................................................................... 2
(b) MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS OF COMMITTEES ................................................... 3
(c) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF POLICY COMMITTEES ................................................. 4
(i) Environment ......................................................................................................................... 4
(ii) Strategy and Resources ........................................................................................................ 4
(iii) Leisure .................................................................................................................................. 5
(iv) Social .................................................................................................................................... 5
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(d) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE ..................................... 6
(e) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE AND LICENSING
HEARINGS SUB-COMMITTEE ................................................................................... 7
(f) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE ..................................... 9
(g) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE ............................... 10
(h) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF ADVISORY PANELS .................................................... 11
(i) Human Resources ............................................................................................................... 11
(ii) Financial Policy .................................................................................................................. 11
(iii) Health Liaison .................................................................................................................... 11
(i) JOINT ARRANGEMENTS: NONSUCH PARK JOINT MANAGEMENT
COMMITTEE ................................................................................................................ 12
(j) CORE JOB DESCRIPTION: THE ROLE OF THE BOROUGH COUNCILLOR IN
EPSOM & EWELL ....................................................................................................... 13
(k) SCHEME OF DELEGATION TO OFFICERS ................................................................ 15
PART 4: RULES OF PROCEDURE .......................................................................................... 1
(a) COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE (STANDING ORDERS) ...................................... 2
(b) ACCESS TO INFORMATION PROCEDURE RULES .................................................. 25
(c) BUDGET AND POLICY FRAMEWORK PROCEDURE RULES................................. 32
(d) OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES ................................................. 34
(e) FINANCIAL REGULATIONS ......................................................................................... 40
(f) CONTRACT STANDING ORDERS................................................................................ 63
(g) OFFICER EMPLOYMENT PROCEDURE RULES ........................................................ 74
PART 5: CODES AND PROTOCOLS ....................................................................................... 1
(a) CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS AND CO-OPTED MEMBERS ........................ 2
General Provisions ...................................................................................................................... 2
Interests ....................................................................................................................................... 4
(b) OFFICERS’ CODE OF CONDUCT ................................................................................... 8
(c) PROTOCOL FOR MANAGING MEMBER/OFFICER RELATIONS ........................... 15
(d) CODE OF CONDUCT AND PRACTICE IN LICENSING PROCEDURES AND
HEARINGS ................................................................................................................... 20
(e) CODE OF CONDUCT ON PLANNING MATTERS ...................................................... 30
Additional explanatory guidance on probity in relation to planning matters ........................... 40
(f) WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY ....................................................................................... 44
PART 6: COUNCILLORS’ ALLOWANCES SCHEME ......................................................... 1
PART 7: MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE ................................................................................. 1
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PART 1: SUMMARY AND EXPLANATION
THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION …5
WHAT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION? …6
HOW THE COUNCIL OPERATES …6
HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE …6
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY …6
AREA COMMITTEES …7
THE COUNCIL’S STAFF …7
CITIZENS’ RIGHTS …7
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THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has agreed a constitution which sets out how the Council
operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are
efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by
the law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose.
The Constitution is divided into l5 Articles which set out the basic rules governing the Council’s
business. More detailed procedures and codes of practice are provided in separate rules and
protocols at the end of the document.
The Constitution derives from the Council’s decision, after extensive consultation, to adopt what
are called ‘Alternative arrangements’ as its form of governance under the Local Government Act
2000. In essence, this is a streamlined committee system preserving the opportunity for all
Councillors to be directly involved in decision-making.
WHAT IS IN THE CONSTITUTION?
Article 1 of the Constitution commits the Council to providing clear leadership to the
community, actively involving citizens in decision-making and helping Councillors represent
their constituents more effectively.
Articles 2 to 15 explain the rights of citizens and how the key parts of the Council operate.
Members of the Council (Councillors) (Article 2)
Citizens and the Council (Article 3)
The Council (Article 4)
The Mayor (Article 5)
Overview and Scrutiny (Article 6)
Policy and Regulatory Committees (Article 7)
Standards Committee (Article 8)
Area Committees (Article 9)
Joint arrangements (Article 10)
Officers (Article 11)
Decision making (Article 12)
Finance, contracts and legal matters (Article 13)
Review and revision of the Constitution (Article 14)
Suspension, interpretation and publication of the Constitution (Article 15)
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HOW THE COUNCIL OPERATES
The Council is composed of 38 Councillors elected every four years. The overriding duty of
Councillors is to the whole community in the Borough, but they have a duty and democratic
accountability to their constituents in their Ward, including those who did not vote for them.
Councillors have to agree to follow a code of conduct to ensure high standards in the way they
undertake their duties. The Standards Committee advises them on the code of conduct and is
responsible for arranging training.
All Councillors meet together as the Council. Meetings of the Council are normally open to the
public. Here, Councillors decide the Council’s overall policies and set the budget each year;
settle the Council’s main plans, like the Corporate Plan, or the Best Value Performance Plan;
approve the Council’s contribution as a partner to the Community Strategy; and resolve any
issues which would normally be decided by committees or officers except for their controversial
HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE
Decisions are made by the Council or by committees or senior officers of the Council under
delegated authority. The Council has four policy committees responsible respectively for
strategy (including the Community Strategy) and budget formulation; the environment; leisure;
and social issues. In addition, the Planning Committee deals with planning applications and
related matters. The Licensing Committee deals with licensing matters.
Occasionally, a sub-committee will be set up for a specific purpose and time period but
otherwise any working groups and panels will only have advisory functions - the committees
referred to above will normally be the only ones making decisions.
Meetings of the Council’s committees, sub-committees and panels are publicised well in advance
and are open to the public except where personal or confidential matters are being discussed.
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
There is a Scrutiny Committee which supports the work of the policy committees and the
Council as a whole. It reports to the Council. It allows citizens to participate in investigating
matters of local interest. This can lead to reports and recommendations which advise the policy
committees and the Council as a whole on its policies, budget and service delivery. Sometimes,
it or another Committee or Panel will also examine the activities of other public bodies whose
actions affect the well-being of the community.
The Scrutiny Committee also monitors the decisions of the policy committees and can ‘call-in’ a
decision which has been made but not yet implemented. This enables it to consider whether the
decision is appropriate and may lead to a recommendation that the relevant committee or the
Council should reconsider the decision.
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The Committee may be consulted by policy committees on forthcoming decisions and the
development of policy although in most cases the policy committees will develop their own
policy. The Scrutiny Committee is responsible for ensuring that the Council complies with its
duties concerning Best Value, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1999. It scrutinises
the Council’s financial and audit arrangements and must ensure that suitable arrangements are
made to manage performance and deliver priorities.
The Council does not have Area Committees but has the power to create these in the future,
following public consultation on their number, composition, function and delegated financial
authority. It will only do this if it is satisfied that it will improve services and lead to more
efficient, transparent and accountable decision-making.
THE COUNCIL’S STAFF
The Council employs staff, by convention known as Local Government ‘Officers’, to give
advice, implement decisions and manage the day-to-day delivery of its services. Some officers
have a specific duty to ensure that the Council acts within the law and uses its resources wisely.
The protocol set out in Part 5 governs the relationships between Councillors and officers.
Citizens have a number of rights in connection with their dealings with the Council. These are
set out in more detail in Article 3. Some of these are legal rights. Others depend on the
Council’s own processes and can be amended or extended by decision of the Council. The local
Citizens’ Advice Bureau can advise on individuals’ legal rights.
Citizens have the right to:
vote at local elections, if they are registered;
contact their local Councillor(s) about any matters of concern to them;
obtain a copy of the Constitution;
attend meetings of the Council and its committees except where, for example,
personal or confidential matters are being discussed;
inspect agendas and reports except where, for example, a report has been written
about a confidential matter;
petition to request a referendum on a mayoral form of executive;
speak at committees – see Council Procedure Rule No. 35.
complain to the Council under its internal complaints process;
complain to the Local Government Ombudsman if they think the Council has not
followed its procedures properly - however, they should only do this after raising
the complaint with the Council and giving the Council a chance to respond.
complain to the Standards Board for England if they have evidence which they
think shows that a Councillor has not followed the Council’s Code of Conduct;
inspect the Council’s accounts and make their views known to the external
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Where members of the public use specific Council services they may have additional rights.
These are not covered in this Constitution. The Council will also provide further opportunities
for involvement through consultation and through invitations to participate in working groups or
A statement of the rights of citizens to inspect agendas and reports and attend meetings is
available at the Council’s offices.
The Council welcomes participation by the Borough’s citizens in its work. For further
information on your rights as a citizen, please contact the Council’s Head of Committee
Services. (01372 732000).
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PART 2: ARTICLES OF THE CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 1 – THE CONSTITUTION …2
ARTICLE 2 – MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL (COUNCILLORS) …3
ARTICLE 3 - CITIZENS AND THE COUNCIL …5
ARTICLE 4 - THE COUNCIL …6
ARTICLE 5 - THE MAYOR …8
ARTICLE 6 - OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY …9
ARTICLE 7 - POLICY AND REGULATORY COMMITTEES …11
ARTICLE 8 - THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE …12
ARTICLE 9 - AREA COMMITTEES …13
ARTICLE 10 - JOINT ARRANGEMENTS …14
ARTICLE 11 - OFFICERS …15
ARTICLE 12 - DECISION-MAKING …18
ARTICLE 13 - FINANCE, CONTRACTS AND LEGAL MATTERS …19
ARTICLE 14 - REVIEW AND REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION …20
ARTICLE 15 - SUSPENSION, INTERPRETATION AND PUBLICATION …21
OF THE CONSTITUTION
SCHEDULE 1: DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS …22
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ARTICLE 1 – THE CONSTITUTION
1.1 The Constitution
This Constitution, and all its appendices, is the Constitution of the Epsom and Ewell
Borough Council (hereafter ‘the Council’).
1.2 Powers of the Council
The Council will exercise all its powers and duties in accordance with the law and this
1.3 Purpose of the Constitution
The purpose of the Constitution is to:
1. enable the council to provide clear leadership to the community in partnership
with residents, businesses and other organisations;
2. support the active involvement of citizens in the process of local authority
3. help Councillors represent their constituents more effectively;
4. enable decisions to be taken efficiently, effectively and transparently, with due
regard to probity and equity;
5. create a powerful and effective means of holding decision-makers to public
6. ensure that no one will scrutinise a decision in which he or she was directly
7. ensure that those responsible for decision-making are clearly identifiable to local
people and that they explain the reasons for decisions;
8. provide a means of improving the delivery of services to the community.
1.4 Interpretation and Review of the Constitution
Where the Constitution permits the Council to choose between different courses of
action, the Council will seek to exercise that choice in the way that it thinks will most
closely achieve the purposes stated above. The Council will monitor and evaluate the
operation of the Constitution as set out in Article l4.
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ARTICLE 2 – MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL (COUNCILLORS)
2.1 Composition and Eligibility
(a) Composition. The Council comprises 38 Members, otherwise called Councillors.
Councillors will be elected by the voters of each ward in accordance with a
scheme drawn up by the Local Government Commission for England and
approved by the Secretary of State.
(b) Eligibility. Only registered voters of the Borough or those living or working
there will be eligible to hold the office of Councillor.
2.2 Election and Terms of Councillors
(a) Election. The regular election of Councillors will be held on the first Thursday
in May every four years (from 2003).
(b) Terms. The terms of office of Councillors will start on the fourth day after
being elected and will finish on the fourth day after the date of the next regular
2.3 Roles and Functions of all Councillors
(a) Key Roles. All Councillors will:
(i) collectively be the ultimate policy-makers and carry out the principal
strategic and corporate management functions, taking a Borough-wide
(ii) engage with and represent their communities, whose views they will bring
into the Council’s decision-making process and whose involvement and
participation they will actively encourage;
(iii) represent the interests of their ward and where necessary balance different
(iv) deal with individual casework and act as an advocate for constituents in
resolving particular concerns or grievances;
(v) be involved in decision-making;
(vi) be available to represent the Council on other bodies
(vii) maintain the highest standards of conduct and ethics, showing respect for
fellow Councillors, officers and the community.
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(b) Rights and Duties. Councillors will
(i) have such rights of access to such documents, information, land and
buildings of the Council as are necessary for the proper discharge of their
functions and in accordance with the law.
(ii) not make public any information which is confidential or exempt without
the consent of the Council or divulge information given in confidence to
anyone other than a Councillor or officer entitled to know it.
(iii) No Councillor can issue an order for works to be carried out by or on
behalf of the Council and nor can he/she, unless specifically authorised to
do so, claim any right to inspect or enter any land.
For these purposes, ‘confidential’ and ‘exempt’ information are defined in the
Access to Information Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.
(c) Job Description. A job description of the role of the Councillor in the Borough
is included in Part 3 of this Constitution.
Councillors will at all times observe the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and the
Councillor/Officer Protocol set out in Part 5 of this Constitution.
The Council is required to maintain and update a Register of Interests of its Members.
The Register is available for public inspection at the Council’s offices.
Councillors will be entitled to receive allowances in accordance with the Councillors’
Allowances Scheme set out in Part 6 of this Constitution.
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ARTICLE 3 - CITIZENS AND THE COUNCIL
3.1 Citizens’ Rights
Citizens have the following rights. Their rights to information and to participate are
explained in more detail in the Access to Information Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.
(a) Voting and Petitions. Citizens on the Register of Electors for the Borough have
the right to vote in elections and to sign a petition to request a referendum for a
form of Constitution with an elected Mayor. (A petition signed by 5% of those on
the Register of Electors requires the Council to hold such a referendum.)
(b) Information. Citizens have a right to:
(i) attend meetings of the Council and its committees, Sub-committees and
Advisory Panels except where confidential or exempt information is likely
to be disclosed, and the meeting is therefore held in private;
(ii) see reports and background papers, and any records of decisions made by
(iii) inspect the Council’s accounts and make their views known to the external
(c) Participation. Citizens have the right to submit petitions and, under Council
Procedure Rule No. 35, to speak at committee meetings.
(d) Complaints. Citizens have the right to complain to the:
(i) Council itself under its complaints scheme;
(ii) Local Government Ombudsman (either directly or through a Councillor)
after having first raised the complaint with the Council and given the
Council a chance to respond;
(iii) Standards Board for England about a breach of the Councillors’ Code of
3.2 Citizens’ Responsibilities
Citizens must not be violent, abusive or threatening to Councillors or officers in the
exercise of their rights set out in 3.1 or generally, and must not wilfully harm property
owned by the Council, Councillors or officers. The Council will in appropriate cases be
prepared to take action to protect its own rights and to support such action by its
Councillors or officers.
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ARTICLE 4 - THE COUNCIL
(a) Policy Framework. The policy framework includes the following plans and
CPA Improvement Plan
Best Value Performance Plan;
Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy;
Plans and strategies which together comprise the Development Plan
(principally, this is the Epsom and Ewell District Wide Local Plan);
Sustainable Development Strategy
Housing Strategy (including Housing Investment Programme)
Leisure (Cultural) Strategy
(b) Budget. The budget includes:
the allocation of financial resources to different services and projects;
any proposed contingency funds
setting the Council Tax
decisions relating to the control of the Council’s borrowing requirement
the control of capital expenditure
the setting of limits to the amounts by which committees and officers can
transfer expenditure between different budget head (virement)
4.2 Functions of the Council
Only the full Council will exercise the following functions:
(a) adopting and changing the Constitution;
(b) approving and adopting the Policy Framework and the Budget (see 4.1 above);
(c) agreeing and/or amending the terms of reference for committees, deciding on
their composition and making appointments to them;
(d) appointing representatives to outside bodies unless the appointment has been
delegated by the Council;
(e) delegating functions to other local authorities or their executives and deciding
whether or not to accept such a delegation from another local authority;
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(f) adopting an allowance scheme under Article 2.5;
(g) changing the name of the Borough;
(h) conferring the title of Honorary Alderman or Honorary Freeman;
(i) confirming the appointment of the Chief Executive;
(j) determining any delegation to officers which does not fall with the purview of any
(k) making, amending, revoking, re-enacting or adopting bylaws and promoting or
opposing the making of local legislation or personal bills;
(l) all other matters which by law must be reserved to Council.
4.3 Council Meetings
There are three types of Meetings of the full Council:
(a) the Annual Meeting;
(b) Ordinary Meetings;
(c) Extraordinary Meetings;
and they will be conducted in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules in Part 4 of
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ARTICLE 5 - THE MAYOR
5.1 Role and function of the Mayor
The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor will be elected by the Council annually.
The Mayor, and in his/her absence the Deputy Mayor, will be the first citizen of the
Borough and have the following roles and functions, to:
1. Uphold and promote the purposes of the Constitution, and to interpret the
Constitution when necessary;
2. Preside impartially over meetings of the Council so that its business can be
carried out efficiently and with regard to the rights of Councillors and the interests
of the community;
Should the Mayor wish, in exceptional circumstances, to take part in debate on
an issue before the Council, he/she should vacate the Chair for the whole of that
item in favour of the Deputy Mayor.
3. Ensure that Council meetings are a forum for the debate of matters of concern to
the local community;
4. Promote public involvement in the Council’s activities;
5. Attend such civic and ceremonial functions as the Council and/or he/she considers
6. Promote the Council as a whole and act as a focal point for the community.
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ARTICLE 6 - OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
The Council will appoint a Scrutiny Committee to discharge the scrutiny and review
functions conferred by Section 21 of the Local Government Act 2000 and regulations
made under Section 32 of the Local Government Act 2000 in relation to the following
local democracy and the achievement of effective, transparent and accountable
decision making by the Council;
the Council’s budget, the management of its budget, capital programme, revenue
borrowing and assets and its audit arrangements;
the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Borough;
the provision, planning, management and performance of all Council services;
the Council’s compliance with its duty concerning Best Value, in accordance with
the Local Government Act 1999.
6.2 Terms of Reference
The terms of reference for the Scrutiny Committee are set out in Part 3 of this
Constitution entitled ‘Responsibility for Functions’.
Within its terms of reference, the Scrutiny Committee will:
(i) review and/or scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the
discharge of any of the Council’s functions;
(ii) make reports and/or recommendations to the Council and/or any Committee in
connection with the discharge of any functions;
(iii) consider any matter affecting the area or its inhabitants,
(iv) exercise the right to call-in, for reconsideration, decisions made by any policy
committee but not yet implemented by any policy committee.
6.3 Annual reports
The Scrutiny Committee will report annually to the Council on its workings and make
recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods if
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The Scrutiny Committee will exercise overall responsibility for the work programme of
those officers whose function is wholly to support its work, and of other officers in so far
as they support that work.
6.5 Proceedings of Scrutiny Committee
The Scrutiny Committee will conduct its proceedings in accordance with the Overview
and Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution.
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ARTICLE 7 - POLICY AND REGULATORY COMMITTEES
7.1 Policy Committees
The Council will appoint four policy committees as follows:
Strategy and Resources
The functions attributed to those committees are set out in Part 3 of this Constitution
entitled ‘Responsibility for Functions’.
7.2 Regulatory Committees
The Council will appoint a Planning Committee, which will be responsible for dealing
with planning applications and related matters, and a Licensing Committee, which will be
responsible for issuing premises and personal Licences and for establishing a sub-
committee for the purpose of hearing appeals on both premises and vehicle licences.
The functions of these Committees are set out in Part 3 of this Constitution entitled
‘Responsibility for Functions’.
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ARTICLE 8 - THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE
8.1 Standards Committee
The Council will have a Standards Committee with a lay Chairman.
(a) Membership. The Standards Committee will comprise:
at least two people who are not Councillors or officers of the Council or
any other body having a Standards Committee (the lay Members) one of
whom shall be the Chairman of the Committee.
(b) The Lay Members. The Lay Members (i.e. non-Councillors) will be entitled to
vote at meetings of the Committee. The Chairman may present the
recommendations of the Committee to the Council as provided for in the
Council’s Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.
8.3 Roles and Functions
The Standards Committee will have at least the following roles and functions:
(a) promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by councillors;
(b) assisting councillors by advice and training to observe the Councillors’ Code of
(c) advising the Council on the adoption or revision of the Councillors’ Code of
(d) monitoring the operation of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct;
(e) granting dispensation to councillors from requirements relating to interests set out
in the Councillors’ Code of Conduct;
(f) dealing with any reports from a case tribunal or interim case tribunal, and any
report from the monitoring officer on any matter which is referred by an Ethical
Standards Officer of the Standards Board for England to the Monitoring Officer.
The detailed terms of reference for the Standards Committee are set out in Part 3 of this
Constitution entitled ‘Responsibility for Functions’.
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ARTICLE 9 - AREA COMMITTEES
9.1 Area Committees
The Council may appoint Area Committees as it sees fit, if it is satisfied that to do so will
ensure improved service delivery in the context of Best Value and more efficient,
transparent and accountable decision making.
In the event that the Council decides after consultation to create any Area Committee (s)
it will include within a Scheme approved for that purpose provision for their form,
composition and function; for the avoidance of conflicts of interest through membership
of other committees; and for access to information.
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ARTICLE 10 - JOINT ARRANGEMENTS
10.1 Arrangements to Promote Well-being
The Council, in order to promote the economic, social or environmental well-being of its
area may, subject to the other provisions of this Constitution:
(a) enter into arrangements or agreements with any person or body;
(b) co-operate with, or facilitate or coordinate the activities of any person or body;
(c) exercise on behalf of that person or body any functions of that person or body.
10.2 Joint Arrangements
(a) The Council may establish joint arrangements with one or more local authorities
to exercise functions of any of the participating authorities or advise the Council.
Such arrangements may involve the appointment of a Joint Committee with these
other local authorities.
(b) Details of any joint arrangements, including any delegations to Joint Committees,
will be found in Part 3 of this Constitution.
10.3 Access to Information
(a) The Access to Information Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution apply.
(b) If the Joint Committee contains Councillors who are not on the executive of any
participating local authority then the access to information rules in Part VA of the
Local Government Act 1972 will apply.
10.4 Delegation to and from other local authorities
(a) The Council may delegate functions to another local authority or, in certain
circumstances, the executive of another local authority and also accept such a
delegation from another local authority.
(b) The decision whether or not to delegate functions to another local authority or to
accept such a delegation from another local authority shall be reserved to the
10.5 Contracting Out
The Council may contract out to another body or organisation functions which may be
exercised by an officer and which are subject to an order under Section 70 of the
Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, or under contracting arrangements where
the contractor acts as the Council’s agent under usual contracting principles, provided
there is no delegation of the Council’s discretionary decision making.
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ARTICLE 11 - OFFICERS
NOTE: ‘Officers’ means all employees and staff engaged by the Council to carry out its
11.1 Management Structure
(a) General. The Council may engage such officers as it considers necessary to
carry out its functions.
(b) Directors. The Council will engage persons for the following posts, who will be
designated Directors, with the statutory responsibilities shown in the left-hand
column below and the portfolios set out in the right hand column alongside their
wider strategic responsibilities.
Post Areas of Responsibility
Chief Executive Overall corporate management and operational
(Head of Paid Service) responsibility (including overall management
responsibility for all officers)
Provision of professional advice to all political
groups and individual Councillors
Together with the Monitoring Officer,
responsibility for a system of record keeping
for all the Council’s decisions
Representing the Council on partnership and
external bodies (as required by statute or the
Director of Finance Audit, Accountancy and Revenues
(Chief Finance Officer)
The Council will, in addition, appoint such other Directors as it may from time to
time deem necessary, which posts are set out in Part 7 of this Constitution.
(c) Head of Paid Service, Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring Officer. The
Council will designate the following post in addition to those shown in (b) above:
Chief Solicitor and Property Monitoring Officer
The posts will have the functions described in Article 11.2 to 11.4 below.
(d) Structure. The Chief Executive will determine and publicise a description of the
overall departmental structure of the Council showing the management structure
and deployment of officers. This is set out at Part 7 of this Constitution.
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11.2 Functions of the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service)
Discharge of Functions by the Council. The Chief Executive will report to the Council
on the manner in which the discharge of the Council’s functions is coordinated, the
number and grade of officers proposed for the discharge of functions and the organisation
11.3 Functions of Director of Finance (Chief Finance Officer)
(a) Ensuring lawfulness and financial prudence of decision making. After
consulting the Chief Executive and the Monitoring Officer, the Director of
Finance will report to the Council and the Council’s external auditor if he or she
considers that any proposal, decision or course of action will involve incurring
unlawful expenditure, or is unlawful and is likely to cause a loss or deficiency or
if the Council is about to enter an item of account unlawfully.
(b) Administration of financial affairs. The Director of Finance will have
responsibility for the administration of the financial affairs of the Council.
(c) Contributing to corporate management. The Director of Finance will
contribute to the corporate management of the Council, in particular through the
provision of professional financial advice.
(d) Providing advice. The Director of Finance will provide advice on the scope of
powers and authority to take decisions, maladministration, financial impropriety
and probity to all Councillors and will support and advise Councillors and officers
in their respective roles.
(e) Giving financial information. The Director of Finance will provide financial
information to the media, members of the public and the community.
11.4 Functions of the Monitoring Officer
(a) Maintaining an up-to-date Constitution. The Monitoring Officer will ensure
that an up-to-date version of the Constitution is maintained and will ensure that it
is available to Councillors, staff and the public.
(b) Ensuring lawfulness and fairness of decision making. After consulting the
Chief Executive and Director of Finance, the Monitoring Officer has a duty, by
virtue of Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, to report to
the Council if he or she considers that any proposal, decision or omission would
give rise to unlawfulness or if any decision or omission has given rise to
maladministration. Such a report will have the effect of stopping the proposal or
decision being implemented until the report has been considered by the Council.
(c) Supporting the Standards Committee. The Monitoring Officer will contribute
to the promotion and maintenance of high standards of conduct through provision
of support to the Standards Committee.
(d) Receiving reports. The Monitoring Officer will receive and act upon reports
made by Ethical Standards Officers and decisions of the Case Tribunals.
(e) Conducting Investigations. The Monitoring Officer will conduct investigations
into matters referred by the Standards Board for England through their Ethical
Standards Officers (investigating officers) and make reports or recommendations
in respect of them to the Standards Committee.
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(f) Access to Information. The Monitoring Officer will ensure that decisions,
together with the reasons for those decisions and relevant officer reports and
background papers, are made publicly available as soon as possible.
(g) Providing Advice. The Monitoring Officer will provide advice on the scope of
powers and authority to take decisions, maladministration, financial impropriety
and probity to all Councillors and will support and advise Councillors and officers
in their respective roles.
11.5 Provision of sufficient resources to the Chief Executive, Director of Finance and
The Council will provide the Chief Executive, the Director of Finance and the
Monitoring Officer with such officers, accommodation and other resources as are in their
opinion sufficient to allow their duties to be performed.
Officers will comply with the Officers’ Code of Conduct and the Councillor/Officer
Protocol set out in Part 5 of this Constitution.
The recruitment, selection and dismissal of officers will comply with the Officer
Employment Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution.
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ARTICLE 12 - DECISION MAKING
12.1 Responsibility for decision-making
The Council will issue and keep up to date a record of what part of the Council or which
individual has responsibility for particular types of decisions or decisions relating to
particular areas or functions. This record is set out in Part 3 in this Constitution.
12.2 Principles of Decision Making
All decisions of the Council will be made in accordance with the following principles:
(a) clarity of aims and desired outcomes;
(b) proportionality (i.e. the action must be proportionate to the desired outcome);
(c) due consultation and the taking of professional advice from officers and/or
appropriate qualified consultants;
(d) respect for human rights;
(e) a presumption in favour of openness.
12.3 Decision making by the Council
Subject to Article 12.6 the Council meeting will follow the Council Procedure Rules set
out in Part 4 of this Constitution when considering any matter.
12.4 Decision making by Scrutiny Committee
The Scrutiny Committee will follow the Overview and Scrutiny Procedures Rules set out
in Part 4 of this Constitution when considering any matter.
12.5 Decision making by other committees and sub-committees
Subject to Article 12.6, other Council committees and sub-committees will follow those
parts of the Council Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution which apply to
12.6 Decision making by Council bodies acting as tribunals
The Council, a committee, a sub-committee or an officer acting as a tribunal or in a quasi
judicial manner or determining/considering (other than for the purposes of giving advice)
the civil rights and obligations or the criminal responsibility of any person will follow a
proper procedure which accords with the requirements of natural justice and the right to a
fair trial contained in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
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ARTICLE 13 - FINANCE, CONTRACTS AND LEGAL MATTERS
13.1 Financial Management
The management of the Council’s financial affairs will be conducted in accordance with
the Financial Regulations set out in Part 4 of this Constitution.
Every contract made by the Council will comply with the Financial Standing Orders
(including Standing Orders relating to Contracts) set out in Part 4 of this Constitution.
13.3 Legal Proceedings
The Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager is authorised to institute, defend or
participate in any legal proceedings in any case where such action is necessary to give
effect to decisions of the Council or in any case where he/she considers that such action
is necessary to protect the Council’s interests.
13.4 Custody of Seal
The Common Seal of the Council shall be kept in some safe place and shall be secured by
a lock and the keys shall be kept in some safe place by the Chief Solicitor and Property
13.5 Sealing of Documents
(a) The Common Seal of the Council shall not be affixed to any document unless the
sealing has been authorised by a resolution of the Council or of a committee to
which the Council has delegated its powers in this behalf, but a resolution of the
Council (or of a committee where that committee has the power) authorising the
acceptance of any tender, the purchase, sale, letting, or taking of any property, the
issue of any stock, the presentation of any petition, memorial, or address, the
making of any rate or contract, or any other matter or thing, shall be a sufficient
authority for sealing any document necessary to give effect to the resolution.
(b) The seal shall be attested by the Mayor (or Deputy Mayor) and the Chief
Executive (or Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager) and an entry of
every sealing of a document shall be made and consecutively numbered in a book
to be provided for the purpose and shall be signed by the persons who shall have
attested the seal.
13.6 Signature of Documents
Where any document will be a necessary step in legal proceedings on behalf of the
Council it shall, unless any enactment otherwise requires or authorises or unless the
Council or a committee, or Sub-committee to which the Council has delegated its powers,
has given the necessary authority to some other person for the purpose of such
proceedings, be signed by the Chief Executive or the Chief Solicitor and Property
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ARTICLE 14 - REVIEW AND REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION
14.1 Duty to monitor and review the Constitution
The Monitoring Officer will ensure that the operation of the Constitution is monitored
and reviewed to ensure that the aims and principles of the Constitution are given full
effect and will report to the Council on this at least once every year.
14.2 Changes to the Constitution
(a) Approval. Changes to the Constitution will only be approved by the Council
after consideration of a proposal from the Chief Executive or the Monitoring
Officer or by way of Councillors proposing a motion on notice in accordance with
the Council Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution.
(b) Change from alternative arrangements to a form of executive. If at any time
the Council decides to change from alternative arrangements, it must take
reasonable steps to consult local electors and other interested persons in the
Borough when drawing up proposals.
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ARTICLE 15 - SUSPENSION, INTERPRETATION AND PUBLICATION OF THE
15.1 Suspension of the Constitution
(a) Limit to suspension. The Articles of this Constitution may not be suspended.
The Rules specified below may be suspended by the Council or committees to the
extent permitted within those Rules and the law.
(b) Procedure to suspend. A motion to suspend any Rules will not be moved
without notice unless at least one half of the whole number of the Council or the
relevant committee are present. The extent and duration of suspension will be
proportionate to the result to be achieved, taking account of the purposes of the
Constitution set out in Article 1.
(c) Rules capable of suspension. The following Rules may be suspended in
accordance with Article 15.1:
The Council Procedure Rules (as specified in those Rules)
Financial Procedure Rules
Contract Procedure Rules
The ruling of the Mayor as to the construction or application of this Constitution or as to
any proceedings of the Council shall not be challenged at any meeting of the Council.
Such interpretation will have regard to the purposes of this Constitution contained in
Article 1, and to any advice given by the Chief Executive.
(a) The Chief Executive will give a printed copy of this Constitution to each
Councillor upon delivery to him/her of that individual’s declaration of acceptance
of office on the Councillor first being elected to the Council.
(b) The Chief Executive will ensure that copies are available for inspection at
Council offices, libraries and other appropriate locations, and can be purchased by
members of the local press and the public on payment of a reasonable fee.
(c) The Chief Executive will ensure that the summary of the Constitution is made
widely available, in print and by electronic means, within the Borough and is
updated as necessary.
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SCHEDULE 1: DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS
The following parts of this Constitution constitute the alternative arrangements:
1. Article 6 (Overview and Scrutiny), the terms of reference for the Scrutiny Committee set
out in Part 3 and the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules;
2. Article 7 (Policy and Regulatory Committees), and in particular Article 7.1 and the terms
of reference for those Committees set out in Part 3.
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PART 3: RESPONSIBILITY FOR FUNCTIONS
(a) DIAGRAM OF COMMITTEE STRUCTURE …2
(b) MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS OF COMMITTEES …3
(c) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF POLICY COMMITTEES …4
(i) Environment ..4
(ii) Strategy and Resources ..5
(iii) Leisure ..5
(iv) Social ..5
(d) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE …6
(e) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE AND …7
(f) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE …9
(g) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE …10
(h) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF ADVISORY PANELS …11
(i) Human Resources ..11
(ii) Financial Policy ..11
(iii) Health Liaison ..11
(i) JOINT ARRANGEMENTS: NONSUCH PARK JOINT MANAGEMENT …12
(j) CORE JOB DESCRIPTION: THE ROLE OF THE BOROUGH …13
COUNCILLOR IN EPSOM & EWELL
(k) SCHEME OF DELEGATION TO OFFICERS …15
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(a) DIAGRAM OF COMMITTEE STRUCTURE
Planning Licensing Environment Leisure Social
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(b) MEMBERSHIP AND MEETINGS OF COMMITTEES
Because of the nature of the business, the Planning and Licensing Committees have thirteen
members – allowing representation from every Ward. Other committees have fewer members to
facilitate the transaction of business, but the right of any Councillor to refer decisions to Council
is maintained in the Council Procedure Rules (Standing Orders) set out in Part 4 of this
The total number of members of committees will be as follows: -
Strategy and Resources 10
Standards 4 (+ 2 lay members)
Scrutiny Committee members may not sit on any of the Policy Committees. They may therefore
only be members of the Planning, Licensing or Standards Committee.
In addition to the main committees, the Council may set up time-limited sub-committees for
specific purposes. Currently there are two such sub-committees, the Local Plans Sub-
Committee, which has nine members, with representation from all relevant committees and the
Telecommunications Masts Sub-Committee, which has six members.
The Council currently has three standing advisory panels which will report as required to the
appropriate committee as set out in their Terms of Reference. Two of the panels have specific
partnership roles and will include those partners in their regular meetings. The third is to provide
advice on the corporate financial framework and policy-making and will include in its
membership the Chairmen of all four policy committees, with appropriate political balance.
Recommendations may be made by the panels to committees or directly to the Council. The
advisory panels and numbers of members on them are as follows:
Human Resources (NOTE: meeting with staff representatives will still 6
be designated as Joint Staff Committee)
Financial Policy 8
Health Liaison 6
Arrangements for Meetings
There will be four cycles of meetings in each municipal year – June/July; September -
December; January/February; March/April. Each committee and advisory panel will normally
meet once in each cycle of meetings and may arrange such special meetings as are necessary.
The Planning Committee will meet at least ten times per year.
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(c) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF POLICY COMMITTEES
In accordance with the Ambition and Key Priorities set by the Council in its Corporate Plan and
the targets set out in the Community Strategy (produced by the Council and its partners), the
principles of Best Value, and within the approved Budget and Policy Framework to: -
1. deal with all policy and operational matters, including statutory responsibilities;
2. develop its strategies and policies and put them to the Council for approval.
3. draw up Service Delivery Plans and revenue budgets, and develop proposals for capital
projects, and submit these to the Strategy and Resources Committee for recommendation
to Council where these form part of the corporate policy framework.
4. implement approved capital projects;
5. develop and maintain communication and consultation with the public, local businesses,
voluntary and other relevant organisations, and form partnerships and influence partners;
6. distribute grant aid or award rate relief in accordance with conditions laid down by
7. determine the level of delegation to officers;
in respect of the following subject areas:
(a) transportation policy
(b) land use policy statements and briefs for specific areas
(c) waste management refuse collection and recycling
(d) environmental improvement schemes
(e) litter and street cleansing
(f) highway matters that are the responsibility of the Borough Council
(g) land drainage
(h) public conveniences
(i) community safety
(ii) Strategy and Resources
(a) the Budget and Policy Framework, for submission to the Council
(b) the Council’s contribution to the Epsom and Ewell Community Plan
(c) the District-Wide Local Plan, the Local Development Framework and the
Council’s input to the Surrey Structure Plan, other local plans, Regional Plans and
government strategic documents.
NOTE: (c) will be dealt with through the Planning Policy Local Plans Sub-Committee.
(d) the Corporate Governance Framework (jointly with the Chairmen of Standards
and Scrutiny Committees)
(e) data quality and corporate risk management
(f) the local economy
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(g) emergency planning and business continuity
(h) the Council’s human resources, property assets and finances
(i) housing benefits administration
(j) Civic and ceremonial matters
(k) dealing (at first instance) with any matters of general policy which do not fall
within the terms of reference of any other committee and are not reserved to the
(a) the promotion of sport, leisure, cultural and recreational activities
(b) parks, open spaces and countryside (including Nonsuch Park JMC and Epsom and
(d) the Playhouse, Bourne Hall, Ewell Court House and the Ebbisham Centre
(e) the Rainbow Centre
(f) Bourne Hall Museum
(g) youth strategy
(a) housing strategy and investment programme
(b) housing standards, homelessness and advice, housing needs assessment
(c) housing benefit - welfare aspects
(d) private sector housing
(e) personal social services for the elderly and disabled
(f) environmental health
(g) health and safety
(h) cemeteries and churchyards
(i) gypsy site management
(j) budgetary matters in respect of licensing and vehicle licensing
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(d) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE
In accordance with the Ambition and Key Priorities set by Council and the Corporate Plan and
the targets set out in the Community Strategy (produced by the Council and its partners), the
principles of Best Value, and within the approved Budget and Policy Framework, to: -
1. deal with regulatory matters required by, and flowing from, Town and Country Planning
2. develop and maintain communication and consultation with the public, local businesses
and relevant organisations;
3. determine the level of delegation to officers.
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(e) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE LICENSING COMMITTEE AND
LICENSING HEARINGS SUB-COMMITTEE
The Council is responsible for issuing premises and personal licences.
The Committee may be required to determine contentious Public Entertainment and/or other
licence applications made under the existing legislation. The following Terms of Reference will
enable the Committee to discharge its duty both now and when the new legislation comes into
1. To consider and determine (or delegate to a sub-committee): Opposed and/or contentious
applications for the granting, renewal, transfer or revocation of Music and Dancing,
Theatre, Late Night Refreshment and Indoor sports Licences (NOTE: from November
2005 these licences will be replaced by a single licence in accordance with the provisions
of the Licensing Act 2003); made under the Licensing Act 2003 and/or applications
for review under the said Act.
2. To consider and determine (or delegate to a sub-committee): Opposed and/or
contentions applications made under the Gambling Act 2005 and/or applications for
review under the Gambling Act 2005
3. To consider and determine (or delegate to a sub-committee): Opposed and/or contentious
applications for the granting, renewal, transfer or revocation of cinematograph or sex
establishment licences and gaming permits;
4. To approve a licensing policy statement and gambling policy statement for
recommendation to the Council and to keep this under review in accordance with the
Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005 respectively;
5. To establish a licensing hearings sub-committee to undertake the administration of
applications made under the Licensing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2005 and to
hear vehicle licensing appeals.
6. To appoint four Members of the Committee to undertake the role of Chairman of the
LICENSING HEARINGS SUB-COMMITTEE
The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee will be formed of any three members of the Licensing
Committee, one of whom shall be the Chairman, selected from those designated to undertake the
role by the Licensing Committee. The three members appointed for any hearing shall be
selected by the officers in consultation with the Chairman of the Licensing Committee. Note:
Political balance requirements do not apply.
The Sub-Committee will be required to determine applications:
1. for a personal licence where an objection has been made
2. for a personal licence with unspent convictions
3. for premises licence where a representation has been made
4. for a club premises certificate where a representation has been made
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5. for a provisional statement where a representation has been made
6. to vary a premises licence/club premises certificate where a representation has been made
7. to vary designated premises supervisor if there is a police objection
8. for transfer of premises licence if there is a police objection
9. for interim authorities if there is a police objection
10. to review a premises licence/club premises certificate
11. Opposed and/or contentious applications for the granting, renewal, transfer or revocation
of gaming permits
12. Opposed and/or contentious applications for the granting, renewal, transfer or revocation
of sex establishment licences
13. Appeals against the refusal of vehicle licences.
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(f) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
In accordance with the Ambition and Key Priorities set by Council in its Corporate Plan and the
targets set out in the Community Strategy (produced by the Council and its partners), the
principles of Best Value, and within the approved Budget and Policy Framework, to: -
1. exercise the Council’s scrutiny and review functions in accordance with Article 6 of Part
2 of this Constitution and the Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in Part 4;
2. oversee compliance with the Council’s duties concerning Best Value;
3. exercise the functions of an audit committee, including monitoring the implementation of
recommendations from the external and internal auditors;
4. oversee the audit and governance frameworks, including the Statement of Internal
5. monitor progress on the Council’s Corporate Plan.
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(g) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE
1. To promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Members and Officers.
2. To monitor and review all the Codes of Conduct for Members and Officers and to
propose amendments to them to give effect to best practice and any changes in law.
3. To monitor, review and propose amendments to the Council’s Standing Orders.
4. To provide advice, guidance and training to Members and Officers on any matters within
the Terms of Reference of the Committee, and particularly the Codes of Conduct.
5. To investigate and/or determine allegations of breaches of the Members’ Code of
Conduct reported to it by the Monitoring Officer, following reference of the allegation to
that Officer by the Standards Board of England, or as otherwise appropriate.
6. If a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct is found, to resolve what action (if any)
should be taken against the Member concerned, and to either:
(a) censure the member
(b) restrict (for a maximum of three months) the member’s access to the premises of
the Authority and the use of resources of the Authority, provided that such
restrictions are reasonable and proportionate and that they do not unduly restrict
the member’s ability to perform their functions
(c) apply a partial or total suspension for a maximum of three months or until such
time as a written apology is submitted, or any training or conciliation specified by
the Standards Committee is undertaken.
7. To ensure that the general public are informed of the effectiveness of the Authority’s
encouragement and promotion of high ethical standards from Members and Officers.
8. To monitor and review the Council’s “whistle blowing” policies and to propose
amendments to them, as appropriate, and to monitor reported cases of fraud, corruption
9. To be responsible for liaison between the Council and external agencies, for example, the
Local Government Ombudsman and the District Auditor, in connection with any matter
relating to the Terms of Reference of the Committee.
10. To grant dispensation to members and co-opted members from requirements relating to
interests set out in the Members Code of Conduct.
11. To submit an annual report on the work of the Committee to the Council.
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(h) TERMS OF REFERENCE OF ADVISORY PANELS
In accordance with the Ambition and Key Priorities set by the Council in its Corporate Plan and
the targets set out in the Community Strategy (produced by the Council and its partners), the
principles of Best Value, and within the approved Budget and Policy Framework, to advise the
Council or its Committees or Sub-Committees on any matter relating to the following subject
(i) Human Resources
To consider, and where appropriate advise the Strategy and Resources Committee on:
(a) human resource policies and practices
(b) monitoring sickness absence, staff turnover, health and safety
In addition, the Human Resources Panel, meeting with staff representatives on the Joint
Staff Committee has the following functions: -
(a) to provide formal consultation and discussions between the Council and its staff
representatives on matters relating to pay, employee relations, terms and
conditions of employment, and training and development
(b) to consider any relevant matters referred to it by Management or Staff
representatives to seek to resolve differences of interpretation or
(ii) Financial Policy
1. To advise the Strategy and Resources Committee on:
(a) all matters relating to the Budget and Policy Framework;
(b) new legislation or government policy relating to local government finance;
(c) procurement strategy and those matters that have budget or procurement
implications for more than one committee;
(d) performance against key performance indicators.
2. To respond on behalf of the Strategy & Resources Committee to urgent
consultation requests from central or regional government.
(iii) Health Liaison
To consider, and where appropriate advise the Social Committee on:
(a) preparing, promoting and monitoring the Council’s Health Strategy in association
with National Health Service bodies, Social Services and the voluntary sector.
(b) providing leadership and liaising with NHS bodies, the County Council and other
agencies to promote the effective use of all resources and the delivery of best
value Health and Social Services to the community.
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(i) JOINT ARRANGEMENTS: NONSUCH PARK JOINT MANAGEMENT
Nonsuch Park is managed and maintained by a Joint Management Committee, comprising an
equal number of councillors from Epsom and Ewell and Sutton Borough Councils.
Chairmanship rotates between the two councils annually. The two councils fund, on an equal
basis, the running of the Park, after taking income into account.
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(j) CORE JOB DESCRIPTION: THE ROLE OF THE BOROUGH COUNCILLOR IN
EPSOM & EWELL
Councillors are volunteers and bring a wide variety of skills and experience to the job of being a
Councillor. The multi-member ward structure of the Council provides the opportunity for
individual Councillors to specialise and use their particular skills and experience, working as part
of a team for the benefit of the local community they represent, as well as the wider interest of
the Borough as a whole.
However, there is a core role which the community and the Council as a whole expect of all
Councillors. This job description sets out that role under the six headings below.
1. Representing the local Ward Community
Seeking, and listening to, the views of individuals, voluntary groups and
businesses within the ward and representing local ward community views.
Balancing conflicting views and expectations to present a considered view to the
Council or other agencies which have an impact on that community.
Informing the local community about the work of the Council and helping it to
take an informed view of the options that may be before the Council.
2. Representing Individuals and Groups
Helping individuals, groups and businesses, to secure the appropriate services of
Helping individuals and groups to articulate their needs and have their case or
their complaint heard, and when appropriate, presenting their case for them.
3. Representing the Whole Community
To take an overview of the needs and views of the whole community – residents,
voluntary groups and businesses together.
To balance long and short term needs and to promote the long term economic,
social and environmental well being of the Epsom and Ewell community as a
4. Representing the Council
Acting as an ambassador of the Council in the wider community to present its
ambition, its policies and its views.
Where appointed to a particular position as the Council’s representative on other
public or voluntary bodies, to represent and secure the Council’s policies through
influence and formal partnership working in those bodies.
Building and maintaining relationships with the Council’s partners.
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5. A Local Politician
To promote and represent the values and manifesto on the basis of which he/she
has been elected in the decision making arrangements of the Council.
To support any political group or party to which he/she may belong in order to
secure and maximise its support in local and other appropriate democratic
6. Managing the Council and its Services (The Committee Role)
As a member of the full Council, to set the Ambition and Key Priorities and to
monitor the performance of its Committees.
As a member of a Council committee, sub-committee or panel, to manage the
provision of the Council’s services to the Community, in accordance with the
Council’s Ambition and Key Priorities.
To review the Council’s performance in the provision of its policies and services
and identify opportunities to provide better value to the community.
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(k) SCHEME OF DELEGATION TO OFFICERS
Issued: July 2002, revised July 2005
Section (s) Powers Page
General Conditions G G1-7 17
Chief Executive & all Directors A, B A1 – 20 18 - 19
Chief Executive (& certain other Officers) A, B
General A 1 - 20 18 - 19
General B1 – 7 20
From Strategy and Resources Committee B8 – 21 20 - 21
Director of Human Resources C
From Strategy and Resources Committee C1 - 4 22
Chief Solicitor & Property Services Manager D
General D1 - 4 23
From Strategy and Resources Committee D5 – 12 23 - 24
From Leisure Committee D13 – 15 24
From Social Committee D16 – 17 24
From Planning Committee D18 – 20 24 - 25
From Environment Committee D21 - 22 25
Director of Finance E
From Strategy and Resources Committee E1 – 25 26 - 27
Head of Benefits or Head of Revenues E E26 27
Head of Revenues E E27 - 28 28
Assistant Benefit Manager E E29 28
Head of Policy F
From Leisure Committee F1 – 2 29
From Environment Committee F3 - 5 29
Head of Regulatory Services H
From Social Committee H1 – 6.3 30 - 31
H6.5 - 9 32 - 33
From Licensing Committee H6.4 32
From Environment Committee H 10 - 13 33
From Planning Committee H14 - 18 33
Head of Services I
From Environment Committee I1 - 3 34
Head of Streetcare Director of Operations J
From Environment Committee J1 - 4 35
Residual Highway Agency Powers J5 35
Support Services Manager and nominated Customer K
From Environment Committee K1 - 2 36
Head of Venues, Housing and Personal Services L
From Social Committee L1 - 10 37 - 38
From Strategy and Resources Committee L11 38
From Leisure Committee L12 - 15 38
Head of Planning Development Control M
From Planning Committee M1 - 22 39 - 41
Head of Planning Development Control & the Planning M23 41
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Head of Customer Services and designated Customer N
From Social Committee N1 42
From Environment Committee N2 - 3 42
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G1 Powers delegated to Officers shall be exercised in accordance with the Constitution and
Standing Orders and Financial Regulations of the Council.
G2 The exercise of any delegated powers involving expenditure shall be operative only
where provision has been made in the approved Annual Estimates for such expenditure.
G3 It shall be for each committee whose powers have been delegated to determine the extent
to which it is appropriate for action taken by or on behalf of an Officer in accordance
with delegated powers to be reported. Arrangements for the submission of reports to the
Committee shall in no way detract from the freedom of Members to ask questions
regarding action taken by an Officer in exercise of his/her delegated powers.
G4 Where the exercise of delegated powers involves technical or professional considerations
not within the sphere of competence of the Officer concerned, he/she shall consult the
appropriate professional or technical officer of the Council before authorising action.
G5 Before taking a decision under the delegated powers, an Officer may consult the
Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Committee, or, in lieu of exercising his/her delegated
power, whether or not after consultation with the chairman, an Officer may refer the
matter to the Committee and shall so refer any matter which raises an issue of policy.
G6 Before taking a decision under delegated powers on any matter which affects a particular
Ward or Wards, Officers should ensure that the relevant Ward Members are consulted,
other than as set out in Planning delegated powers M5 - M8.
G7 Unless a committee determines otherwise in regard to a specific delegated power, an
Officer to whom powers (other than the institution or conduct of legal proceedings) have
been delegated may authorise the exercise of those powers by other designated officers
responsible to him/her, provided that the designated Officer shall retain responsibility for
any action taken by any other officer so authorised to act in accordance with such
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE & ALL DIRECTORS
A1 To invite and accept quotations and tenders and to authorise expenditure in
accordance with Standing Orders relating to Contracts and Financial Regulations.
A2 To transfer sums from provisions made within the approved Capital Programme or
Revenue Budget, or savings made on one head of expenditure to another within the
same committee's Capital Programme or Budget, after consultation with the
Director of Finance, provided no change of policy is involved and the amount of
transfer does not exceed a limit of £5,000.
A3 To enter into agreements for the maintenance of equipment purchased by the
A4 To seek financial support for activities and special events through grant aid,
sponsorship and/or partnership arrangements.
A5 To recruit, select and appoint employees (including approval of relocation expenses
if appropriate) that are not the responsibility of a panel of Members, in association
with the Chief Executive or the Director of Human Resources
A6 To recruit, select and appoint additional temporary employees in association with
the Chief Executive or the Director of Human Resources where the expenditure can
be met from the approved estimates.
A7 To exercise discipline in accordance with the Council's disciplinary policies and
procedures, subject to the advice of the Director of Human Resources
A8 To authorise overtime working of weekly paid employees and staff below the
A9 To authorise the payment of wages and salaries in accordance with the Local
Scheme of Pay and Conditions of Service, subject to the advice of the Chief
Executive or Director of Human Resources on any question of their proper
interpretation and application.
A 10 To be responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all employees, in accordance
with the advice of the Safety Officer.
A 11 To authorise attendance of staff at such meetings, discussion groups, exhibitions,
conferences etc. which appear to be in the interests of the Council and where the
expenditure can be met from the approved estimates.
A 12 To appoint the Supervising Officer in contract documents and authorise him/her to
take action regarding defect and defaults in accordance with the procedures set out
in contract documents approved by the Council.
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE & ALL DIRECTORS (cont.)
Press and Publicity
A 13 To approve, after consultation with the appropriate Chairman, a statement to be
issued to the press on matters of public interest which have been considered by a
committee or sub-committee or which affect Council policy.
A 14 To respond and give comments to the press on administrative matters affecting the
Director’s own area of responsibility.
Legal - After consultation with the Chief Executive or Chief Solicitor and the
Chairman of the appropriate committee
A 15 To exercise powers of entry for the purposes of any statutory power insofar as those
powers relate to the function entrusted to that Director.
A 16 The appropriate Director to act on any matter within the terms of reference of any
committee where an urgent decision is necessary but which does not raise an issue
A 17 To respond to Government or other consultation documents after consultation with
the Chairman (or relevant Panel Members) if appropriate, on matters affecting
his/her committee, without reference to that committee if time does not permit
consideration by the Committee.
A 18 Plant and Equipment: To procure plant and equipment in connection with the
duties of committees as specified in their terms of reference, and in accordance with
Financial Regulations and Standing Orders relating to contracts.
A 19 Works of construction, maintenance, repair and alteration and associated
procurement of goods and services: To undertake such works to all buildings and
sites, garages, boundary walls and fences and other assets owned by the Council or
in which the Council has an interest, including the preparation of details of works,
invitation to tender and associated procurement of goods and services, in
accordance with Standing Orders relating to Contracts and Financial Regulations.
A 20 Works In default: To invite and accept quotations or tenders for such work in
accordance with Standing Orders relating to contracts and to report to a subsequent
meeting of the appropriate committee after carrying out of such works. To recover
such costs together with administration charges from the person in default.
A 21 Local Development Framework Core Strategy: To make minor changes
suggested by the Inspector during the Inquiry in consultation with a panel
consisting of any two of the Chairmen of Strategy & Resources, Environment,
Planning and Local Plans Sub-Committees.
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE (and certain other Officers)
B1 GENERAL DELEGATED POWERS IN RESPECT OF ALL COMMITTEES AND
SERVICES: All Directors to deal with matters delegated to the Chief Executive in his
absence, except for those matters reserved to the Chief Solicitor.
B2 Closure of public building/premises/sites: To close public buildings for an appropriate
period to enable maintenance or emergency works to be undertaken (after consultation
with the appropriate committee Chairman).
B3 Contracts: To negotiate and accept terms from contractors already engaged in works for
the Council for extensions of such works, subject to provision for the cost thereof being
included in the approved estimates, and to a report being submitted to a subsequent
meeting of the Committee, where appropriate.
B4 Court Proceedings: To institute or defend proceedings on behalf of the Council before
any court. (Similar powers delegated to Chief Solicitor, D2)
B5 Legal Procedures: To instigate legal proceedings for breaches of legislation etc. on
advice from the service managers. (Similar powers delegated to Chief Solicitor, D1.1)
B6 Matters of Urgency: After consultation with the relevant Chairman, to deal with any
matter of urgency and to report on action taken.
B7 Restrictive Covenants: To release or relax restrictive covenants subject to compliance
with planning permission and/or building regulation approval.
Delegated from the STRATEGY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
B8 Acceptance, Resignation and Vacancies of Office: To undertake the declaration of
acceptance of office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor or Councillors; to receive notices of
resignation and make all arrangements in connection with the filling of resultant or casual
B9 Access to Information
B 9.1 To determine information which is exempt from publication in (sub) committee reports.
B 9.2 To make the necessary arrangements to provide public access to agenda, minutes,
background papers, additional information and documents held on deposit.
B 9.3 To be the proper Officer of the Council in accordance with Access to Information
B 10 Armorial Bearings: To-deal with applications for permission to use, display or
reproduce the Coat of Arms or Heraldic Badge.
B 11 Byelaws: To sign certificates of evidence of byelaws, to maintain copies for public
inspection. (Similar powers delegated to Chief Solicitor, D5)
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE (and certain other Officers) (cont.)
B 12 Elections
B 12.1 To undertake the duties of the Registration Officer and of the Returning Officer for
B 12.2 To approve the scales of fees for election work, such revisions to be based upon fees
fixed from time to time by the relevant bodies.
B 13 Emergency Plan: To make plans to deal with disasters and deal with the aftermath.
B 14 Honorary Freeman and Aldermen: To maintain a roll of Honorary Freemen and
Aldermen of the Borough.
B 15 Land Disposal: To agree detailed terms for the disposal of land, after consultation
with the Chairman, once a committee has given agreement in principle to the disposal.
B 16 Objections: To lodge holding objections on behalf of the Council to any proposal
appearing adversely to affect the Borough's interests.
B 17 Representation by Counsel: To brief Counsel where it is considered to be in the
Council's interest to be represented by Counsel. (Similar powers delegated to Chief
B 18 Scrutiny: To determine which agenda items may be designated “urgent” for the
purposes of Scrutiny.
B 19 Staff: Early Retirement/Redundancy Compensation: Following consultations with
the Director of Finance, the Director of Human Resources and the appropriate
Director, to determine the payment of compensation in cases of early retirement
and/or redundancy in consultation with the Chairman of the Human Resources Panel,
within the limits of discretion available under the Council's Personnel Policies and the
appropriate Superannuation Regulations.
B 20 Summonses to Attend Meetings: To summons meetings of the Council and (sub)-
committees pursuant to statutory provisions and the Standing Orders of the Borough
B 21 Market: To issue market licences through the Business Centre.
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DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Delegated from STRATEGY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
C1 Car Loans: To approve, in conjunction with the appropriate Director, and administer
applications made by Officers for an advance under the Council’s Car Loan scheme.
C2 Car Users: To determine essential and casual car users.
C3 Pay and Benefits: To make recommendations and implement local awards affecting
wages, salaries and conditions of service.
C4 Salaries: To implement all aspects of the Council’s approved Pay, Performance and
Benefits scheme, including any variations to the scheme, in consultation with the Chief
Executive and the Director of Finance, with the exception of those posts requiring
member level approval.
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CHIEF SOLICITOR AND PROPERTY SERVICES MANAGER
GENERAL DELEGATED POWERS in respect of
ALL COMMITTEES AND SERVICES
D1 Legal Procedures
D 1.1 To instigate legal procedures for breaches of legislation etc. on advice from the service
managers, including action relating to:
assaults on and/or obstruction of Council employees in the course of their duties
offences under landlord and tenant legislation
the depositing of litter
breaches in relation to the licensing of public entertainments
repossession of temporary accommodation and, after consultation with the
relevant Chairman, to institute proceedings for eviction.
squatters and travellers
persons who fail to supply information following a statutory requisition.
unlawful eviction and/or harassment of residential occupiers, after consultation
with the Chairman and the Head of Venues, Housing and Personal Services
(Similar powers delegated to Head of Regulatory Services, H5.8)
breaches of the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act and Health and Safety
at Work legislation
breaches in environmental protection legislation
Estate Agents’ boards that are contrary to Advertisement Regulations.
persons who fail to comply with notices served under the Planning Acts for the
supply of information
pay and display car parking offences
unlawful street trading.
(Similar powers delegated to Chief Executive, B5)
D2 Court Proceedings: To institute or defend proceedings on behalf of the Council before
any court (Similar powers delegated to Chief Executive, B4)
D3 Representation by Counsel: To brief counsel where it is considered to be in the
Council’s interest to be represented by Counsel. (Similar powers delegated to Chief
D4 Wayleave Agreements: To issue wayleave agreements or licences for statutory
Delegated from the STRATEGY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
D5 Byelaws: To sign certificates of evidence of byelaws, to maintain copies for public
inspection. (Similar Powers delegated to Chief Executive, B11)
D 6.1 Monitoring Officer: To act as the Monitoring Officer of the Council.
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CHIEF SOLICITOR AND PROPERTY SERVICES MANAGER (cont.)
D 6.2 Gifts and Hospitality and Interests of Members and Officers: To maintain registers of
disclosures of gifts and hospitality as well as disclosures of interests made by Members
D7 Photographic Copies of Documents: To certify photographic copies of documents.
D8 Landlords’ Consent: To issue Landlords’ consent to a change of use, or for alterations
when consent cannot unreasonably be withheld, and subject to any necessary planning
permission having been obtained.
D9 Letting of Property: To issue licences to assign and sublet Council property (after
consultation with the Chairman) in consultation with the Director of Finance.
D 10 New Tenancy: To determine whether or not the Council wishes to oppose grant of new
tenancy to business tenants on expiry of existing leases.
D 11 Planning etc. Consent for all committees: To submit on behalf of any committee
applications for planning permission and Building Regulation approval required in
respect of their own proposals.
D 12 Sale of Land: to approve the sale of Council owned land to adjoining landowners where
the land has no development potential or amenity value to the community and where
highway sight lines will not be affected, subject to consultation with the Chairman of the
appropriate land holding Committee, Ward Members and (where appropriate) Rosebery
Housing Group and subject to:
(a) the land being sold at open market value
(b) the Council’s costs being borne by the purchaser
(c) a restrictive covenant that the land shall only be used for garden purposes and no
structure shall be erected on the land save (with Council approval) boundary
Delegated from the LEISURE COMMITTEE
D 13 Allotments: To serve Notices to Quit to allotment holders.
D 14 Byelaws: To enforce Byelaws with respect to pleasure grounds and open spaces.
D 15 Common Land: To grant rights of access over common land.
Delegated from the SOCIAL COMMITTEE
D 16 Front Gardens: To approve applications from former tenants of Rosebery Housing
Group to lay hard-standing or park in their front gardens, subject to any engineering and
D 17 Non-Compliance of Notices: To take all subsequent proceedings arising from non-
compliance with Notices served by the Council requiring work to be done or nuisances to
Delegated from the PLANNING COMMITTEE
D 18 Enforcement Notices: To issue enforcement notices and instigate legal proceedings for
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CHIEF SOLICITOR AND PROPERTY SERVICES MANAGER (cont.)
D 19 Proceedings for clearance of land: To serve appropriate notices under planning
D 20 Stop Notice: To serve Stop Notices, after consultation with the Chairman.
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
D 21 Works of construction, maintenance, repair and alteration and procurement of related
services: To act as the client for works undertaken on behalf of the Committee for the
purposes of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994.
D 22 Erection of stiles or gates: To authorise the erection of stiles or gates on public paths on
Council owned land.
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DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Delegated from the STRATEGY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
E1 Audit: To make all necessary arrangements for the provision of an internal and external
audit service to the Council.
E2 Banking Service: To make all necessary arrangements for the provision of a banking
service to the Council.
E3 Capital Programme: To determine the financing of the capital programme, having
regard to the internal resources of the Council and the approved capital strategy.
E4 Claims for Financial Reimbursement
E 4.1 To deal with all claims for payment of Members’ allowances (basic and special
responsibility) and for Members’ travelling and subsistence allowances.
E 4.2 To deal with all claims for payment of car, travelling and subsistence allowances and
incidental expenses of Council Officers.
E5 Council Tax
E 5.1 To calculate the Council Tax Base for the purpose of setting Council Tax, subject to prior
approval of any new scheme of discounts by the Council.
E 5.2 To take all necessary steps concerning the demand, collection, refund and recovery of
Council Tax. To issue all necessary notices and statements and to sign any documents on
behalf of the Council as the billing and collecting authority.
E6 Council Tax Benefits: To administer the Council Tax Benefit Scheme and to determine
and award Council Tax Benefit in accordance with existing regulations.
E7 Court Proceedings - Recovery of Council Tax and Business Rates: To institute or
defend proceedings on behalf of the Council before any court and to authorise named
officers to represent the Council in said proceedings.
E8 Creditors: To prescribe the procedures to be adopted for the payment of sums due from
E9 Debtors: To take all necessary steps in connection with the demand, collection and
recovery of monies due to the Council.
E 10 Discretionary Housing Payments (previously Exceptional Hardship Payments): To
determine, in conjunction with the Benefit Manager, appeals against the non-award of
discretionary housing payments in accordance with legislation and to keep payments
within the sum paid by central government.
E 11 Discretionary Rate Relief: To renew the grant of discretionary rate relief for a period of
up to five years following initial approval by the Committee, provided that the
circumstances of the applicant remain unchanged.
E 12 Financial Interests in Contracts: To record details of any notice given by a Council
Officer concerning a financial interest in a contract; such book to be available to any
Member of the Council during office hours.
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DIRECTOR OF FINANCE (cont.)
E 13 Funds and Reserves: To authorise transfers, payments and contributions to and from
funds and reserves as may from time to time be established for the purpose of defraying
or equalising expenditure or income.
E 14 Grants: To certify all claims for grants and subsidies due to the Council.
E 15 Housing Advances
E 15.1 To fix the interest rate for housing loans to borrowers.
E 15.2 To take all necessary steps in connection with the demand, collection and recovery of
repayments due to the Council.
E 16 Housing Benefits: To administer the Housing Benefit Scheme and to determine and
award housing benefit in accordance with existing regulations.
E 17 Hospitality Expenditure: To approve expenditure, after consultation with the Chief
Executive in respect of hospitality to visitors (including other local authority Officers and
Members) in connection with official duties.
E 18 Insurance
E 18.1 To ensure that adequate insurance cover is maintained and to deal with all matters
relating to insurance.
E 18.2 To negotiate offered settlements in connection with claims made by the Council (in
association with the appropriate Director as necessary).
E 18.3 To negotiate and settle claims from third parties, up to a value of £10,000 each, where no
personal injury is involved.
E 19 Investments: To make all investments on behalf of the Council and make necessary
arrangements for cash management and treasury fund management.
E 20 Irrecoverable Debts: To write off irrecoverable debts not exceeding £3,000 in any one
case and to write off debts exceeding that amount after consultation with the Chairman.
(See also E26 below)
E 21 Loans: To raise and repay loans, including bank overdraft, to meet the Council’s
requirements for such amounts and on such terms as considered necessary.
E 22 Miscellaneous Debts: To prepare County Court Summonses and Default Judgement
E 23 Non-Domestic Rate: To take all necessary steps concerning the demand, collection,
refund and recovery of Non Domestic Rate. To issue all necessary notices and
statements and to sign any documents on behalf of the Council as Rating Authority.
E 24 Services to Council Buildings: To conclude agreements for the supply of gas, water,
electricity, telephone and sewerage services to all buildings and sites and other assets
owned by the Council, or in which the Council has an interest.
E 25 VAT: To exercise the Council’s right to elect to tax VAT on exempt supplies.
HEAD OF BENEFITS OR HEAD OF REVENUES
E 26 Irrecoverable Debts: to write off irrecoverable debts (benefits, Council Tax or business
rates) not exceeding £500 in any one case. (See also E20 above)
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DIRECTOR OF FINANCE (cont.)
HEAD OF REVENUES
Delegated from the LEISURE COMMITTEE
E 27 Discretionary Non-Domestic Rate Relief: To determine, in consultation with the
Chairman and in accordance with legislation and current policy, applications for
discretionary non-domestic rate relief.
Delegated from the SOCIAL COMMITTEE
E 28 Discretionary Non-Domestic Rate Relief: To determine, in consultation with the
Chairman (and appropriate Ward Councillors in the case of parish halls, community
centres and day centres) and in accordance with legislation and current policy,
applications for discretionary non-domestic rate relief.
ASSISTANT BENEFIT MANAGER
E 29 Discretionary Housing Payments (previously Exceptional Hardship payments): To
determine, in conjunction with the Benefit Officer, claims for discretionary housing
payments in accordance with legislation and to keep payments within the sum paid by
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HEAD OF POLICY
Delegated from the LEISURE COMMITTEE
F1 Planning Applications: To make representations on planning applications affecting
Leisure Committee owned property, after consultation with the Chairman of Leisure
Committee and Ward Members.
F2 Special Events: To promote, organise and execute special events of a recreation nature.
(Similar powers delegated to Head of Venues, Housing and Personal Services, L15)
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
F3 Bus Fares/Routes: To lodge objections with the appropriate authority to applications
from bus operators to raise fares or alter routes or schedules, after consultation with the
F4 Neighbourhood Watch Schemes: To implement proposals that accord with the general
principles of such schemes as agreed from time to time by the Committee
F5 Public Transport: To consider and comment upon public transport matters of concern to
the Borough Council and to forward comments to appropriate bodies, after consultation
with the Chairman
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HEAD OF REGULATORY SERVICES
(and other Officers specified in Schedule approved by the Social Committee)
In respect of those matters that are the responsibility of the Social Committee, the
Environmental Health Service Manager and other specified officers to act in all matters
delegated to the Head of Regulatory Services in accordance with the Schedule approved by the
Social Committee, which is to be reviewed annually
Delegated from the SOCIAL COMMITTEE
H1 Food Safety
H 1.1 To administer the provisions of the appropriate legislation as the Council’s enforcement
officer and to appoint authorised officers.
H 1.2 To appoint a Public Analyst and Food Examiner to act for the Council.
H 1.3 To act in accordance with the powers conferred by relevant food safety legislation as set
out in paragraph 3 of the Schedule approved by the Social Committee.
H 1.4 With the Chief Solicitor to institute proceedings under Regulation 8 of the Food Premises
(Registration) Regulations 1991 - Registration of a Food Business.
H 2.1 To appoint suitably qualified officers or authorise other suitable individuals to discharge
Environmental Health functions.
H 2.2 To authorise officers to have powers of entry in relation to Environmental Health matters.
H 2.3 To instigate legal proceedings in respect of offences in relation to Environmental Health
matters, subject to the agreement of the Chief Executive or Chief Solicitor; specifically
against food hawkers during “Derby Week” under the Offices, Shops and Railway
Premises Act 1963 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, for breaches of the
requirements relating to licensing of public regulated entertainment and gambling
premises, non-compliance with statutory notices, food safety matters, littering and
fouling of footways by dogs.
H 2.4 To administer formal cautions, in conjunction with the Chief Solicitor in respect of any
offences contrary to legislation within the Committee’s terms of reference.
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HEAD OF REGULATORY SERVICES (cont.)
H 2.5 To instigate works in default and any other appropriate action in order to ensure
requirements of Notices are complied with.
H 2.6 To issue Notices requiring the provision of any information considered reasonably
necessary to discharge Environmental Health functions.
H 2.7 To issue Notices or take such other action as may be appropriate on Environmental
H3 Health and Safety: To enforce the relevant provisions of Health and Safety legislation as
set out in paragraph 4 of the Schedule approved by the Social Committee.
H4 Health Promotion: To undertake training programmes, publicity and other promotional
activities in relation to Environmental Health.
H 5.1 To carry out responsibilities under relevant housing legislation as set out in paragraph 6
of the Schedule approved by the Social Committee.
H 5.2 To issue Notices and orders in relation to the repair or unfitness of individual premises.
H 5.3 To issue Notices in relation to overcrowding in residential premises.
H 5.4 To issue Notices, directions or orders in relation to houses in multiple occupation with
reference to repair, fitness, overcrowding, amenities and means of escape, and
management; to vary the adopted standards for homes in multiple occupation in
H 5.5 To regulate the use and operation of common lodging houses.
H 5.6 To approve grants and to authorise payment of such grants in accordance with Council
H 5.7 To take action in relation to the breach of grant conditions and to require repayment
H 5.8 To investigate cases of harassment and illegal eviction and instigate legal proceedings.
(Similar powers also delegated to Chief Solicitor, D1.1)
H 5.9 To make arrangements for the restoration of supply of water, gas or electricity in
H6 Public Control/Licensing
H 6.1 To appoint designated staff as inspectors and undertake enforcement activities in relation
to shops and working hours under the Shops Act 1950 and the Sunday Trading Acts 1994
H 6.2 To issue licences and instigate legal proceedings where appropriate for breach of
conditions in accordance with relevant licensing and public control legislation as set out
in paragraph 5 of the Schedule approved by the Social Committee.
H 6.3 To issue Notices for the provision of sanitary accommodation at places of public
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HEAD OF REGULATORY SERVICES (cont.)
Delegated from the LICENSING COMMITTEE
H.6.4 To issue, but not refuse, premises and personal licences where these are not contentious
or opposed, to impose special conditions or vary standard conditions and to instigate
legal proceedings where appropriate for breach of conditions in relation to those licences
in accordance with relevant licensing legislation as set out in the Schedule approved by
the Licensing Committee.
Delegated from the SOCIAL COMMITTEE
H 6.5 To register and regulate lotteries and the use of gaming machines, to register Pools
Promoters under the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, the Gaming Act 1968 and
the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.
H7 Public Health
H 7.1 To issue Notices and take such other action as may be appropriate to protect the public
health, including: -
(1) Sanitation of buildings and other dwellings.
(2) Closets, drains, sewers.
(3) Refuse, noxious matter and litter.
(4) Water supply.
(5) Cleansing, disinfecting and disinfestation of premises, articles and persons.
(6) Prevention and notification of disease.
(7) Offensive trades.
(8) Any other nuisance or matters of public health significance
H 7.2 To issue Notices and take such other action as may be appropriate to control pests of
public health significance.
H 7.3 To serve notice under S29 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982
where empty properties represent a health risk.
H 7.4 To make arrangements for collection of medical waste.
H 7.5 To undertake all matters relating to burials and cremation under The Public Health
(Control of Diseases) Act 1984, including the administration of the deceased person’s
H 7.6 To determine all matters in respect of cemeteries, other than the fixing of the scale of fees
and charges, in accordance with appropriate legislation as set out in paragraph 1 of the
Schedule approved by the Social Committee.
H 7.7 Churchyards: To secure the maintenance of the Parish churchyards of St Martin’s,
Epsom and St Mary’s, Ewell.
H8 Pollution/the environment
H 8.1 To act in accordance with the powers conferred by relevant environmental legislation as
set out in paragraph 2 of the Schedule approved by the Social Committee.
H 8.2 To appoint Officers to enforce the Clean Air Act 1993 and to instigate legal proceedings
after consultation with the Chief Solicitor.
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HEAD OF REGULATORY SERVICES (cont.)
H9 Excavations on Land: To prevent danger from excavations on land accessible to the
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
H 10 Land Drainage: To maintain, improve and construct land drainage works; to maintain
flow in watercourses; to deal with the deposit of soil on banks; and to carry out works in
default of the responsible party.
H 11 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing
H 11.1 To exercise the powers and performance of functions under legislation including the
Town Police Clauses Acts 1847 and 1889, the Private Hire Vehicles (Carriage of Guide
Dogs etc) Act 2002, the Public Health Acts 1875 and 1925, the Disability Discrimination
Act 1995 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and any
regulations, byelaws or orders made thereunder.
H 11.2 To agree applications, which comply with, and refuse applications that do not comply
with, the above regulations.
H 12 House to House Collections: To authorise or refuse applications for the conduct of
public charitable collections in accordance with the Charities Act 1992, the House to
House collections Act 1939 and the House to House Collections Regulations 1947.
H 13 Street Trading Licences: Through the Business Centre, to issue Street Trading Licences
for trading on the public highway in compliance with the Council's conditions and to
instigate legal proceedings for unlawful street trading
Delegated from the PLANNING COMMITTEE
H 14 Building Regulations Relaxation or Dispensation: To determine applications for
relaxation or dispensation of Building Regulations.
H 15 Contravention of Building Regulations: In consultation with the Chief Solicitor, to deal
with contraventions of Building Regulations, including the service of notices.
H 16 Dangerous Structures and Contraventions: To exercise powers and duties of the
Council relating to dangerous structures and contravention of Building Regulations
where urgent action is required.
H 17 To approve or reject applications under Building Regulations and relevant parts of (a)
Public Health Acts (b) Clean Air Act (c) Thermal (Industrial Buildings) Act (d) Surrey
County Council Act and (e) Fire Precautions Act, relating to buildings.
H 18 To sign Building Regulation Notices.
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HEAD OF SERVICES
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
I1 Dumping: To deal with unauthorised dumping and removal of refuse.
I 2.1 Goods Vehicle Operators: To give directions to ensure that all transport and other road
going items used by the Council are maintained in a legal and roadworthy condition, and
that their operation and the employment of drivers both accord with statutory
I 2.2 Illegal or Unsafe Vehicles: To withdraw from use any vehicle or road-going item used
by the Council which is judged to be in an illegal or unsafe condition
I 2.3 To procure all licensed vehicles, and all related plant and equipment of either chemical or
electrical nature (including all those used under the requirements of the Council’s
Operators Licence) with the duties of the Council, in accordance with Financial
Regulations and Standing Orders with respect to contracts.
I 3.1 To waive the current charge in relation to civic amenity collection costs in exceptional
I 3.2 To waive charges for refuse bins.
I 3.3 To implement a discount structure for trade refuse charges in consultation with Director
I 3.4 To take appropriate action requiring the provision of refuse receptacles and receptacles
for collection of commercial and industrial waste.
I 3.5 To take appropriate action in respect of the collection of controlled waste.
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HEAD OF STREETCARE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
J1 Abandoned Vehicles: To remove abandoned vehicles.
J2 Car Parks
J 2.1 To undertake such works to all car parks including boundary walls and fences owned by
the Council or in which the Council has an interest, including the preparation of details of
works, and invitation to tender, in accordance with Standing Orders relating to Contracts
and Financial Regulations, and including the procurement of goods and services in
connection with such works.
J 2.2 To write off car park excess charges where valid reasons exist for doing so.
J 3.1 To issue street litter control Notices.
J 3.2 To designate litter control areas.
J 3.3 To serve (waste abatement) Notices concerning litter and refuse on private land.
J 3.4 To appoint officers to serve fixed price penalty tickets for the dropping of litter.
J4 Council Streetworks
J 4.1 To recover expenses for the maintenance of highways due to damage caused by building
J 4.2 To provide and maintain public lighting and to deal with the attachment of street lamps to
J 4.3 To provide, maintain and remove signs.
J 4.4 To deal with danger caused by trees, shrubs or hedges overhanging the highway and to
have powers of entry to survey and carry out works and to serve notice of requisition for
information or for reimbursement of costs.
J 4.5 To approve plans, sections etc.; Notices of commencement of work; requirements as to
the mode of execution of work and reinstatements, and as to safety and obstruction or
works being undertaken by any Public Utility or Statutory Undertaker, and to ensure an
acceptable reinstatement after execution of the works.
J 4.6 To respond to consultations on the construction of footway crossings where they need to
cross highway amenity land.
J 4.7 To close roads for the purpose of public celebration.
J 4.8 To erect fences and boundary posts and to install refuse, litter or storage bins on
highways subject to agreement with the Local Transportation Manager.
J 4.9 To approve sponsorships for landscaping of roundabouts, subject to consultations with
the Local Transportation Manager, with appropriate recreation officers and with the
J5 Residual Highway Agency (Powers delegated to the Nominated Officer by Surrey
County Council): To grant and withdraw licences for the planting of trees, plants etc.
within the highway limit.
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SUPPORT SERVICES MANAGER (and nominated Customer Services Officer)
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
K1 Local Land Charges: To determine all matters in respect of the Local Land Charges
K2 Street Naming and Numbering: To deal with all street naming and numbering, subject
to no objection being received from the Post Office (after consultation with the Chairman
and the appropriate Ward Members on street naming, and wider consultation with all
Councillors on street naming for large developments (e.g. involving more than one road,
such as the Hospital Cluster).
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HEAD OF VENUES, HOUSING AND PERSONAL SERVICES
Delegated from the SOCIAL COMMITTEE
L1 Accommodation: To hire accommodation for housing purposes and let it as appropriate.
L 2.1 To issue a Distraint Warrant to the Council Bailiff in respect of occupants of temporary
accommodation (Bed & Breakfast) in arrears.
L 2.2 To authorise proceedings to be instituted for recovery of rent arrears in appropriate cases.
L 2.4 To authorise the service of Notice to Quit in appropriate cases.
L3 Caravan Sites: To manage caravan sites and the waiting list for vacant pitches.
L4 Community Alarm Scheme
L 4.1 To assess applicants.
L 4.2 To undertake the installation and testing of units in liaison with Guildford Borough
L5 Community/Day Centres
L 5.1 To manage the lettings and general operation of the Community/Day Centres.
L 5.2 After consultation with the Director of Finance, to vary the agreed charges for hire of
facilities to maximise their use.
L6 Housing Accommodation
L 6.1 To provide and manage temporary accommodation according to legislation.
L 6.2 In appropriate circumstances to provide furniture, facilities for meals, laundry services,
and financial assistance towards removal expenses for occupants of temporary
accommodation and, in exceptional circumstances, for displaced persons.
L 6.3 To enter into Partnership Schemes and development with other agencies (including
Registered Social Landlords) for housing needs.
L 6.4 To assess and determine homeless applications according to legislation, provide interim
accommodation, make and receive referrals to and from other Authorities and assist in
the protection of personal property.
L 6.5 To enter into Partnership Schemes and developments for people in housing need.
L 6.6 To provide a housing advice and information service in accordance with legislation.
L 6.7 To administer a waiting list for people in housing need, including the homeless, as a
means of determining the priority of applicants for permanent housing, according to
legislation and Council policy.
L 6.8 To arrange nomination for tenancies of people in housing need to Registered Social
L 6.9 To approve internal decoration work to be carried out for occupants of temporary
accommodation in accordance with Council policy.
L 6.10 To accept or reject applications to the Housing Needs Register made under the Scheme,
and to make nominations from this Scheme to Registered Social Landlords.
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HEAD OF VENUES, HOUSING AND PERSONAL SERVICES (Cont.)
L 6.11 To determine appeals in cases of disputed decisions regarding housing provision, in
consultation with the Chairman of the Committee.
L7 Meals on Wheels: To manage the Meals on Wheels Service.
L8 Services for the Elderly: To revise charges in accordance with Council policy for
services for the elderly.
L9 Services procured by other agencies: To negotiate terms and provide services for the
elderly on behalf of other funding agencies.
L 10 Transport: To provide and maintain transport provision (including to the
Delegated from STRATEGY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE
L 11 To approve grants to voluntary organisations after consultation with the Chairmen of the
Social and Leisure Committees and the opportunity for Members of those committees to
request that the item be considered by the relevant committee.
Delegated from the LEISURE COMMITTEE
L 12 Animals: To regulate the sale of pet animals.
L 13 Charges: After consultation with the Chairman and the Director of Finance, to vary the
agreed charges for hire of an admission to facilities in order to maximise their use by the
promotion of special offers.
L 14 Recreation Facilities: To programme and let all the facilities under its control, any
refusals for lettings being reported to the next meeting.
L 15 Special Events: To promote, organise and execute special events of a recreation nature.
(Similar powers delegated to Head of Policy, F2)
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HEAD OF PLANNING DEVELOPMENT CONTROL AND DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Delegated from the PLANNING COMMITTEE
M1 County Council Matters: To determine whether or not any application for planning
permission is required, or if an established use certificate appears to relate to a County
M2 Determination of Planning Applications: That the following issues be determined
irrespective of whether or not objections are received: -
Approval of Reserved Matters
Refusal of proposals that conflict with policies
Applications for lopping and topping of preserved trees
Applications for felling preserved trees (and any replacement), after consultation
with the Chairman
Determination of permitted development and Prior Notifications, including
Determination of Certificates of Lawful Use or Development
Shop fronts, (including listed building consent applications)
Boundary fences and walls
Minor works (of a non-controversial nature) to listed buildings
Dormer extensions and conversion of the roof space
Change of use from non-retail to retail use within established shopping areas
Change of use of shops to residential use outside shopping centres
Hard-surfacing and landscaping proposals
Domestic Extensions that comply with policy
Renewal of Planning permission
Minor changes to previously approved schemes
M3 To determine any other applications considered acceptable by the Head of Planning
Chief Planning Officer, although not strictly in accordance with policy, subject to no
objections being received.
M4 To determine any other minor development which the Chief Planning Officer considers
M5 To determine any matter not listed in items M 2, 3 and 4 above unless a member of the
Committee requests that it be considered by the Committee or unless any other ward
member, after consultation with the Planning Committee Chairman and Head of
Development Control Planning or the Head of Planning Policy, Design and Projects, so
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HEAD OF PLANNING DEVELOPMENT CONTROL AND DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
M6 Development by Other Local Authorities: To lodge holding objections to development
proposals of other local authorities where, because of the statutory time limit, it would
not have been possible to obtain the views of the Committee.
M7 Fly posting: To commence legal proceedings to deal with flyposting.
M 8.1 To lodge holding objections to highway and traffic proposals by other local authorities
where, because of the statutory time limit, it would not have been possible to obtain the
views of the Committee.
M 8.2 To propose improvements for highway problem areas.
M 8.3 To give views on proposals for the diversion of footpaths and bridleways.
M9 Notification of Neighbours: To determine the extent to which neighbours are to be
notified of development adjoining their property; above the level required by legislation.
M 10 Overhead Wires: To deal with representations on proposals for placing of overhead
M 11 Planning and Consultations: To respond to the following planning consultations: -
(a) Consultations under general regulations (Regulation 10) by the Surrey County
Council or adjoining local authority that are of a minor and non-controversial
nature and in respect of which no unresolved objections are received.
(b) Consultations under Circular 7/77 by Government Departments (Health
Authorities, Department of Employment etc.) which are of a minor and non-
controversial nature and in respect of which no unresolved objections are
(c) Consultations under Article 15 of the GDO by adjoining local authorities in
respect of private development of a minor or non-controversial nature and in
respect of which no unresolved objections are received by this Council.
M 12 Planning Notices: To serve Planning Contravention Notices, Enforcement Notices (after
consultation with Ward Members) and Breach of Conditions Notices.
M 13 To sign Planning Decision Notices.
M 14 Pipelines: To approve plans to lay pipelines.
M 15 Private developments of a minor nature within the curtilage of a School (generally by
PTA): To determine such planning applications.
M 16 Publicity: To approve, after consultation with the Chief Executive, publicity on all
matters in relation to planning control generally.
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HEAD OF PLANNING DEVELOPMENT CONTROL AND DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
M 17 Stop Notice: In conjunction with the Chief Solicitor to serve Stop Notices after
consultation with the Chairman.
M 18 Temporary and minor uses of land and buildings: To determine such planning
applications in connection with approved development schemes.
M 19 Town and Country Planning General Development Orders: To make Directions or
notify applicants of the requirement for further information pursuant to the provisions of
Town and Country Planning General Development Order.
M 20 Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications)
Regulations: To determine the amount of fee payable in respect of applications and
deemed applications for planning permission, for approval of reserved matters and
applications for consent to display advertisements.
M 21 Tree Preservation Orders: In cases of urgency, after consultation with the Chairman of
the Committee, to discharge the function of the Council relating to the making of Tree
Preservation Orders under the appropriate legislation.
M 22 High Hedges: To determine high hedge complaints, provided that a Member of the
Committee has not requested that a complaint be considered by the Committee.
M 23 Control of Advertisements: To authorise notices requiring discontinuance of the display
of an advertisement and to commence legal proceedings, in consultation with the Chief
Solicitor, for the removal of advertisements requiring express consent, when such
consent would not have be forthcoming or had been refused.
HEAD OF PLANNING DEVELOPMENT CONTROL & THE PLANNING
M 24 Powers of entry: To enter land pursuant to Section 324 of the Town and Country
Planning Act 1990 and Section 88 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation
Areas Act) 1990.
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HEAD OF CUSTOMER SERVICES (and designated Customer Services Officer)
Delegated from the SOCIAL COMMITTEE
N1 In the absence of the Head of Regulatory Services, to be the authorised Officer under
existing legislation to deal with the Control of Stray Dogs and to take appropriate action
in respect of dangerous dogs.
Delegated from the ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
N 2.1 In the absence of the Head of Services, to waive the current charge in relation to civic
amenity collection costs in exceptional circumstances.
N 2.2 In the absence of the Head of Services, to waive charges for refuse bins.
N3 In the absence of the Head of Streetcare, to write off car park excess charges parking
fixed penalty notices where valid reasons exist for doing so.
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PART 4: RULES OF PROCEDURE
(a) COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES (STANDING ORDERS) …2
(b) ACCESS TO INFORMATION PROCEDURE RULES …24
(c) BUDGET AND POLICY FRAMEWORK PROCEDURE RULES …29
(d) OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY RULES …31
(e) FINANCIAL REGULATIONS …37
(f) CONTRACT STANDING ORDERS …60
(g) OFFICER EMPLOYMENT PROCEDURE RULES …71
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(a) COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE (STANDING ORDERS)
SECTION A - RELATING TO PROCEDURES OF THE COUNCIL
1 Meetings of the Council …5
2 Public Access …5
3 Order of Business …5
4 Motions for Debate …6
5 Motions which may be moved without notice …7
6 Questions in writing …8
7 Minutes …8
8 Rules of Debate …9
9 Procedure upon presentation of Recommendations of Committees, …12
Sub-Committees and Advisory Panels
10 Motions on Expenditure …13
11 Motions affecting persons employed by the Council …13
12 Rescission or alteration of previous resolution …13
13 Withdrawal of Reports …13
14 Voting …14
15 Voting on the Filling of Appointments or Positions …14
16 Disorderly Conduct …14
17 Guillotine …15
18 Adjournment of Meetings …15
19 Suspension of Standing Orders …15
SECTION B - RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF COMMITTEES, SUB-
COMMITTEES AND ADVISORY PANELS
20 Appointment …16
21 Composition of Committees; substitutes …16
22 Vacancies …16
23 Attendance …17
24 Election and Duties of Chairmen …17
25 Quorum …18
26 Other rules for conduct …18
27 Voting …18
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28 Standing Orders applying to the Committees, Sub-Committees and …18
29 Advisory Panels …19
30 Licensing …19
31 Emergency Committee …19
32 Terms of Reference and Delegated Powers …19
33 Recommendations to Council Meeting …20
34 Special Meetings …20
35 Public speaking at meetings of Committees …20
SECTION C - RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF MEMBERS
36 Non-Attendance …21
37 Council Tax and Restrictions on Voting …21
38 Involvement of Members in Contracts …21
39 Officers’ Reports …21
40 Inspection of Documents …21
41 Outside Meetings …22
42 Confidentiality and Publicity …22
43 Correspondence and Petitions …22
SECTION D - GENERAL MATTERS
44 Matters of Urgency …23
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Issued: July 2002, revised November 2006
The purpose of these rules (Standing Orders) is to regulate the Proceedings and Business of the
Council, Committees, Sub Committees and Advisory Panels of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell to
ensure that the Council’s business is carried out honestly, fairly and efficiently. They should be
used to guide Councillors towards making the right decisions, not to make debating points or
unreasonably to obstruct business.
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SECTION A - RELATING TO PROCEDURES OF THE COUNCIL
1. Meetings of the Council
1.1 The meetings of the Council shall normally be held at the Town Hall, The Parade,
1.2 All meetings of the Council shall start at 1930 hours unless otherwise stated on the
1.3 An extraordinary meeting of the Council may be called at any time by the Mayor.
1.4 The Mayor may, after consultation with the Chairman/Leaders of all groups
represented on the Council, cancel a scheduled meeting of the Council if he/she is
satisfied that there is insufficient business and that no-one will be prejudiced by
leaving any item to the next meeting.
1.5 If the Mayor refuses to authorise the Chief Executive to call an extraordinary
meeting of the Council after a requisition for that purpose, signed by five Members
of the Council, has been presented to him, or if, without so refusing, the Mayor does
not authorise the calling of an extraordinary meeting within seven days after the
requisition has been presented to him, then any five Members of the Council, on that
refusal or on the expiration of those seven days, as the case may be, may forthwith
require the Chief Executive to call an extraordinary meeting of the Council.
1.6 No business may be transacted at a meeting of the Council unless at least one half of
the Members of the Council are present.
1.7 If the Mayor is present he/she shall preside at meetings of the Council unless he/she
has declared an interest in the matter under discussion. Any power or duty assigned
to the Mayor in relation to the conduct of a Council meeting may be exercised by the
Deputy Mayor or other person presiding at the meeting.
2. Public Access
2.1 Public access will be granted in accordance with the Rules set out in Part 4 of the
3. Order of Business
3.1 Except where the Council on the grounds of urgency varies the order of business in
accordance with SO 3.5, the order of business at every meeting of the Council other
than at the Annual Meeting shall be-
3.1.1 To choose a person to preside if the Mayor is absent.
3.1.2 To approve as a true record the Minutes of the last meeting of the Council, a
copy of which shall be circulated to each Councillor not later than the date of
issue of the summons to attend the meeting, subject only to SO 7.2.
3.1.3 To deal with business expressly required by statute to be done.
3.1.4 To receive such communications or deal with such business as the Mayor
may wish to lay before the Council.
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3.1.5 To answer questions asked pursuant to SO 6.
3.1.6 To dispose of business (if any) remaining from the last meeting.
3.1.7 To receive, consider and, where appropriate, adopt reports, recommendations
or Minutes of Committees, Sub-Committees and Advisory Panels.
3.1.8 To receive and consider reports from the Chief Executive as Head of the Paid
Service or from the Monitoring Officer or from the Director of Finance as
Chief Finance Officer.
3.1.9 To authorise the sealing of documents when the Council's specific authority
3.1.10 To consider notices of motion for debate in the order in which they have been
3.1.11 Other business, if any, specified on the agenda.
3.1.12 Any business which in the view of the Mayor and the Chief Executive is
urgent and cannot be dealt with by one of the Council’s Committees.
3.2 The summons shall specify the business to be transacted and the reports shall where
possible be circulated with the summons. With the exception of any item under
3.1.12 above, business at Council meetings may not be transacted under the headings
in SO 3.1 unless the subject has been specified in the summons.
3.3 At the Annual Meeting of the Council the election of the Mayor shall be the first
business transacted and the business specified under SO 3.1.5 and 3.1.10 shall not be
included except where the Mayor rules otherwise on the grounds of urgency.
3.4 Any business which the Council decides shall be dealt with after the press and public
have been excluded shall be considered after all other business to be dealt with at
that meeting has been disposed of.
3.5 A motion to vary the order of business on the ground of urgency: -
3.5.1 shall not displace business falling under SO 3.1.1 or, in the case of the
Annual Meeting, the election of the Mayor;
3.5.2 may, at any time when an item of business on the agenda has been disposed
of, be proposed either by the Mayor or by any member;
3.5.3 if proposed by the Mayor, may be put to the vote without being seconded,
notwithstanding SO 8.2.
3.5.4 shall be put to the vote without discussion.
4. Motions for Debate
4.1 Every motion shall be relevant to some question over which the Council has power,
or which, in the opinion of the Mayor, affects the Borough.
[A motion is a formal proposal put before the meeting of Full Council or a committee
recommendation to Full Council or a committee decision which has been made a
recommendation to Full Council.]
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Notice by Members
4.2 Except as provided by SO 5 (Motions which can be moved without notice), every
motion for debate shall be subject to notice in writing, signed by the Member or
Members of the Council giving the notice, and delivered at least seven clear working
days * before the next meeting of the Council, at the office of the Chief Executive,
by whom it shall be dated, numbered in the order in which it is received and entered
in a book which shall be open to the inspection of every Councillor.
[* For a meeting of the Council held on a Tuesday the closing date for notices of motion
pursuant to SO 4 is the Thursday (1700 hours) prior to the week immediately preceding the
Notice must be set our in Summons
4.3 Every notice of motion shall be submitted to the Mayor by the Chief Executive and
if the Mayor rules that the motion is not in order it shall not be inserted in the
summons for the meeting of the Council and the Member or Members who gave the
notice shall be so informed with the reason for such ruling.
4.4 The Chief Executive shall insert in the summons for every meeting of the Council,
except the Annual Meeting, the text of all motions for debate other than those ruled
by the Mayor to be out of order, in the order in which they have been received,
unless the Member giving notice has, when giving it, indicated in writing that he/she
proposes to move it at some later meeting or has withdrawn it in writing.
Dealing with Notices of Motion at the Council Meeting
4.5 Motions for which notice has been duly given, the subject matter of which comes
within the province of any Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel shall stand
referred without discussion to such body for consideration and report in conjunction
with the motion at the next succeeding meeting of the Council. Such motions shall
only be formally moved and seconded and speeches pursuant to SO 8.5 will be
reserved until the motion is discussed, unless the Mayor, on grounds of urgency,
considers it convenient and would facilitate the business to allow such motion to be
decided at the meeting at which it is first before the Council.
4.6 On consideration of a report from a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel
on a motion formally moved and seconded at a previous Council meeting, the mover
and seconder shall first be afforded the opportunity to speak pursuant to SO 8.5.
4.7 If a motion, notice of which is specified in the summons, be not moved it shall,
unless postponed by consent of the Council, be treated as abandoned and shall not be
moved without fresh notice.
4.8 In the absence from the meeting of the Member or all the Members by whom the
notice of motion was given, any other Member authorised by him/her or them in
writing may move the same.
5. Motions which may be moved without notice
The following motions may be moved without notice: -
5.1 Appointment of a Chairman of the meeting at which the motion is made.
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5.2 Motions relating to the accuracy of the Minutes, closure of discussion, adjournment,
or order of business.
5.3 Reference to a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel.
5.4 Appointment of a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel or Members
thereof, if arising from an item mentioned in the summons to the meeting.
5.5 Reception and adoption of reports and recommendations of Committees, Sub-
Committee or Advisory Panel or Officers and any consequent resolutions including
any motions or amendments moved in pursuance of SO 9.7.
5.6 That leave be given to withdraw a motion.
5.7 Amendments to motions.
5.8 Authorising the sealing of documents.
5.9 Extending the time limit for speeches.
5.10 That an item of business specified in the summons has precedence (see SO 3.5.2).
5.11 Suspending Standing Orders (see SO 19).
5.12 Excluding the press and public.
5.13 That a Member named under SO 16 be not further heard or do leave the meeting.
5.14 Giving consent of the Council where it is required by these Standing Orders.
6. Questions in Writing
6.1 Provided that there is no relevant paragraph of a report or other relevant item before
the Council in respect of which a question may be asked under SO 9.7, a Councillor
(a) If two clear working days’ notice * in writing has been given to the Chief
Executive, ask the Mayor or the Chairman of the appropriate Committee,
Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel any question relating to business of the
[* For a meeting of the Council held on a Tuesday the closing date for questions pursuant to
SO 6 is the preceding Thursday (1700 hours)]
(b) With the permission of the Mayor, put to him/her or to the Chairman of any
Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel questions relating to urgent
business, of which such notice has not been given, but a copy of any such
question shall, if possible, be delivered to the Chief Executive not later than
1000 hours on the day of the meeting.
6.2 Every question in writing shall be put and answered without discussion subject to the
proviso that one supplementary question which is necessary for the elucidation of the
answer given may be put, at the discretion of the Mayor, by the original questioner
or, if he/she does not do so, by any other Member and answered without discussion.
The person to whom a question has been put may decline to answer if he/she
considers it would not be in the public interest to give the information asked for.
6.3 Where a written question is addressed to the Mayor or to the Chairman of a
Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel and the desired information is
contained in any of the Council's publications, it shall be deemed a sufficient reply if
the publication containing the information is indicated.
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6.4 Where the reply to any question cannot conveniently be given orally, it shall be
deemed a sufficient reply if the answer is sent to Members of the Council within four
working days of the meeting.
7.1 The Mayor shall put the question that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held
on the day in question be signed as a true record.
7.2 When a Council meeting is followed by a special or extraordinary meeting, then the
following ordinary meeting of the Council shall be treated as a suitable meeting for
the signing of the Minutes.
7.3 No motion or discussion shall take place upon the Minutes, except upon their
accuracy, and any question of their accuracy shall be raised by motion. If no such
question is raised, or if it is raised, then as soon as it has been disposed of, the Mayor
shall sign the Minutes.
8. Rules of Debate
Recommendations to Constitute Motions
8.1 A resolution in the form of a recommendation from a Committee, Sub-Committee or
Advisory Panel constitutes a motion which does not require proposing or
seconding (see SO 9.5). Members may therefore speak for or against such a
recommendation or may move a motion under SO 8.2 to refer the recommendation
back to the Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel or may move an
amendment in accordance with SO 8.7.
Motions and amendments to be moved and seconded
8.2 The Mayor must not allow a motion or amendment shall not to be discussed unless
it has been proposed and seconded, and unless notice has already been given in
accordance with SO 4 it shall, if required by the Mayor, be handed to the Mayor in
writing before it is further discussed or put to the meeting.
Seconder may reserve speech
8.3 When seconding a motion or amendment, a Member may, if he/she then declares
an intention to do so, reserve his/her speech until a later period of the debate but has
no right to be called last before the relevant Chairman.
Members to stand when speaking
8.4 A Member shall stand when speaking and shall address the Chair. Whenever the
Mayor rises during the debate, a Member then speaking or standing shall resume
his/her seat and the Council shall be silent.
Subject matter and length of speeches
8.5 A Member shall direct his/her speech to the question under discussion or to an
explanation or to a question of order or to a declaration of interest. No speech
shall exceed three minutes except for a Member moving a motion or an amendment
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pursuant to SO 4.5 or SO 9.9 and for the Chairman when exercising a right of reply,
which speeches shall not exceed five minutes. These times shall only be extended
by consent of the Mayor.
8.6 When called upon by the Mayor to speak a Member shall announce his/her intention
of moving or seconding a motion or an amendment or of speaking pursuant to SO
8.5 or SO 9.7.
8.7 An amendment shall be relevant to the motion to which it refers and the Mayor may
rule as invalid any amendment he/she considers irrelevant. An amendment shall be: -
8.7.1 to delete words; or
8.7.2 to delete words and insert or add others; or
8.7.3 to insert or add words
8.8 A further amendment shall not be moved until the Council has disposed of any
amendment previously moved, but a member, other than the mover of the
amendment then under consideration, may at any time give notice that he/she intends
to move a further amendment.
8.9 If an amendment is rejected, other amendments may be moved on the original
motion. If an amendment is carried, the motion as amended shall take the place of
the original motion and shall become the motion upon which any further amendment
may be moved.
8.10 The proposer may, with the consent of his/her seconder and of the Council, signified
without discussion, alter a motion which he/she has proposed or of which notice has
been given. The proposer may, similarly, adopt an amendment which has been
proposed and seconded or one that has been stated in accordance with SO 8.8.
Members not to speak more than once
8.11 A Member shall not speak more than once on any motion (or amendment) except: -
8.11.1 to move a (further) amendment;
8.11.2 to move "That the question be now put" (see SO 8.12)
8.11.2 on a point of order (see SO 8.14);
8.11.3 on a point of explanation (see SO 8.15);
8.11.4 to withdraw the motion or amendment (see SO 8.17);
8.11.5 in the exercise of a right of reply (see SO 8.19);
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Motions for closure of discussion [see also SO 18 as to adjournment of meeting.]
8.12 A Member may rise at the conclusion of a speech of another Member to move
8.12.1 "That the question be now put"
8.12.2 "That the debate be now adjourned until..."
8.12.3 "That the Council do now adjourn until..."
8.13 Once such a procedural motion has been seconded, without comment, the Mayor, if
he/she considers the question before the meeting has been sufficiently discussed,
shall put that procedural motion to the meeting. If it is carried: -
8.13.1 in the case of a motion "That the question be now put"
the Mayor shall immediately put to the vote the motion, or the amendment
under debate followed by, if appropriate, the substantive motion subject to
rights of reply given by SO 8.16 and SO 9.9.
8.13.2 in the case of the motions "That the debate be now adjourned until ..." or
"That the Council do now adjourn until ..."
the previous subject of debate or the meeting shall immediately stand
adjourned as the case may be to the time and/or date specified in the motion.
Points of Order or Points of Personal Explanation
8.14 A Member may rise to make a Point of Order * and shall state at the outset the
Standing Order or Statutory provision which he/she considers has been infringed.
[* A Point of Order is a point of procedure. It relates to an alleged breach of standing order
or statutory provision. It is not concerned with the arguments or the principles or the
political views put forward in debate, or with the truth or falsehood, correctness or
incorrectness of statements made in the course of debate.]
8.15 A Member may also rise to make a Point of Personal Explanation. *
[* A Member may find that a later speaker has misunderstood or misquoted him/her. In
such circumstances the Member is allowed to rise on a point of personal explanation to
make the desired correction.]
8.16 A member rising to make a Point of Order or Personal Explanation shall be entitled
to be heard immediately. Every Point of Order or the admissibility of a personal
explanation shall be decided by the Mayor before the debate proceeds and his/her
decision shall be final.
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Withdrawal of motion or amendment
8.17 A motion or amendment may be withdrawn by the proposer with the agreement of
the seconder and the consent of the Council, which shall be signified without
discussion, and no Member shall speak upon it after the proposer has asked
permission for its withdrawal, unless that permission is refused. No agreement from
a seconder is required when a Chairman is seeking leave to withdraw a
recommendation from his/her Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel.
Motions which may be moved when a motion is under debate
8.18 When a motion is under debate no other motion shall be moved except the
8.15.1 to amend the motion;
8.15.2 to postpone consideration of the motion;
8.15.3 to adjourn the meeting (see SO 18);
8.15.4 to adjourn the debate;
8.15.5 that the question be now put (see SO 8. 12);
8.15.6 that a Member be not further heard (see SO 16);
8.15.7 that a Member do leave the meeting (see SO 16);
Right of Reply
8.19 In a debate on any motion, or amendment to it, the Chairman of the Committee, Sub-
Committee or Advisory Panel concerned shall have the opportunity to speak
immediately before the mover of the motion or the proposer of an amendment replies
to the debate.
8.20 At the close of the debate on a motion and after the relevant Chairman, the
proposer of a motion shall have a right to reply to the debate at the close of the
debate upon the motion, immediately before it is put to the vote. If an amendment is
proposed to a motion the mover of the amendment shall be entitled to reply after
the relevant Chairman at the close of the debate upon the amendment. A Member
exercising a right of reply shall not introduce new matter. After every reply to which
this Standing Order refers a decision shall be taken without further discussion.
[Procedural Note: The sequence of events in debating a motion which is
amended is therefore as follows: The Mayor will ask the member who
submitted the motion to move its adoption (Councillor A). The motion will
be seconded by another member (Councillor B) who may reserve his/her
right to speak later in the debate but must do so before the relevant
Chairman. (It is a seconder’s responsibility to ensure that he/she indicates
that he/she wishes to speak). The Mayor will ask if anyone wishes to speak to
the motion and during the debate, a member (Councillor C) may move an
amendment. The amendment must be seconded by another member
(Councillor D) who may reserve his/her right to speak later in the debate but
must do so before the relevant Chairman. Councillor A may elect to accept
the amendment, in which case there is no need for debate on it but otherwise
the Mayor will allow a debate. Councillors A and B may speak at any time
during the debate on the amendment. The Mayor will indicate when he/she
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considers the debate on the amendment is reaching its conclusion and will
invite the Chairman of the relevant Committee to speak followed by the
proposer of the amendment (Councillor C). A vote will then be taken on the
amendment without further discussion. If the amendment is carried, it
replaces the original motion and will be called by the Mayor to allow an
opportunity for other amendments to be moved].
9. Procedure upon Presentation of Reports of Committees, Sub-Committees or Advisory
9.1 Recommendations from all Committees, Sub-Committees or Advisory Panels shall
be printed, circulated to Members of the Council, together with the notice of the
Council meeting and presented to the Council.
9.2 Recommendations from Committees, Sub-Committees or Advisory Panels shall be
taken in the order in which they appear in the summons of the meeting. The Mayor
may alter the order if in his/her opinion it would facilitate the business of the
9.3 The paragraphs of a report dealing with separate subjects shall be numbered
consecutively. Recommendations to the Council shall be marked alphabetically.
9.4 Chairmen of the relevant Committees, Sub-Committees or Advisory Panels
(including the Independent Chairman of the Standards Committee, who is not a
Councillor) shall move the reception of their recommendation and, if they consider it
necessary to make any introductory remarks by way of explanation may occupy not
more than three minutes for the purpose. By leave of the Mayor this time may be
extended. The time limit does not apply when the Chairman of Strategy and
Resources Committee presents the annual budget and policy framework, and
following such remarks, one spokesman from each of the opposition groups may
have up to ten minutes to make a response.
9.5 The motions for the reception and adoption of a report need not be seconded, and the
recommendations shall be put by the Mayor without being formally moved and
9.6 Following the reception of a report, each paragraph thereof containing a
recommendation shall be separately called by the Mayor.
9.7 Upon a recommendation being called, any Councillor may put a question to the
Chairman of the Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel with a view to
eliciting explanation or information on that subject and, with the consent of the
Mayor, may make a short relevant statement of not more than three minutes duration
to which the relevant Chairman may reply. This rule also applies to the Chairman of
the Standards Committee.
9.8 A Member shall not be permitted, without the consent of the Council, to speak on a
recommendation after the following recommendation has been called by the Mayor.
9.9 A motion or an amendment to any recommendation may be moved when the
recommendation is called by the Mayor, and the Chairman of the Committee, Sub-
Committee or Advisory Panel shall have a right of reply immediately before the
proposer of a motion or amendment exercises the right of reply pursuant to SO 8.16.
This rule also applies to the Chairman of the Standards Committee.
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9.10 In a debate on a recommendation from another Committee, Sub-Committee or
Advisory Panel which has also been considered by Strategy and Resources
Committee, the Chairman of Strategy and Resources shall have the right of reply
immediately after the Chairman of the other Committee, Sub-Committee or
9.11 Following consideration of a report of a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory
Panel the motion shall be put by the Chairman "that the report be adopted "or" "that
the report, as amended, be adopted", as the case may be and no amendment of such a
motion shall be in order.
10. Motions on Expenditure
Any motion which is moved otherwise than in pursuance of a recommendation of Strategy
and Resources Committee (or of another Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel
after the recommendation has been approved by Strategy and Resources) and which if
carried would materially increase the expenditure upon or reduce the revenue of any service
or would involve capital expenditure, shall when proposed and seconded stand adjourned
without discussion to the next ordinary meeting of the Council. Any Committee affected by
such a motion shall consider whether it wishes to report on it. Strategy and Resources
Committee shall report on the financial aspect of the proposal to the next ordinary meeting
of the Council.
11. Motions Affecting Persons Employed by the Council
If any question arises at a meeting of the Council as to the appointment, promotion,
dismissal, salary or conditions of service, or as to the conduct of any employee, it shall,
unless the Council decides otherwise, be considered by the Council after a resolution has
been passed to exclude the Press and Public from the meeting.
12. Rescission or Alteration of Previous Resolutions
12.1 No motion may be moved to rescind or alter any decision of the Council passed
within the preceding six months, and no motion or amendment to the same effect as
one which has been negatived within the preceding six months, shall be proposed
(a) it is recommended by a Committee or
(b) notice thereof has been given under SO 4 bearing the names of at least seven
Members of the Council.
12.2 Once such a motion or amendment has been disposed of by the Council, no Member
may propose a similar motion within a further period of six months.
13. Withdrawal of Reports
No part of the report of a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel before the Council
shall be withdrawn without the consent of the Council.
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14.1 Every question shall be decided, unless otherwise determined by the Council, by a
show of hands. The Chief Executive shall be responsible for counting and declaring
the number of votes cast. On the request of any eight Members, who so signify by
rising in their places, the voting on any question shall be recorded in the Minutes so
as to show how each Member gave his/her vote and the names of Members not
voting shall also be recorded.
14.2 Where immediately after a vote is taken at a meeting of the Council any Councillor
so requires, there shall be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of that meeting
whether that person cast his/ her vote for the question or against the question or
whether he/she abstained from voting.
14.3 If, when the votes are cast, there is an equal number for and against a motion, the
Mayor shall have a casting vote.
15. Voting on the Filling of Appointments or Positions
15.1 Where there are any appointments or positions to be filled by the Council, and the
number of persons nominated exceeds the number of appointments or positions to be
filled, voting by ballot shall take place, and the appointment or election shall be
made by an absolute majority of those present and voting. If the first vote does not
produce an absolute majority, the candidate lowest on the list shall be struck off the
list and a fresh vote taken, and so on until an absolute majority of those present and
voting is given in favour of the number of the persons required to fill the number of
appointments or positions vacant.
15.2 No nomination shall be withdrawn after voting has commenced.
16. Disorderly Conduct
16.1 If at any meeting any Councillor, in the opinion of the Mayor, misconducts
him/herself by persistently disregarding the rule of the Chair, or by behaving
irregularly, improperly, or offensively, or by wilfully obstructing the business of the
Council, the Mayor or any Member may move "That the Member named be not
further heard during the debate" or "That the Member named do leave the meeting"
and, if seconded, the motion shall be put and determined without discussion. If the
latter motion is carried the Member named shall forthwith leave the Chamber for the
duration of the item then under discussion.
16.2 If, after the motion "That the Member named be not further heard during the debate"
has been carried, the misconduct or obstruction is continued, and in the opinion of
the Mayor the orderly dispatch of business is impossible, the Mayor may without
question adjourn or suspend the sitting of the Council for so long as he/she considers
necessary, or may request the offending Member to retire from the Council Chamber
for the duration of the item under discussion.
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16.3 If the offending Member does not thereupon retire, a motion may be moved that
he/she be removed from the Council Chamber and excluded therefrom for the
duration of the item under discussion. Such a motion shall, upon being seconded, be
immediately put without debate or amendment and, if carried, the Mayor shall
thereupon be authorised to cause the removal from the Council Chamber of such
offending Member, who shall be excluded from the meeting for the duration of the
item under discussion. The Mayor shall take such measures as he/she considers
necessary to prevent such Member re-entering the meeting during the discussion of
16.4 If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings at any meeting the Mayor may,
after warning, order his or her removal from the Council Chamber. In the case of a
general disturbance in any part of the Chamber open to the public the Mayor shall
order that part to be cleared and, if necessary, may adjourn or suspend the sitting of
At Council meetings commencing at 1930 hours, if all business has not been dealt with by
2300 hours, the Mayor shall then review the order of the remaining items on the agenda.
Any items still outstanding shall be dealt with in the order announced by the Mayor and in
order to do so the Mayor may, if necessary, invoke SO 18.5.
18. Adjournment of Meetings
18.1 The Council may adjourn any meeting to a later hour on the same day, or to any
other day and hour.
18.2 If any meeting is adjourned to a specified date, the adjourned meeting shall be
deemed a continuation of the original meeting. If no date is set for a reconvened
meeting, any unfinished business shall be postponed until the next ordinary meeting.
18.3 No business shall be transacted at any adjourned meeting which was not included in
the notice convening the meeting of which it is an adjournment.
18.4 When any meeting is adjourned to another day, notice of the adjourned meeting shall
be sent by the Chief Executive to each Councillor specifying the business to be
18.5 Any meeting of the Council which has sat continuously for four hours shall, if items
remain to be dealt with, be adjourned to a day and time to be appointed by the
Mayor. (See SO17).
19. Suspension of Standing Orders
Any of the preceding Standing Orders may be suspended (by a simple majority of those
present) so far as regards any business at the meeting of the Council where its suspension is
moved, but except upon notice of motion duly given under S0 4 shall not be suspended
unless at least two-thirds of the whole number of Members of the Council are present.
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SECTION B - RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF COMMITTEES, SUB-COMMITTEES
AND ADVISORY PANELS
20.1 At its Annual Meeting the Council shall appoint Committees and may at any time
appoint such other bodies as are necessary to carry out the work of the Council but,
subject to any statutory provision in that behalf: -
(a) shall not appoint any Member of a Committee, with the exception of the lay
persons appointed to the Standards Committee so as to hold office later than
the next Annual Meeting of the Council;
(b) may at any time alter the membership of a Committee, sub-committee or
(c) may appoint Sub-Committees on a time-limited, project specific basis.
20.2 A Committee may appoint a Sub-Committee on a time-limited, project specific
21. Composition of Committees, Sub-Committees and Advisory Panels; Substitutes
21.1 In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989
and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1991, the
number of seats on Committees, Sub-Committees (other than the Licensing Hearings
Sub-Committee) and Advisory Panels allocated to each political group shall bear the
same proportion to the total of all seats on the Committees, Sub-Committees and
Advisory Panels as is borne by the number of Members of that group to the total
21.2 A Member of a Committee (other than the Standards Committee), Joint Committee,
Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel may for the whole of a specified meeting
designate as his/her substitute another Member other than a Member of the Scrutiny
Committee. The substitute may attend the meeting on behalf of, but not in addition
to, the nominating Member and shall be entitled to speak and vote. The nominating
Member, or in their absence, the Leader/Chairman of his/her Group, shall inform the
Chief Executive or his representative in writing or by e-mail, prior to the meeting in
question, that his/her substitute will be attending.
21.3 Provisions for the appointment of substitutes do not apply to meetings of the
Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee, the Epsom and Walton Downs
Conservators and the Licensing Committee or Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee.
22.1 Any Member of a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel may resign his/her
seat by a notice in writing signed by him/her and sent to the Chief Executive, who
shall forthwith inform the relevant Chairman
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22.2 Every vacancy on a Committee, Sub Committee or Advisory Panel or an
appointment to an external body shall be notified by the Chief Executive to the
Council at its first meeting after such vacancy has arisen, and such vacancy shall be
filled, if deemed desirable, at the Council Meeting.
23. Attendance of Members of the Council at Meetings of Committees, Sub-Committees
and Advisory Panels
23.1 Any Councillor shall be entitled to attend a meeting of any Committee, Sub-
Committee or Advisory Panel of which he/she is not a Member. He/she shall not be
entitled to vote, but may speak at such a meeting if permission to do so has been
granted by the presiding Chairman subject to SO 23.2 and SO 23.3. This does not
apply to the Licensing Committee and Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee.
23.2 At the discretion of the Chairman of a Committee where a matter of Council-wide
importance is to be considered by that body, all Members of the Council may be
invited to attend the Meeting and may speak and vote on the issue in question. Any
decision made on such a matter may not be the subject of a Recommendation under
SO 33 or the subject of call-in. If any Member of the Scrutiny Committee attends
and takes part in a decision at such a meeting, then that Member may not call in the
decision or take part in any consideration of it by the Scrutiny Committee. If he/she
makes it plain publicly to the Chairman that he/she is attending only as an observer,
then he/she may take part in a subsequent Scrutiny review or call-in procedure. This
Standing Order does not apply to the Licensing Committee and Licensing Hearings
23.3 A Councillor who has proposed a motion which has been referred to any Committee,
Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel shall be given notice of the meeting at which it is
proposed to consider the motion. The Member shall have the opportunity of
speaking first to explain the motion, but may not vote unless he or she is a Member
of that Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel or unless acting as a
designated substitute (see SO 21.2).
Note: Any member of the Scrutiny Committee may propose or second a motion
under this Standing Order. However, if that member then speaks on the item at the
meeting of the policy committee to which the motion is referred, he or she would be
directly involved in decision-making, even if they do not take part in a vote.
Consequently, that Councillor would then need to remove him/herself from any
scrutiny of a decision made by the policy committee.
24. Election and Duties of Chairmen
24.1 The Council shall at the Annual Meeting elect Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of
Committees, Sub-Committees and Advisory Panels.
24.2 No Councillor shall be the Chairman of more than one Committee at the same time.
24.3 Any duty or right assigned to a Chairman of a Committee Sub-Committee or
Advisory Panel under Standing Orders may also be performed or exercised by the
Vice-Chairman or other person presiding at the meeting.
24.4 The Minutes of a meeting of the Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel shall
be signed by the Chairman or by the person who presided at the meeting in question.
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At least one quarter of the membership or three Members of the Committee, Sub-Committee
or Advisory Panel (whichever is the greater number), must be present at a meeting of that
body in order to transact business, except where authorised by statute or where ordered by
26. Other rules for conduct of Committees and Sub-Committees
26.1 There shall be no limit to the length or number of speeches but after a Member has
spoken for five minutes the Chairman may, if he/she considers a matter has been
sufficiently debated, give warning to a Member then speaking that he/she should
conclude his/her speech within two minutes.
26.2 At 2200 hours (or 2½ hours after a Committee or Sub-Committee meeting has
commenced) the Chairman shall review the business remaining to be transacted and
shall order the items so as to dispose of all matters requiring a decision by 2230
hours. Any matters still outstanding at 2230 hours shall either be agreed as
presented without debate or discussion or shall be held over until the next meeting.
26.3 Standing Orders may be suspended so far as regards any business at a meeting of a
Committee or Sub-Committee only if it is agreed by a two-thirds majority of the
Members of that Committee or Sub-Committee then present.
27. Voting in Committees and Sub-Committees
27.1 All questions shall be determined by a show of hands by a majority of the Members
of the Committee or Sub-Committee present and voting. If when the votes are cast
there is an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
27.2 On the request of any four Members, the voting on any question shall be recorded in
the Minutes so as to show how each Member voted and to show the names of those
27.3 Where immediately after a vote is taken at a meeting of a Committee or Sub-
Committee any member of that body so requires, there shall be recorded in the
minutes of the proceedings of that meeting whether that person cast his/her vote for
the question or against the question or whether he/she abstained from voting.
27.4 The Chief Executive or his representative shall be responsible for counting and,
where necessary, recording the votes cast.
28. Standing Orders applying to the Committees, Sub-Committees and Advisory Panels
28.1 The following Standing Orders shall apply to Committees and Sub-Committees: -
Nos 2, 3.2, 3.4, 7.2, 11, 15, 16, 18.1-18.4, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33.1, 34,
28.2 The following Standing Orders shall apply to Advisory Panels: -
Nos 2, 3.2, 3.4, 7.2, 11, 18.1-18.4, 21, 22, 23.1, 24.1, 24.3, 24.4, 25, 27, 29, 32, 34
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29. Advisory Panels
29.1 The Council may appoint Advisory Panels for purposes to be specified by the
29.2 The Council, shall have power to co-opt persons to serve on Advisory Panels, but if
they are not Members of the Council, co-opted members will only have the right to
vote on such issues as may be determined by the Council.
29.3 The rules relating to declarations of interest by Councillors shall also apply to non-
Councillor Members of an Advisory Panel.
29.4 At least one quarter of the Council Members of an Advisory Panel must be present at
a meeting of the Panel in order to transact business, except: -
(a) Where authorised by statute; or
(b) Where ordered by the Council.
29.5 At 2200 hours (or 2½ hours after a meeting has commenced) the Chairman shall
review the business remaining to be transacted and shall order the items so as to
dispose of all matters requiring a decision by 2230 hours. Any matters still
outstanding at 2230 hours shall either be agreed as presented without debate or
discussion or shall be held over until the next meeting.
The conduct of meetings of the Licensing Committee or Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee
to determine such Licensing applications as fall within its Terms or Reference is set out
separately in guidance notes issued to Members of the Committee and set out in Part 5(f) of
31. Emergency Committee
The Council shall appoint an Emergency Committee which shall be authorised to take any
decisions during the summer recess or at other times when normal procedures are not
possible, such as local or national disaster.
32. Terms of Reference and Delegated Powers
32.1 All matters specified in the Terms of Reference shall be referred for consideration to
the Committees, Sub-Committees or Advisory Panels under whose names such
matters appear. Committees shall be authorised to take such action as they think fit
in relation to any matters falling within their Terms of Reference, subject to their
reporting to the Council with their recommendations thereon where matters of
principle or policy are involved.
32.2 Committees shall consider, recommend to the Council and implement schemes of
delegation of authority to: -
(c) Officers in consultation with Members.
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32.3 No Committee shall be empowered to levy or issue a precept for a rate, borrow
money, or, unless authorised by the Council so to do, incur any expenditure not
provided for in its current estimates, or enter into any contract under seal.
33. Recommendations to Council Meeting
33.1 Upon any resolution being made by any Committee or Sub-Committee (subject to
33.2, 33.3 and 33.4 below) any one Councillor may require immediately on the
resolution being passed, or at any time prior, that such resolution shall be submitted
as a recommendation to the next available meeting of the Council. Such requisition
shall be recorded in the Minutes of the Committee and the resolution to which it
relates shall be so submitted to the Council. No action shall then be taken upon the
resolution of the Committee until the matter has been considered by the Council.
33.2 Standing Order 33.1 shall not apply to resolutions made by the Planning Committee.
Upon resolutions made by the Planning Committee, a minimum of three members
present and able to vote on the matter under debate may require, immediately upon
the resolution being passed, that such resolution shall be submitted as a
recommendation to the next available meeting of the Council, except where failure
to determine within a strict time limit would mean that planning permission was
automatically granted, in which case no recommendation(s) should be made to
33.3 Standing Order 33.1 shall not apply to resolutions made by the Standards Committee
on determining complaints of misconduct against Councillors, nor to the Licensing
Committee or Sub-Committee in respect of licensing applications, nor to resolutions
of the Scrutiny Committee, nor to resolutions passed at a Committee meeting to
which all Councillors have been invited to speak and vote.
33.4 Standing Order 33.1 shall not apply if the action requesting that a committee’s
decision be referred to the Council would have the effect of taking the decision away
for the Authority and reversing the decision of the Committee.
34. Special Meetings
The Chairman of a Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel may summon a special
meeting of that body at any time. A special meeting shall also be summoned within ten
clear working days on the requisition in writing of at least three of the Members of the
Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel. The summons shall set out the business to
be considered at the special meeting, and no business other than that set out shall be
considered at that meeting.
35. Public speaking at meetings of Committees
35.1 At the discretion of the Chairman, members of the public may address meetings of
the Planning Committee, policy committees and any sub committees on matters
relevant to the agenda for the meeting for a period of up to three minutes, subject to
prior notification of their intention to do so. The Council will make available a copy
of the rules governing this procedure at the Town Hall or by post on request.
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SECTION C - RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF MEMBERS
A record shall be kept of the attendance of each Member at meetings of the Council and of
Committees, Sub-Committees and Advisory Panels. If a Member fails to attend any
meeting of the Council, Committees, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panels, for a consecutive
period of six months, he/she shall cease to be a Councillor, unless otherwise determined by
the Council prior to the expiry of the period.
37. Council Tax and Restrictions on voting
If a Councillor owes Council Tax and that sum has remained unpaid for two months he/she
should, when any matter relating to Council Tax is under discussion in the circumstances set
out in Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, disclose the fact that Section
106 of the Act applies to him/her and shall not vote. This restriction concerns any decisions
on budgetary requirements, the level of Council Tax, calculation, enforcement and penalties
of Council Tax. If a Member is uncertain whether or not this Standing Order applies, he/she
should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer.
38. Involvement of Members in Contracts
Members shall not undertake private paid work for the Council nor submit tenders for
39. Officers' Reports
39.1 The Chief Executive is responsible for the compilation and presentation of all reports
and documents submitted to the Council. Reports to Committees, Sub-Committees
and Advisory Panels may be compiled and presented by the Council’s Service
Managers or by the Chairman of the relevant Committee, subject to confirmation by
the Chief Executive that the report complies with legal and policy requirements.
39.2 No Councillor shall request individual officers to prepare reports. Any request shall
be made to the Chief Executive or to the appropriate Director who after consultation
with the Chairman of the Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel concerned
will decide whether a report is required and will issue instructions accordingly. If at
least ten clear working days notice is given, any Member may have an item included
on an Agenda to decide whether a report shall be prepared providing the subject
matter in question has not been before the Council within the preceding six months.
40. Inspection of Documents
Any document which is in the possession or under the control of the Council and contains
material relating to any business to be transacted at a meeting of the Council or a
Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel shall be open to inspection by any
Councillor, except where such document discloses exempt information.
[A Councillor has a right to be provided with or to inspect documents which it is reasonable
for him/her to see in order to carry out his/her duties as a Member. A Councillor has no
right to a roving commission to browse at large through the Authority's papers (out of mere
curiosity or for some indirect motive or to act against the Council, e.g. to assist someone in
litigation with the Council.)]
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41. Outside Meetings
A Councillor may not-
41.1 require officers to attend meetings at sites or premises away from Council offices
unless he/she is specifically authorised to do so by the Council or the appropriate
Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel or the Director concerned.
41.2 issue any order respecting any works which are being carried out by or on behalf of
41.3 interview any officer in relation to the exercise or performance of his/her duties,
without the approval of the appropriate Director or as laid down in the rules for the
conduct of Scrutiny reviews.
42. Confidentiality and Publicity
42.1 All documents communicated to Members containing exempt information as
referred to in Part 4 of the Council’s Constitution must remain confidential unless
the Council, Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel otherwise decides.
42.2 The Chairman, or in his/her absence the Vice-Chairman, of any Committee, Sub-
Committee or Advisory Panel and the Chief Executive may jointly approve a
statement to be issued to the press prior to the meeting of the Council on matters of
public interest which have been considered by the Committee, Sub-Committee or
43. Correspondence and Petitions
43.1 Any letter or other document received by a Councillor relating to a matter to be
considered by the Council and not being of a personal character shall immediately be
forwarded by him/her to the Chief Executive (or relevant Director) so that it can,
when necessary, be submitted or reported to the Council or to the appropriate
Committee, Sub-Committee or Advisory Panel or otherwise dealt with as the
[This Standing Order does not affect the right of Councillors to discharge their constituency
role by dealing with correspondence not requiring consideration by a Committee, Sub-
Committee or Panel; but such correspondence must not be conducted in the name of the
43.2 The receipt of any petition shall be reported immediately to the Members of the
appropriate Committee. Subject to the agreement of the Chief Executive, the request
of the petitioners shall then be investigated and a report on the matter shall be
brought to a meeting of that Committee as soon as possible. The organiser of the
petition and the Ward Councillors shall be informed of when the issue is due to be
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SECTION D - GENERAL MATTERS
44. Matters of Urgency
In the event of any matter of urgency arising which may render necessary the immediate
exercise of the Council's powers, the Chief Executive after consultation with the Mayor, or
in his/her absence the Deputy Mayor, and the Chairman of any relevant Committee shall be
authorised to give such directions or instructions as he/she may consider desirable to deal
with the situation. The Chief Executive shall report the fact of having given such directions
or instructions and the reason therefore to the next meeting of the Council or, appropriate
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(b) ACCESS TO INFORMATION PROCEDURE RULES
These rules apply to all meetings of the Council, the Scrutiny Committee, policy and other
Committees, sub-Committees and the Standards Committee (together called meetings).
2. Additional rights to information
These rules do not affect any more specific rights to information contained elsewhere in this
Constitution or the law (such as the Freedom of Information Act).
3. Rights to attend meetings
Members of the public may attend all meetings subject only to the exceptions in these rules.
4. Notices of meeting
The Council will give at least five clear days’ notice of any meeting by posting details of the
meeting at the Town Hall, Epsom.
5. Access to agenda and reports before the meeting
The Council will make copies of the agenda and reports open to the public available for
inspection at the Town Hall designated offices at least five clear days before the meeting. If
an item is added to the agenda later, the revised agenda will be open to inspection from the
time the item was added to the agenda. Where reports are prepared after the summons has
been sent out, the Chief Executive will make each such report available to the public as soon
as the report is completed and sent to Councillors.
6. Supply of copies
The Council will supply copies of any
(a) agenda and reports which are open to public inspection
(b) further statements or particulars necessary to indicate the nature of the items in the
(c) any other documents supplied to Councillors in connection with an item, if the Chief
Executive thinks fit;
to any person on payment of a charge for postage and any other costs.
7. Access to minutes etc. After the meeting
The Council will make available copies of the following for six years after a meeting:
(a) the minutes of the meeting excluding any part of the minutes of proceedings when
the meeting was not open to the public or which disclose exempt or confidential
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(b) a summary of any proceedings not open to the public where the minutes open to
inspection would not provide a reasonably fair and coherent record;
(c) the agenda for the meeting;
(d) reports relating to items when the meeting was open to the public.
8. Background papers
8.1 List of Background Papers
The Chief Executive will set out in every report a list of those documents (called
background papers) relating to the subject matter of the report which in his/her
(a) disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the
report is based
(b) which have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report
but does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential
information (as defined in Rule 9.3 and 9.4).
8.2 Public Inspection of Background Papers
The Council will make available for public inspection for four years after the date of
the meeting one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers.
9. Exclusion of access by the public to meetings
9.1 Confidential Information - Requirement to Exclude Public
The public must be excluded from meetings whenever it is likely in view of the
nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that
confidential information would be disclosed.
9.2 Exempt Information - Discretion to Exclude Public
The public may be excluded from meetings whenever it is likely in view of the
nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that exempt
information would be disclosed.
Where the meeting will determine any person’s civil rights or obligations, or
adversely affect their possessions, Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998
establishes a presumption that the meeting will be held in public unless a private
hearing is necessary for one of the reasons specified in Article 6.
9.3 Meaning of Confidential Information
Confidential information means information given to the Council by a Government
Department on terms which forbid its public disclosure or information which cannot
be publicly disclosed by Court Order.
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9.4 Meaning of Exempt Information
Exempt information means information falling within the following seven 19
categories below provided that in all the circumstances the public interest in
withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the
information (subject to any conditions):
EXTRACTS FROM THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO
INFORMATION)(VARIATIONS) ORDER 2006
DESCRIPTIONS OF EXEMPT INFORMATIO: ENGLAND
1. Information relating to any individual
2. Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual
3. Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular
person (including the authority holding that information)
(N.B. Information within this paragraph is not exempt if it must be registered
a) the Companies Act 1985
b) the Friendly Societies Act 1974
c) the Friendly Societies Act 1972
d) the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 to 1978
e) the Building Societies Act 1986
f) the Charities Act 1993)
4. Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated
consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter
arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or
office holders under, the authority.
5. Information in respect of which a claim to legal privilege could be maintained
in legal proceedings.
6. Information which reveals that the authority proposes:
a) to give under any enactment a notice under or by virtue of which
requirements are imposed on a person; or
b) to make an order or direction under any enactment.
7. Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the
prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.
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Information falling within any of paragraphs 1 -7 is not exempt by virtue of that
paragraph if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority
can grant itself planning permission under Regulation 3 of the Town and Country
Planning Act General Regulations 1992.
The Standards Committee
When the Standards Committee is considering a matter of Member conduct under
Section 60 or 64 of the Local Government Act 2000, the following paragraphs are to be
treated as added to the list of information which can be treated as exempt:
7A Information which is subject to any obligation of confidentiality
7B Information which relates in any way to matters concerning national security
7C The deliberations of a Standards Committee or a Sub-Committee of
Standards Committee established under the provisions of Part 3 of the Local
Government Act 2000 in reaching any findings on a matter referred under
the provisions of Section 60(2) or (3), 64(2), 70(4) or (5) or 71(2) of that Act.
1. Information relating to a particular Information is not exempt information
employee, former employee or applicant to unless it relates to an individual of that
become an employee, or a particular description in the capacity indicated by the
officer-holder, former office-holder or description, i.e. it must relate to and be
applicant to become an office-holder, of the recognisable as referring to a particular
Authority. individual in the roles indicated.
2. Information relating to a particular Information is not exempt information
employee, former employee or applicant to unless it relates to an individual of that
become an employee of, or a particular description in the capacity indicated by the
office-holder, or office-holder or applicant description, i.e. it must relate to and be
to become an office-holder under, a recognisable as referring to a particular
Magistrates’ Court Committee or Probation individual in the roles indicated.
3. Information relating to any particular Information is not exempt information
occupier or former occupier of, or applicant unless it relates to an individual of that
for, accommodation provided by or at the description in the capacity indicated by the
expense of the Authority. description, i.e. it must relate to and be
recognisable as referring to a particular
individual in the roles indicated.
4. Information relating to any particular Information is not exempt information
applicant for, or recipient or former unless it relates to an individual of that
recipient of any service provided by the description in the capacity indicated by the
Authority. description, i.e. it must relate to and be
recognisable as referring to a particular
individual in the roles indicated.
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5. Information relating to any particular Information is not exempt information
applicant for, or recipient or former unless it relates to an individual of that
recipient of, any financial assistance description in the capacity indicated by the
provided by the Authority. description, i.e. it must relate to and be
recognisable as referring to a particular
individual in the roles indicated.
6. Information relating to the adoption, Child means a person under 18 and anyone
care, fostering or education of any who is 18 and is still registered as a school
particular child. pupil, or is the subject of a care order,
within the meaning of Section 31 Children
7. Information relating to the financial or Information within category 7 is not
business affairs of any particular person exempt if it must be registered under
(other than the Authority). various statutes, such as the Companies
Act or Charities Act. To be exempt the
information must relate to a particular third
person who must be identifiable.
8. The amount of any expenditure proposed Information within category 8 is only
to be incurred by the Authority under any exempt if, and for so long as, disclosure of
particular contract for the acquisition of the amount involved would be likely to
property or the supply of goods or services. give an advantage to a person entering into
or seeking to enter into a contract with the
Authority in respect of the property, goods
or services, whether the advantage would
arise as against the Authority or as against
other such persons.
9. Any terms proposed or to be proposed by Information within category 9 is only
or to the Authority in the course of exempt if, and for so long as, disclosure to
negotiations for a contract for the the public of the terms would prejudice the
acquisition or disposal of property or the Authority in those or any other negotiations
supply of goods or services. concerning that property or those goods or
services. (The disposal of property includes
granting an interest in or right over it.)
10. The identity of the Authority (as well as For the purposes of this category ‘tender’
any other person, by virtue of category 7 includes a DLO/DSO written bid.
above) as the person offering any particular
tender for a contract for the supply of goods
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11. Information relating to any Information within category 11 is only
consultations or negotiations, or exempt if and for so long as its disclosure
contemplated consultations or negotiations, to the public would prejudice the Authority
in connection with any labour relations in those or any other consultations or
matters arising between the Authority, or a negotiations in connection with a labour
Minister of the Crown and employees of, or relations matter. ‘Labour relations matters’
office-holders under the Authority. are as specified in paragraph (a) to (g) of
section 29(1) of the Trade Unions and
Labour Relations Act 1974, i.e. matters
which may be the subject of a trade
12. Any instructions to Counsel and any
opinion of Counsel (whether or not in
connection with any proceedings) and any
advice received, information obtained or
action to be taken in connection with: (a)
any legal proceedings by or against the
Authority; of (b) the determination of any
matter affecting the Authority; whether, in
either case, proceedings have been
commenced or are in contemplation.
13. Information which, if disclosed to the Information within category 13 is exempt
public, would reveal that the Authority only if and so long as disclosure to the
proposes (a) to give under any enactment a public might afford an opportunity to a
notice under or by virtue of which person affected by the notice, order or
requirements are imposed on a person; or direction to defeat the purposes for which
(b) to make an order or direction under any the notice, order or direction is to be given
enactment. or made.
14. Any action taken or to be taken in
connection with the prevention,
investigation or prosecution of crime.
15. The identity of a protected informant. A ‘protected informant’ means a person
giving the Authority information which
tends to show that a: -
(a) criminal offence;
(b) breach of statutory duty;
(c) breach of planning control; or
has been, or is being, or is about to be
16. Information relating to the personal
circumstances of any person.
17. Information which must be kept
confidential, for example, under a contract.
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18. Information relating to National
19. The deliberations of a Standards
Committee when hearing matters referred
by an Ethical Standards Officer.
Information falling within any of categories 1-19 is not exempt by virtue of that paragraph if
it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority can grant itself
planning permission under Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General
10. Exclusion of access by the public to reports
If the Chief Executive thinks fit, the Council may exclude access by the public to reports
which in his or her opinion relate to items during which, in accordance with Rule 9, the
meeting is likely not to be open to the public. Such reports will be marked ‘Not for
Publication’ together with the category of information likely to be disclosed.
11. Summary of public’s rights
A copy of these Rules, constituting a written summary of the public’s rights to attend
meetings and to inspect and copy documents, will be kept at and available to the public at
the Town Hall, Epsom.
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(c) BUDGET AND POLICY FRAMEWORK PROCEDURE RULES
1. The framework for decision-making
The Council will be responsible for the adoption of its Budget and Policy Framework as set
out in Article 4. Once a Budget or a Policy Framework is in place, it will be the
responsibility of the policy committees to implement it.
2. Process for developing the framework
The process by which the Budget and Policy Framework shall be developed is:
(a) Each year the Strategy and Resources Committee will recommend to the Council,
which will then publish, a programme for establishing the Budget and Policy
Framework for the following year. Within this programme, it will identify any
strategic policy or resource issues on which it wishes to request studies by the
(b) Within the overall programme, each policy committee may identify any study it
wishes to request from the Scrutiny Committee related to policy issues on which it
wishes to make recommendations to the Council as part of the Budget and Policy
(c) Policy studies undertaken by the Scrutiny Committee should engage as widely as
possible with citizens and stakeholders in the community and use a variety of
methods to gauge public views. The results should be presented to the relevant
policy committee which will then develop proposals to be submitted to the Council.
(d) The Policy and Budget Framework to be presented to Council will be available for
public consultation for a period of 4 weeks.
(e) In approving the Policy and Budgetary Framework presented to it by the Strategy
and Resources Committee, the Council will also specify the extent of virement
within the Budget and degree of in-year changes to the Policy Framework which
may be undertaken by policy committees, in accordance with paragraphs 3 and 4 of
these Rules (virement and in-year adjustments). Any other changes to the Budget
and Policy Framework are reserved to the Council.
The Council will decided on virement limits having regard to the nature of its functions, the
size of its budget, and the need to maintain a balance between the Budget and Policy
Framework and the flexibility needed in-year to deliver services in accordance with Best
4. In-year changes to policy framework
(i) The responsibility for agreeing the Budget and Policy Framework lies with the
Council, and decisions by policy committees or officers with delegated authority
must be in line with it. No changes to any policy and strategy which make up the
Policy Framework may be made by a policy committee or officer with delegated
authority except changes:
(a) necessary to meet a budgetary constraint;
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(b) necessary to ensure compliance with the law, ministerial direction or
(c) in relation to the Policy Framework in respect of a policy which would
normally be agreed annually by the Council following consultation, but
where the existing policy document is silent on the matter under
(ii) The Council may make in-year changes to its Budget and Policy Framework other
than in the circumstances set out in (i) above, but will only do so on the
recommendation of a policy committee or in response to a report from the Chief
Executive or on a motion after proper notice in accordance with the Council
Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of this Constitution, in all cases after a period of
consultation with citizens and stakeholders appropriate to the nature of the changes
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(d) OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES
1. Number of, and arrangements for, scrutiny committee(s)
(a) The Council will have one Scrutiny Committee which will arrange for the
performance of all overview and scrutiny functions on behalf of the Council. It will
consist of at least five Councillors.
(b) The Scrutiny Committee will be responsible for:
(i) arranging the performance of overview and scrutiny functions on behalf of
(ii) the appointment of such Sub-committees or panels as it considers appropriate
to fulfil those review and scrutiny functions;
(iii) ensuring that the Council complies with it duty concerning Best Value, in
accordance with the Local Government Act 1999;
(iv) approving an annual Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme, including the
programme of any Sub-committees or panels;
(v) Monitoring the Council’s financial and audit arrangements and considering
regular reports from the auditor on the outcome of audits.
(vi) putting in place a system to ensure that referrals from the Scrutiny Committee
to Council and to the policy committees, either by way of report or for
reconsideration, are managed efficiently.
(vii) scrutinising the development and implementation of the Community
(ix) monitoring progress on the Council’s Corporate Plan.
2. Who may sit on the Scrutiny Committee?
All Councillors may be members of the Scrutiny Committee. However, no Councillor may
sit on a policy committee while also being a Member of the Scrutiny Committee. Also, no
Councillor may be involved in scrutinising a decision in which he/she has been directly
(a) The Scrutiny Committee will seek to co-opt other Councillors to constitute Sub-
committees, or panels, provided that no Councillor may scrutinise a decision in
which he/she has been involved.
(b) The Scrutiny Committee shall be entitled to appoint to any Sub- Committee or panel
a co-opted member who is not a Councillor or Officer of this Council
4. Meetings of the scrutiny committee
There shall be at least five Ordinary meetings of the Scrutiny Committee in each year. In
addition, Special Meetings may be called from time to time as and when appropriate. A
Special Committee meeting may be called by the Chairman, by any three members of the
Committee or by the Scrutiny Officer if he/she considers it necessary or appropriate.
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The quorum for the Scrutiny Committee shall be as set out for committees in the Council
Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution.
6. Chairmanship of the scrutiny committee
The Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee will be appointed by the Council from among the
Councillors sitting on the Committee.
7. Work programme
The Scrutiny Committee will be responsible for setting its own work programmes and in
doing so it shall take into account, along with other considerations, the wishes of
Councillors on that Committee who are not members of the largest political group on the
8. Agenda items
(a) Any Member of the Council may give written notice to the Scrutiny Officer that they
wish an item to be included on the agenda of the Scrutiny Committee or submit such
an item. If the Scrutiny Officer receives such a notification or item, then he/she will
include it on the first available agenda of the Committee for consideration by the
(b) The Scrutiny Committee shall also respond, as soon as its work programme permits,
to requests from the Council, and if it considers it appropriate the policy committees,
to review particular areas of Council activity. Where it does so, the Scrutiny
Committee shall report its findings and recommendations back to the policy
committee and/or the Council. The Council and/or the relevant policy committee
shall consider the report of the Scrutiny Committee at its next available meeting.
9. Policy and development overview
(a) the role of the Scrutiny Committee in relation to the development of the Council’s
Budget and Policy Framework is set out in detail in the Budget and Policy
Framework Procedure Rules.
(b) In relation to the development of the Council’s approach to other matters not
forming part of its Budget and Policy Framework, the Scrutiny Committee may
make proposals to policy committees for such development in so far as it relates to
matters within their terms of reference although it is recognised that in most cases
policy committees will develop their own policy.
(c) The Scrutiny Committee may hold enquiries and investigate the available options for
future direction in policy development and may appoint advisers and assessors to
assist them in this process. They may go on site visits, conduct public surveys, hold
public meetings, commission research and do all other things that they reasonably
consider necessary to inform their deliberations. They may ask witnesses to attend
to address them on any matter under consideration and may pay to any advisers,
assessors and witnesses a reasonable fee and expenses for doing so.
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10. Reports from the scrutiny committee
(a) Once the Scrutiny Committee has completed its deliberations on any matter it will
prepare a formal report and submit it via the Scrutiny Officer for consideration by
the relevant policy committee (if the proposals are consistent with the existing
Budgetary and Policy Framework), or to the Council as appropriate (e.g. if the
recommendation would require a departure from or a change to the agreed Budget
and Policy Framework).
(b) If the Scrutiny Committee cannot agree on one single final report to the Council or
the relevant policy committee, as appropriate, then up to one minority report may be
prepared and submitted for consideration by the Council or policy committee with
the majority report.
(c) The Council or the relevant policy committee shall consider the report of the
Scrutiny Committee at its next available meeting
(d) When the Council meets to consider any referral from the Scrutiny Committee on a
matter which would impact on the Budget and Policy Framework, it shall also
consider the response of the relevant policy committee to the Scrutiny proposals, and
shall if necessary defer consideration of those proposals until after the next meeting
of the relevant policy committee.
11. Rights of scrutiny committee members to documents
All Councillors have the right to documents, and to notice of meetings as set out in the
Access to Information Procedure Rules in Part 4 of this Constitution, and members of the
Scrutiny Committee, and any sub-Committees or Panels (including any co-opted members),
have all such rights in relation to any of the agreed work programme of the Committee.
12. Members and officers giving account
(a) The Scrutiny Committee may scrutinise and review decisions (other than quasi
judicial decisions, e.g. planning and licensing applications) made or actions taken in
connection with the discharge of any of the Council’s functions. As well as
reviewing documentation, in fulfilling the scrutiny role, they may require any
member of a policy committee, the Chief Executive and/or any senior officer to
attend before them to explain in relation to matters within their remit:
(i) any particular decision or series of decisions;
(ii) the extent to which the actions taken implement Council policy;
(iii) their performance.
And it is the duty of those persons to attend if so required.
(Note: Save in exceptional circumstances, and in agreement with the Chief Executive, no
officer below Director or a Division Head shall be required to appear before the Scrutiny
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(b) If any Councillor or officer is required to attend the Scrutiny Committee under this
provision, the Chairman of the Committee will inform the Scrutiny Officer. The
Scrutiny Officer shall inform the Councillor or officer in writing giving at least five
working days’ notice of the meeting at which he/she is required to attend. The notice
will state the nature of the item on which he/she is required to attend to give account
and whether any papers are required to be produced for the Committee. Where the
account to be given to the Committee will require the production of a report, then the
Councillor or officer concerned will be given sufficient notice to allow for
preparation of that documentation.
(c) If, in exceptional circumstances, the Councillor or officer is unable to attend on the
required date, the Scrutiny Committee shall, in consultation with the Councillor or
officer, arrange an alternative date for attendance to take place within a maximum of
ten working days from the date of the original request.
13. Attendance by others
Scrutiny Committee may invite people other than those people referred to in paragraph 12
above to address it, discuss issues of local concern and/or answer questions. It may for
example wish to hear from residents, stakeholders and Members and officers in other parts
of the public sector and shall invite such people to attend, whether in relation to scrutiny of
the Council’s policies and activities or those of any other agency which affect the social,
environmental or economic well-being of the residents of the Borough. Other committees or
advisory panels may also, from time to time, scruitinise such other agencies.
Call-in should only be used in exceptional circumstances. These are where Members of the
Scrutiny Committee have evidence which suggests that a policy committee took a decision
which was not in accordance with the principles set out in Article 12 (Decision Making).
In any event, call-in will not apply to quasi-judicial decisions e.g. development control and
The call-in procedure is as follows:
(a) When a decision is made by a policy committee or under joint arrangements, the
decision shall be published to Councillors, including where possible by electronic
means, and shall be available at the Town Hall normally within two working days of
being made. Members of the Scrutiny Committee will be sent copies of the records
of all such decisions within the same timescale, by the Scrutiny Officer. When all
members of the Council are invited to speak and vote at a meeting of a committee,
then the power of call-in does not apply.
(b) That notice will bear the date on which it is published and will specify that the
decision will come into force, and may then be implemented, on the expiry of five
working days after the publication of the decision, unless the Scrutiny Committee
objects to it and calls it in. The Notice shall include the following statement: "The
following represents a summary of the decisions taken by the Committee. It is not
intended to represent the formal record of the meeting (for which reference should be
made to the Minutes) but to facilitate the call-in process".
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(c) During that period, the Scrutiny Officer shall call-in a decision for scrutiny by the
Committee if so requested in writing or by e-mail by any two Members of the
Committee, and shall then notify Members of the decision-making Committee of the
call-in. He/she shall call a meeting of the Committee on such date as he/she may
determine, where possible after consultation with the Chairman of the Committee,
and in any case within ten working days of the decision to call-in.
(d) If, having considered the decision, the Scrutiny Committee is still concerned about it,
then it may refer it back to the decision making Committee for reconsideration,
setting out in writing the nature of its concerns or refer the matter to the Full Council.
(e) If following an objection to the decision:
(i) the Scrutiny Committee does not meet in the period set out above or the
expiry of the ten working day period; or
(ii) The Scrutiny Committee does meet but does not refer the matter back to the
decision making Committee,
the decision shall then take effect.
(f) If the matter is referred to the Full Council, and the Council does not object to a
decision which has been made, then no further action is necessary and the decision
will be effective from the date of the Council Meeting. However, if the Council does
object, it may refer any decision to which it objects back to the decision-making
committee, together with the Council’s views on the decision or may itself determine
In order to ensure that call-in is not abused, nor causes unreasonable delay, the Council may
place certain limitations on its use. It will only seek to impose such limitations after
consideration of a report from the Chief Executive.
16. Call-In and Urgency
(i) The call-in procedure set out above shall not apply where the decision being taken by
a policy committee is urgent. A decision will be urgent if any delay likely to be
caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public’s
interest. The record of the decision, and notice by which it is made public shall state
whether in the opinion of the Chief Executive or his/her nominee, the decision is an
urgent one, and therefore not subject to call-in. Decisions taken as a matter of
urgency must be reported to the next available meeting of the Council, together with
the reasons for urgency.
(ii) The operation of the provisions relating to call-in and urgency shall be monitored
annually by the Chief Executive or his/her nominee, and a report submitted to
Council with proposals for review if necessary.
17. Procedure at Scrutiny Committee Meetings
(a) The Scrutiny Committee shall consider the following business:
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(i) minutes of the last meeting;
(ii) declarations of interest;
(iii) consideration of any matter referred to the Committee for a decision in
relation to the calling in of a decision;
(iv) responses from the Council or a policy committee to reports of the Scrutiny
(v) the business otherwise set out on the agenda for the meeting.
(b) Where the Scrutiny Committee asks people to attend to give evidence at Committee
or Panel meetings they are to be conducted in accordance with the following
(i) that the investigation be conducted fairly and all Members of the Committee
be given the opportunity to ask questions of attendees, and to contribute and
(ii) that those assisting the Committee by giving evidence be treated with respect
and courtesy; and
(iii) that the investigation be conducted so as to maximise the efficiency of the
investigation or analysis.
(c) Following any investigation or review, the Committee shall prepare a report for
submission to the relevant Committee and/or Council as appropriate and shall make
its report and findings public.
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(e) FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
1. Financial Administration …38
2. Accounting …39
3. Audit …39
4. Financial Planning …41
5. Capital Expenditure …42
6. Revenue Expenditure …43
7. Budgetary Control …44
8. Orders for Works, Goods & Services …45
9. Payment of Accounts …46
10. Management of Contracts let by Formal Tender (> £50,000) …48
11. Employees & Salaries …49
12. Other Payments to Officers and Members …50
13. Income …51
14. Banking Arrangements and Cheques …53
15. Petty Cash & Other Imprest Accounts …54
16. Insurances …55
17. Investments, Borrowings and Trust Funds …56
18. Stocks and Stores …56
19. Security …57
20. Estates …58
21. Inventories …58
22. Retention of Documents …59
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Issued: July 2002
1. Financial Administration
1.1 These regulations are made by the Council subject to the provisions of the Local
Government Act 1972 and are intended to be the working arrangements whereby the
Council's financial transactions are regulated.
1.2 For the purpose of Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 the Council shall
designate an officer who will be responsible for the proper administration of the
Council's financial affairs and is therefore the responsible financial officer. For the
purposes of these regulations this officer is the Director of Finance.
1.3 In common with all other authorities, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has a
statutory responsibility under the Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996 to provide
an adequate and effective internal audit of the accounting records and control
systems of the Authority. The Director of Finance shall be responsible for
compliance with the requirements of the current Accounts and Audit regulations.
1.4 Each Director shall, in consultation with the Director of Finance, ensure that actions
taken within his department are in accordance with Standing Orders and Financial
Regulations and shall ensure that procedures are implemented according to current
1.5 Failure of any officer to comply with Financial Regulations or Standing Orders
may result in disciplinary action.
1.6 Each Director shall consult with the Director of Finance with respect to any changes
in circumstances within his responsibility that are likely to affect the Council’s
finances, before any commitment is made.
1.7 No reports containing financial or Value Added Tax considerations shall be
submitted to any Committee without prior consultation with the Director of Finance
on the tax and financial implications.
1.8 These Financial Regulations shall also apply to services carried out under agency
and partnership arrangements for, or on behalf of, any other Authority or
organisation (including the voluntary sector).
1.9 These Financial Regulations should be read in conjunction with the relevant internal
codes of practice and current schemes of delegation to committees or officers and
also in conjunction with Contract Standing Orders. However, any national
legislation takes precedence over Financial Regulations and Contract Standing
1.10 All officers should give consideration to the principles of Best Value, or other
similar policies as may be relevant and/or amended from time to time, in the
execution of their duties.
1.11 These Financial Regulations and Standing Orders should be reviewed at least every
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2.1 The Director of Finance shall be responsible for maintaining the Council’s
accounting records as well as compiling the Council’s annual financial statements
and accounts for publication in accordance with statutory requirements.
2.2 All accounting procedures and financial records of the Council and its officers in all
departments shall be subject to approval and control by the Director of Finance. No
changes shall be made to existing procedures without the prior approval of the
Director of Finance.
2.3 The following principles shall be observed in the allocation of accounting duties:
(i) the duties of providing information, calculating, checking and recording sums
due to or from the Council shall be separated as completely as possible from
the duty of collecting or disbursing them;
(ii) officers charged with the duty of examining and checking the accounts of
cash transactions shall not themselves be engaged in any of these
transactions, nor in the certifying of accounts relating to them.
2.4 The Director of Finance shall be responsible for the timely submission of all grant
claims and financial returns to Government and other statutory bodies.
2.5 The Director of Finance shall determine the retention periods for all financial
records. (See Financial Regulation 22)
2.6 Directors are responsible for maintaining the proper security and privacy of
information contained in financial records under their control including such
information held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant
legislation. Directors should ensure that staff are aware of the main provisions of the
Computer Misuse Act 1990.
2.7 As soon as is practicable after the end of the financial year, and in any case within 6
months of the financial year-end, the Director of Finance shall report to the Strategy
& Resources Committee on the annual accounts.
3.1 A continuous internal audit in accordance with the agreed Audit Plan, in all
departments of the Council shall be carried out under the independent control and
direction of the Director of Finance.
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3.2 The audit plan should review the:
(i) extent to which the Council's assets are accounted for and safeguarded from
losses of all kinds arising from fraud and other offences, or waste,
extravagant and inefficient administrative systems, poor value for money and
misuse of Council resources;
(ii) extent of compliance with established policies, plans and procedures;
(iii) soundness, adequacy and application of financial and other controls;
(iv) effectiveness and efficiency of financial procedures and administrative
3.3 The Director of Finance or his authorised representatives shall have authority to:
(i) enter all establishments or land of the Council;
(ii) have access to all records, documents, correspondence and property relating
to any financial transaction and other transactions of the Council whether
held by employees of the Council or by consultants as employees under
contract for professional services;
(iii) require and receive such explanations as he considers necessary for any
financial matter under consideration;
(iv) require any employee to produce cash, stores or any other Council property
under his control.
3.4 Immediately a Director becomes aware of any possible irregularity affecting income,
expenditure, cash, stores or other property of the Council, the Director of Finance or
his authorised representative shall be informed so that an independent investigation
of the alleged irregularity may be undertaken. Any such investigation shall be
undertaken by the Director of Finance or his authorised representative.
3.5 Where a fraud, theft or major irregularity is suspected, the Director of Finance:
(i) may remove and provide safe custody of books, records, vouchers or any
other material where they may be used as evidence in an investigation;
(ii) shall be entitled to require the exclusion of staff from their normal place of
work for a limited period.
In any event, all staff shall report any suspected irregularity to their Director or the
Director of Finance or the senior member of the audit team, as appropriate.
3.6 Where, upon investigation, the Director of Finance believes that reasonable grounds
exist for suspecting that a loss may have occurred as a result of misappropriation,
irregular expenditure, or fraud the Director of Finance shall, in consultation with the
Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager, consider whether the circumstances
require further investigation by the Police.
3.7 Where, upon investigation, the Director of Finance believes that a loss may have
occurred as a result of waste, extravagance or maladministration he shall, with the
Chief Executive, determine the manner in which this should be reported to the
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3.8 In all cases, following a report on an investigation, the Director of Finance together
with the Directors' Group shall consider the matter so that any possible breach of
internal discipline may be dealt with according to the agreed procedure.
3.9 The Director of Finance shall report at least annually to Scrutiny Committee
reviewing the internal audit coverage during the previous year and the audit plan for
the forthcoming year.
3.10 A minimum requirement for the senior member of the audit team shall be that the
post holder is a fully qualified member of one of the following bodies:
(i) an institute which is a member of the Consultative Committee of Accounting
(ii) the Institute of Internal Auditors.
3.11 All officers should have regard for the Council’s Whistleblowing policy. The
purpose of this policy is to establish a means by which employees who either suspect
or have identified cases of Council fraud, corruption or other malpractice, may raise
issues of concern, and be confident that those issues are dealt with seriously and
fairly without fear of recrimination, victimisation or harassment from any part of the
4. Financial Planning
4.1 The Director of Finance will review the Financial Strategy annually to ensure it’s
continuing reference to achieving the Director of Human Resources.
4.2 The Director of Finance, in consultation with other Directors, shall annually prepare
a Financial Strategy. This will show the estimated impact of spending plans on the
General Fund over the next 4 years arising from legislative, Council policy and
service level changes. The Strategy & Resources Committee will then consider the
annual Financial Plan.
4.3 Any new scheme to be included in the Financial Plan shall show the full year effect
of the proposals and the implications for at least the next three financial years.
4.4 Capital and revenue spending targets for each policy committee shall be derived
from the Financial Plan and determined by Council.
4.5 The Director of Finance shall prepare each year timetables for the preparation,
submission and approval of annual revenue and capital budgets. All submissions
shall be in accordance with the timetable.
4.6 The Director of Finance shall prepare the annual revenue, capital and manpower
estimates in consultation with Directors or their representatives who shall supply
such information as is necessary to support the budgets.
4.7 The appropriate committees shall review all fees, charges and rents annually, prior to
the consideration of the annual budget.
4.8 The Strategy & Resources Committee and policy committees will recommend
revenue and capital budgets consistent with the budget targets set by Council.
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4.9 The Council shall meet annually for the purpose of considering its annual budget as
submitted by the Strategy & Resources Committee and determining the amounts of
Council Tax for each of the categories of dwellings for the ensuing financial year.
5. Capital Expenditure
5.1 The Council will approve capital strategy and review it annually.
5.2 A medium term capital programme will be maintained in support of achieving the
Council’s Director of Human Resources. The programme will be reviewed annually
and the Director of Finance will advise on the impact on the Council’s Financial
5.3 In accordance with the Financial Strategy and timetable prepared under Financial
Regulations 4.1 to 4.7 each Director and/or Service Manager shall prepare in
collaboration with the Director of Finance provisional capital scheme estimates for
each of the next 4 years together with full revenue implications. All schemes
however funded shall be included in the provisional capital scheme estimates.
5.4 Provisional capital scheme estimates submitted under Financial Regulation 5.1 shall
distinguish between committed and uncommitted expenditure.
5.5 Items of expenditure shall be deemed to be of a capital nature if:
(i) the estimated value exceeds the Council’s de-minimus limit which is
currently set at £20,000;
(ii) the expenditure is in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government
and Housing Act 1989 as referred to in the CIPFA guidance on Capital
5.6 Bids for the provisional capital scheme estimates shall be prepared using a “Capital
Bid Justification form” containing full scheme details including a Statement of
Justification for the scheme, proposed funding and potential benefits to be derived.
These detailed bids shall then be reviewed by Capital Management Group.
5.7 The Capital Management Group having considered the provisional capital scheme
expenditure proposals shall appraise schemes in accordance with criteria established
for capital planning purposes.
5.8 The Financial Policy Panel shall consider the report of the Capital Management
Group and shall recommend a process of capital programme approval to the Strategy
& Resources Committee for approval by the Council.
5.9 The final recommended Capital Programme will be approved by Council when the
annual revenue budget is approved.
5.10 Once approved by Council, the relevant Director shall be authorised to expend the
approved capital budget sums for works on the approved schemes subject to
compliance with Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and any necessary
Government approvals being obtained.
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5.11 Any expenditure to be incurred on preliminary works, e.g. feasibility studies, must
have a capital bid justification form completed and be approved following the
procedure as stated in 5.1 to 5.10 above.
5.12 Any projects which are reliant upon the receipt of government or other third party
funding, including grants from the National Lottery, must follow the capital
programme procedures as stated in 5.1 to 5.11 above.
5.13 All approved capital schemes will be supported by a capital form identifying the
responsible scheme manager and the project timetable.
5.14 Project managers will monitor scheme costs on a monthly basis. The Capital
Management Group will monitor the corporate capital programme on a quarterly
basis and provide a summary report to all Members.
5.15 If, during the course of a financial year, unexpected and time critical capital
expenditure is required, this can be authorised under delegated authority powers. All
details of the scheme, including costs, funding and revenue budget implications must
be submitted for approval using the Officer’s Action form. A report containing full
details of the scheme approved under delegated authority shall be made by the
appropriate Director to the next relevant committee meeting.
5.16 If a Director becomes aware that the estimated cost of a capital scheme for which he
is responsible is likely to be exceeded, he shall report to the next meeting of the
relevant policy committee stating the reasons why and the amount of the anticipated
6. Revenue Expenditure
6.1 The Director of Finance shall prepare the annual revenue budgets in consultation
with Directors and Service Managers, who shall be responsible for providing such
information as is necessary to support the budgets. These budgets will then be
submitted to the Directors' Group in accordance with the guidelines set by the
6.2 Estimates prepared under Financial Regulation 6.1 shall distinguish between
expenditure for carrying out existing levels of service and proposed changes
including improvements (growth) in service.
6.3 The Directors' Group shall consider the provisional estimates and, after making such
amendments as they consider necessary, shall submit to the Financial Policy Panel
provisional estimates for their consideration.
6.4 Each committee shall consider the provisional estimates for the services that they
have been authorised to control and submit to the Strategy and Resources
Committee, in accordance with the timetable prepared under Financial Regulation 4,
provisional estimates of revenue expenditure and income for the ensuing year.
6.5 The Strategy and Resources Committee or Council shall consider the aggregate
effect of these estimates upon the Council's financial resources. Statements of the
requirements of precepting authorities and the recommendation of the Council Tax
level necessary to meet the aggregate amount of the estimates shall also be
considered by Council.
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6.6 The Council shall consider the recommended estimates, and agree the revenue
budget and Council Tax in accordance with statutory requirements and when
approved the budget will be published in the Council’s Policy Book
6.7 Directors shall be authorised, subject to Financial Regulations and Standing Orders,
to expend the Budgets as approved by Council for the services for which they are
responsible. No Director is authorised to incur expenditure on any service for
which no Authorised Budget provision has been made, nor exceed the total of
all Authorised Budgets under his responsibility; except under the provisions
regarding Virements in Financial Regulations 7.6. to 7.9 inclusive.
7. Budgetary Control
7.1 The Directors and their nominated Service Managers shall be responsible for the
control of income and expenditure of their Departments and the Services of which
they have charge.
7.2 Approval by Council of a probable outturn shall have the effect of substituting that
probable outturn for the authorised budget.
7.3 The Director of Finance shall make available to Service Managers information
relating to expenditure and income within the relevant cost centres to enable
comparison with the provisions in the authorised budget.
7.4 Where at any time it is apparent that the amount of a service group variation against
the profiled and authorised budget of expenditure may be exceeded or any authorised
income may not be reached by plus or minus 15% with an absolute value exceeding
£20,000, the Director concerned shall report to the appropriate committee with full
reasons and propose how the shortfall will be met. Any variations where the
absolute value is greater than the de-minimus of £5,000 but does not exceed £20,000
shall be reported annually to the Strategy & Resources Committee.
7.5 Any proposal to a Commission involving an activity (or the extension of an existing
activity), which has not been included in the annual revenue and/or capital budget
shall be accompanied by a report, prepared by the responsible Director, setting out
the proposed funding of the new activity for the current and (if appropriate) future
7.6 To effect a virement of up to £5,000 the relevant Cost Centre Manager should
discuss the change with the relevant service accountant and then complete the
approved virement form. This should then be authorised by the relevant Director.
Once authorised the service accountant will then make the appropriate changes to the
Current Approved Budget on the General Ledger.
7.7 To effect a virement of up to £20,000 the relevant Cost Centre Manager should
discuss the change with the relevant service accountant and then complete the
approved virement form. This should then be authorised by the relevant Director
and Chairman. Once authorised the service accountant will then make the
appropriate changes to the Current Approved Budget on the General Ledger.
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7.8 To effect a virement of more than £20,000 the relevant Cost Centre Manager should
discuss the change with the relevant service accountant and then make a report to the
appropriate committee. Once authorised the service accountant will then make the
appropriate changes to the Current Approved Budget on the General Ledger.
7.9 The following conditions apply to all virements.
Virements out of cost centres will be monitored in aggregate during the financial
year. When this aggregate exceeds any one of the limits stated in 7.6, 7.7 and 7.8
above, the procedure for that value shall be followed regardless of the value of
this new virement.
Virements may not be made:
(i) into/out of employee budgets without the approval of the Strategy &
Resources Committee and Council;
(ii) between committees without the approval of the Strategy & Resources
Committee and Council;
(iii) into/out of the Epsom & Walton Downs Conservators and Nonsuch Park
Joint Management Committee accounts.
Budgets must not be vired out of a ledger code where there are commitments
either by a contract or an outstanding order.
Budgets to be vired out should be “surplus to requirements” by virtue of either a
decision not to go ahead with an activity OR achieving the activity more cheaply
than envisaged OR by receiving more income from an activity (or an additional
activity) than envisaged.
Any decision to not carry out an activity must (at least) be with the full
agreement of all relevant budget holders and the relevant service accountant, and
must not be otherwise detrimental to the service provision.
All virements must be proposed on the appropriate virement documentation as
approved by the Director of Finance.
8. Order for Works, Goods, Services
8.1 Official orders shall be in a form approved by the Director of Finance and are to be
authorised only by the nominated officers. A schedule of the names of these officers
and to what limits they are authorised shall be held by the Director of Finance and
confirmed annually and amended as required by the relevant Directors. Official
orders generated by a computerised system shall be subject to procedures approved
in advance by the Director of Finance.
8.2 Official orders shall be promptly issued or formal written contracts made for all
work, goods and services to be supplied to the Council except for supplies of public
utility services, periodical payments such as rent or rates, petty cash purchases or
other such exceptions as the Director of Finance may approve.
8.3 All orders shall comply with Standing Orders, in particular, those relating to
8.4 Official orders may not be issued for works, goods or services unless the cost is
covered by an Authorised Budget or other special financial provision.
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8.5 All orders shall indicate clearly the nature and quantity of goods or services required;
a contractual, quoted or estimated price and, if material, the required completion date
for the order.
8.6 Telephoned or verbal orders, where unavoidable, should be confirmed on the same
day by an official order which shall be clearly marked as a confirmation of
instructions previously issued.
8.7 Where a general authority, which must be written, has been given by the Council
(instead of an official order) requiring performance of specific works or services of
an emergency nature, an official order shall be issued the next working day in
confirmation of the actions requested under that authority.
8.8 Official orders may not be used for the procurement of goods, materials or services
for the personal use of an employee.
8.9 Where works, goods or services are procured by use of the Council’s Corporate
Credit card, an official order need not be completed. Use of the credit card is by
defined officers and must be in accordance with procedures and documentation as
approved by the Director of Finance. At the completion of the transaction the
appropriate internal Credit Card Transaction voucher must be completed with full
details of the purchase.
8.10 Where a “Blanket” order has been negotiated by the Council, defined officers may
make “call off” requisitions against this order. Vouchers and processes supporting
this requisition must be in a format approved by the Director of Finance.
8.11 Where the Council has entered into an “account” arrangement (e.g. for fuel) officers
authorised to obtain goods under this arrangement must do so only for Council
8.12 Before engaging a new supplier to order/procure goods and services a new supplier
request form, as provided by the Director of Finance, must be completed and both
the officer requesting and the officer authorising the new supplier must be satisfied
(i) the new supplier is willing to be paid by BACS;
(ii) the estimated annual expenditure with this supplier will not exceed the limits
at which quotes for works to be done or a tender exercise are required (see
Contract Standing Orders 5 and 6, but currently any value greater than
(iii) none of the currently authorised suppliers can supply the goods/services;
(iv) the goods/services cannot be procured under an existing agreement;
(v) the goods/services cannot be procured from a supplier currently listed on the
Council’s standing list of tenderers.
Once fully completed and authorised the new supplier will be created by the
appropriate officer in the Director of Finance’s Department.
9. Payment of Accounts
9.1 The Director of Finance shall make proper arrangements for the payment of accounts
as duly authorised.
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9.2 The methods of payment of money due from the Council shall only be as agreed by
the Director of Finance and will normally be by cheque, BACS or other instrument
drawn on the Council’s bank account.
9.3 All accounts for payment shall be in a form approved by the Director of Finance.
9.4 Statements shall not be paid and facsimile invoices should not be used as a substitute
for actual invoices. Where the original invoice is not submitted for payment, a
written statement should accompany the copy invoice.
9.5 The Director issuing an order shall be responsible for examining, verifying and
certifying the related invoice(s) and similarly for any other payment vouchers or
accounts arising within his responsibility. The schedule of authorising officers and
their financial limits shall be reviewed and approved by each Director at least
annually but may otherwise be reviewed from time to time as required.
9.6 Before certifying an account, the certifying officer shall satisfy himself that:
(i) it conforms with the order and the delivery note (where one exists);
(ii) the work, goods or services, to which the account relates have been received,
carried out, examined and approved;
(iii) the prices, extensions, calculations, trade discount, other allowances, credits
and tax are correct;
(iv) the relevant expenditure has been properly incurred, is within the relevant
estimate provision and is in accordance with the Council’s Standing Orders
and Financial Regulations;
(v) expenditure has been correctly allocated and appropriate entries have been
made in inventories, stores records or stock books, as required;
(vi) the account has not been previously passed for payment and is a proper
liability of the Council;
(vii) the Director of Finance is informed, where relevant, for insurance purposes.
9.7 Accounts for payment shall be processed as soon as possible after receipt under
arrangements specified by the Director of Finance.
9.8 No amendments shall be made to Value Added Tax invoices. All such invoices shall
be returned to the creditor for any amendment necessary in accordance with VAT
9.9 The activities of ordering and receiving goods and authorising accounts for payment
shall be carried out by three different officers (unless otherwise agreed with the
Director of Finance) and in accordance with arrangements previously agreed by the
Director of Finance.
9.10 Accounts for payment in respect of purchases of land or property must be supported
by particulars of the land or property, the location, the name of the Vendor and the
amount of the purchase money and expenses.
9.11 Each Director as soon as possible after 31 March, and not later than the date
specified by the Director of Finance, must ensure that the Director of Finance is
notified of all outstanding expenditure relating to the previous financial year.
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10. Management of Contracts let by Formal Tender (defined as per Contract Standing
Orders value > £50,000)
10.1 No contract shall be entered into unless the relevant Director has satisfied himself as
to the tenderers ability to satisfactorily fulfil the contract. The Director of Finance
shall make enquiries as to the financial status of tenderers. Financial and technical
appraisals and the take-up of previous client references is to be undertaken in respect
of all external parties, prior to tenders being invited for all commissions expected to
exceed £50,000 in value and for all standing lists. All financial appraisals shall be
undertaken by the Director of Finance or his delegated representative.
10.2 A Contract register shall be maintained in which shall be entered details of every
formal contract and accepted tender of the Council acting in pursuance of the
Standing Orders of the Council relating to contracts and of the payments made under
such contracts or accepted tenders.
10.3 All contracts on behalf of the Council shall be subject to the Council’s Standing
10.4 The Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager shall retain the original of all
contracts, the details of which shall be recorded in the Council’s Contracts Register.
10.5 Payments to contractors on account of contracts shall be made only on a certificate
issued by the contract manager (or Consultants where engaged by the Council) and
signed by the appropriate supervising officer. The certificate shall include the
(i) the total amount of the contract;
(ii) the value of work executed to date;
(iii) the amount paid to date and the amount now certified;
(iv) the balance outstanding;
(v) the amount of retention held;
(vii) Value Added Tax and other taxes.
10.6 Every contract extra or variation, other than a price variation within the terms of the
contract, shall be authorised in writing before works commence.
10.7 Any extra or variation to the original specification which will cause an increase in
cost of > 10 % shall be reported to the appropriate Director for certification;
(i) stating the reasons for the change;
(ii) making proposals for funding;
(iii) seeking approval for the additional expenditure.
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10.8 The final payment certificate of any contract shall not be issued until the Supervising
Officer (or Consultants) has produced to the Director of Finance a detailed statement
of the work under the contract with all vouchers and documents and showing full
measurements, additions, deductions and omissions and the Director of Finance has
examined the accounts, vouchers and documents and satisfied himself as to their
accuracy. In this respect, the Director of Finance shall be entitled to make all
enquiries and receive such information and explanations as he may require in order
to satisfy himself as to the accuracy of the accounts.
10.9 Claims from contracts in respect of losses, expenses, ex-gratia payments and any
other matter not clearly within the terms of any existing contract shall be referred to
the Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager for consideration of the Council's
legal liability and to the Director of Finance for financial consideration before
negotiations are undertaken or a settlement is reached.
10.10 All contractors must provide to the Director of Finance evidence of Public Liability
cover to a value as determined by him, currently set at £5,000,000. Contractors must
also provide other insurance cover which the Director of Finance has determined to
be relevant given the nature of the works being undertaken.
10.11 Where completion of a contract is delayed such as to give rise to a claim for
liquidated damages on behalf of the Council, the responsible supervising officer
concerned shall take appropriate action in respect of such a claim.
11. Employees and Salaries
11.1 The Director of Finance shall be responsible for the monthly payments to all staff
and elected Members of the Borough Council.
11.2 Prior to any proposal to make new or changed appointments or vary the authorised
manpower estimates, the Director of Finance shall be consulted and shall carry out a
comparison of the proposal against it. This comparison will ensure that adequate
provision (current and future years) exists within the manpower estimates for the
appointment. Appointments should be in accordance with the regulations of the
Council and approved budgets, grade and rates of pay.
11.3 Each Director who has responsibility for payroll costs should confirm to the Director
of Finance the accuracy of the pay details at least once each financial year.
11.4 The relevant Director will notify the Human Resources Division as soon as possible
and in a form prescribed by and copied to the Director of Finance of all matters
affecting the payment of emoluments, and in particular:
(i) appointments (permanent and temporary), resignations, dismissals,
suspensions, secondments, transfers and retirements;
(ii) changes in remuneration other than normal increments, pay awards and
agreements of general application;
(iii) information necessary to maintain records of service for pensions, income
tax, national insurance and similar.
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11.5 Each Director shall notify the Director of Finance as soon as possible, in the form
prescribed by him and in accordance with the regulations, of all absences from duty
for sickness or other reason, apart from approved paid leave. From this information,
the Director of Finance shall maintain full staff absence records.
11.6 When an employee is paid on the basis of a timesheet on forms as approved by the
Director of Finance, they shall be:
(i) completed by the employees themselves except in the case of illiteracy when
the employees line manager will complete them suitably endorsing the
timesheets to this effect;
(ii) certified by the appropriate supervisor and authorised by or on behalf of the
appropriate Director in their own names;
(iii) completed in the appropriate department by the insertion of total hours
worked, grade or rate of pay applicable, bonus payments, sickness deductions
and allocations to the appropriate expenditure heads, together with details of
(iv) forwarded to the Director of Finance at a time to be agreed by him.
11.7 Salaries are normally paid by direct credit through BACS. In exceptional cases
where a payment is made by cheque, the cheque shall be posted to the employee (if
they work away from the Town Hall) or shall be collected at the Cash Office in the
Town Hall and signed for by the employee.
11.8 In cases where salary payments made by cheque cannot be delivered they shall be
returned promptly, to the Director of Finance's department whereupon they shall be
cancelled. A replacement cheque shall only be drawn when the Director of Finance
is satisfied that the employee to whom it relates is due the payment and is able to
receive it personally or has authorised a representative to receive it for him.
12. Other Payments to Officers and Members
12.1 All claims for payment of car allowances, subsistence, travelling expenses, post-
entry training expenses and other incidental expenses shall be in a form approved by
the Director of Finance and submitted to him for payment after being certified by an
12.2 The names of the officers authorised to certify such records shall be submitted to the
Director of Finance by each Director, together with specimen signatures and shall be
amended on the occasion of any change. Certifying officers must not authorise their
own claims, subordinate officers must not authorise claims of senior officers except
that any Director may authorise claims submitted by the Chief Executive.
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12.3 The claimant shall:
(i) certify that the claim records the correct mileages travelled and that they
were necessarily undertaken in the performance of their duties;
(ii) certify that the amount of any expenses claimed is in accordance with
relevant Council regulations and have not previously been claimed;
(iii) certify that the insurance cover for the vehicle used for the claimed mileage
covers the claimant for business use and indemnifies the Council against any
third party claims;
(iv) supply the necessary supporting evidence without which claims may be
reduced or rejected.
12.4 All claims in respect of Officers' car allowances, overtime hours and evening
meetings shall be submitted to the Director of Finance in a form specified by him by
the 7th day of the month. Employees must submit claims within two months of the
events (and in any case within one month of the end of the financial year) and should
normally represent a previous month’s activity. All claims must be certified by the
claimant and by the appropriately authorised officers.
12.5 All claims in respect of Officers' Travel and Subsistence shall be submitted to the
Director of Finance in a form specified by him by the 5th day of the month.
Employees must submit claims within two months of the events (and in any case
within one month of the end of the financial year) and should normally represent a
previous month’s activity. All claims must be certified by the claimant and by the
appropriately authorised officers.
12.6 Any claim that exceeds timescales referred to in 12.4 and 12.5 above shall require
the approval of the Director of Finance prior to acceptance of the claim.
12.7 Payments to Members who are entitled to claim travelling or other allowances will
be made by the Director of Finance upon receipt of the prescribed form duly
completed. Such payments are normally paid by BACS but where they are paid by
cheque these will be delivered to them by courier
12.8 The Director of Finance shall prepare and submit to the Council an annual report
scheduling the Members' allowances payable for the ensuing Municipal year. Once
approved, Committee Services will provide the Director of Finance with a schedule
of all Members for the ensuing year and their membership on committees qualifying
for Members’ allowances.
13.1 The Director of Finance shall, in conjunction with the other Directors as appropriate,
make and maintain adequate arrangements for financial organisation and accounting
to ensure the proper recording of sums due to the Council, and the prompt and proper
accounting for all cash, including its collection, custody, control and deposit.
13.2 The collection of, and issue of receipts for, all accounts and monies due to or
received by the Council shall be under the direction of the Director of Finance. The
Director of Finance should also authorise arrangements for cheques held without
being banked. (e.g. candidates election deposits).
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13.3 Each Director shall provide, promptly, to the Director of Finance such particulars in
connection with work done, goods supplied or services rendered and of all other
amounts due to the Council to ensure the prompt rendering of accounts for the
recovery of income due.
13.4 The Director of Finance shall be notified promptly of all money due to the Council
under contracts, leases, tenancy agreements, conveyances, transfers of property and
other agreements entered into which involve the receipt of money by the Council.
All relevant documentation shall be submitted to and held by the Director of
13.5 All receipt books, forms, tickets, other documents representing money or monetary
value and other such items in connection with the collection of income shall be in a
form approved by the Director of Finance and shall be ordered, controlled and issued
to departments by him. All receipts and issues thereof shall be properly recorded and
signed for by the receiving officer and the Director of Finance shall satisfy himself
as to the arrangements for their control.
13.6 Acknowledgements for monies received on behalf of the Council shall be given by
officers only on an official form issued by the Director of Finance, except where the
monies due are contained in a legal document agreed by the Chief Executive or the
Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager in their capacity as the Council’s
13.7 All money received by an Officer on behalf of the Council shall be kept separately
from personal cash and shall be paid intact to the Director of Finance without delay
or as he may direct, to the Council's bank account. Personal cheques or any other
cheques should not be cashed out of monies held or received on behalf of the
13.8 Each officer of the Council who receives money on behalf of the Council shall be
accountable for that money and shall keep records in connection therewith as are
approved by the Director of Finance including a record of all receipts and deposits
made either with the Director of Finance or the Council's Bankers.
13.9 Each officer who banks money shall ensure that the paying-in slip contains in respect
of each transaction a reference to the related debt or source of money or otherwise
indicates the origins of the cheques.
13.10 Bankings shall be carried out daily, or if small sums are involved, when the total
exceeds £100. Collections under £100 should be held no longer than two weeks
13.11 Where payment is received by a means other than cash the payee shall be 'Epsom
and Ewell Borough Council'. On no account should a payment be made out to an
13.12 The Director of Finance shall mark, by stamp or machine imprint, all cheques and
payable orders on the reverse with the date of receipt.
13.13 Every transfer of official money from one member of staff to another will be
evidenced in the records of the Department(s) concerned by the signatures of the
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13.14 If any discrepancy is revealed between the amount deposited and the amount shown
as received by the collector it shall be recorded and investigated. Any uncorrected
deficiency shall be notified to the Director of Finance.
13.15 The Director of Finance has uninhibited delegated authority to write off debts subject
to debts in excess of £3,000 (or a group or series aggregating to this amount) only
being written off following consultation with the Financial Policy Panel.
13.16 The Council’s charging policy shall be determined by the Strategy and Resources
Committee as part of the Financial Strategy.
13.17 Charges shall be reviewed in accordance with the Council’s charging policy at least
annually by the appropriate Director and agreed by the Director of Finance. Such
charges shall then be submitted to the appropriate committee for approval, except
where delegated authority shall otherwise provide.
13.18 The financial implications of such reviews shall be reflected in the estimates for the
forthcoming financial year.
13.19 Any new sources of income shall be handled in accordance with this Income
14. Banking Arrangements and Cheques
14.1 All arrangements with the Council’s bankers concerning banking accounts and
making of payments shall be made through the Director of Finance. All bank
accounts shall be in the name of the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and not in
the name or designation of any officer.
14.2 The Director of Finance shall be responsible for the operation and supervision of the
Council’s bank and giro accounts including ordering, custody and issue of all
14.3 Cheques drawn on the Council's bank account shall bear the facsimile signature of
the Director of Finance or be signed by the Director of Finance or other officer
authorised to do so except that all cheques in excess of £40,000 are to be signed
personally by two of the authorised signatories. Similarly any electronic payments
exceeding £40,000 are to be approved by two of the authorised signatories.
14.4 Payments made from the Council’s bank account other than by cheque shall be
subject to arrangements approved in advance by the Director of Finance.
14.5 The Director of Finance shall maintain a list of authorised signatories, which may
differentiate between different types of financial instrument.
14.6 A full review of the Council’s banking arrangements should be undertaken at least
every 5 years.
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15. Petty Cash and other Imprest Accounts
15.1 The Director of Finance shall provide such advance accounts as he considers
appropriate to such officers of the Council who may need them for the purpose of
defraying petty cash and other expenses. These accounts will be maintained on an
(i) Payments shall be limited to minor items of expenditure and, except with the
prior approval of the Director of Finance, no single item shall exceed £15.00
(ii) A petty cash claim form must be completed for each item purchased. These
forms should be coded and be certified by the appropriate signatory. The
officer receiving the reimbursement should sign to record receipt of the
monies. In all cases receipts should be attached to the claim forms.
(iii) All items of expenditure from petty cash shall be entered on the appropriate
form when reimbursement is required and at least at the end of the month the
imprest account shall be reconciled and the actual cash agreed with the
balance shown on the account. The designated responsible officer shall
certify the total petty cash expenditure for reimbursement as properly due and
receipted and passed to the Director of Finance for reimbursement.
(iv) An Officer responsible for an advance account shall not use account monies
for personal purposes and shall, if so requested, give to the Director of
Finance a certificate as to the balance remaining on the account.
(v) No income received on behalf of the Council may be paid into the advance
account but must be banked or paid into the Council as provided for
elsewhere in these regulations.
(vi) No cheques shall be encashed using the funds available in the petty cash
(vii) Petty cash and other floats shall be available at all times for the inspection of
the Director of Finance or officer appointed by him.
15.2 On leaving the employment of the Council, or otherwise ceasing to be responsible
for an imprest account, an officer shall account to the Director of Finance for the
15.3 Directors shall ensure that all cash balances are kept in a safe place and secured from
15.4 At the end of each financial year in accordance with the final accounts closing
timetable issued by the Director of Finance, each imprest holder shall provide to the
Director of Finance a signed verification of the imprest amount held by them as at 31
March that year.
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16.1 The Director of Finance shall effect all necessary insurance cover and maintain a
register of all insurances effected by the Council showing the property and/or risks
16.2 Directors shall give prompt written notification to the Director of Finance of the
extent and nature of all new risks, properties, plant, vehicles or equipment which
require to be insured and of any alterations affecting existing risks or insurances.
16.3 The Director of Finance shall make all claims on the Council's insurers and negotiate
such claims, in consultation with other Officers, where necessary. Directors shall
give immediate written notification to the Director of Finance, (and shall inform the
police where appropriate) of any loss, liability or damage or any other known
circumstances or events likely to lead to a claim under any of the Council’s
insurances. Directors shall not enter into any correspondence regarding such
16.4 It is a requirement of the Council's insurance cover that no admission of liability in
respect of loss or damage incurred is made by any of the Council's employees or
16.5 All appropriate employees of the Council shall be included in suitable fidelity
guarantee insurance and officials' indemnity insurance.
16.6 Where any Council owned land/property is let for the use of private parties for any
function whatsoever, the arranging officer shall inform the hirer that they are
responsible for insuring such functions in respect of third party claims. All hirers
will be required to sign an official booking form that will certify that such insurance
cover is in place and thereby indemnifying the Council against any such claims. The
sum insured to be such sum as may from time to time be approved by the Director of
16.7 The Director of Finance shall notify appropriate officers of the requirements of the
insurer as to security precautions and other relevant conditions of policies. These
officers shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with all such requirements.
16.8 The Director of Finance shall annually, or at such other time as he may consider
necessary, review all insurances in consultation with other Directors as appropriate.
16.9 The Director of Finance shall at least every three years, or at such other time as he
may consider necessary but not longer than three year intervals and in accordance
with Best Value requirements, review its insurance broking arrangements and submit
such arrangements to competitive tender.
16.10 Directors shall consult the Director of Finance and the Borough Solicitor regarding
the terms of any indemnity that the Council requests or is requested to give.
16.11 Evidence of adequate insurance cover must be produced annually to the Director of
Finance for any property in which the Council has a financial interest. All Directors
shall ensure that all departmental assets are held on an inventory that is reviewed and
updated at least annually.
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17. Investments, Borrowings and Trust Funds
17.1 The Director of Finance shall make all borrowings and investments in the name of
the Council except where and to the extent that the Council has authorised its
investments to be handled by appointed Investment managers. Both the strategy and
the conduct of the borrowings and investments shall be made in accordance with the
statutory requirements and CIPFA’s Code for Treasury Management in Local
17.2 The Treasury Policy Statement sets out the strategy and procedures that shall be
adopted by the Council and thereafter its implementation and monitoring shall be
delegated to the Strategy and Resources Committee.
17.3 The Director of Finance shall maintain records of all borrowings and investments.
17.4 All monies in the hands of the Council shall be aggregated for the purposes of
Treasury Management and shall be under the control of the Director of Finance.
17.5 Any officer involved in arranging the receipt or payment (other than by cheque) of
any individual sums greater then £100,000 shall provide the Director of Finance as
soon as possible with details of the forecast date and amount. Details of the actual
date and amount should be provided as soon as confirmed.
17.6 All executive decisions on borrowing, investments and financing shall be delegated
to the Director of Finance or through him to his staff who shall act in accordance
with CIPFA’s Code for Treasury Management in Local Authorities.
17.7 The Director of Finance shall report to the Strategy & Resources Committee on at
least an annual basis on the Treasury Management Strategy to be adopted for the
forthcoming financial year and an annual report of the previous financial year.
17.8 All negotiable investments, financial bonds and securities held in the name of the
Council or its nominees shall be held under secure arrangements.
17.9 All trust funds shall be in the name of the Council unless specifically approved by
the Council otherwise.
17.10 All Officers acting as trustees by virtue of their official position shall deposit all
securities and other documents relating to the trust with the Chief Executive unless
the deed otherwise provides.
18. Stocks and Stores
18.1 The Director of each Department shall be responsible for the care and custody of all
stock and stores in his department.
18.2 Stocks and stores held shall not be in excess of reasonable requirements except in
special circumstances, when approval is required from the Director of Finance.
18.3 Each Director shall keep such records as may be necessary to maintain efficient
control of the receipt and issue of stores within his Department. The documentation
for the recording and control of stores shall be kept in a form approved by the
Director of Finance.
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18.4 Directors shall arrange for periodical test examination of stocks by persons other
than those directly controlling the stocks, and shall ensure that all stocks are checked
at least once a year.
18.5 The Director of Finance shall be entitled to check stocks and stores and be supplied
with such information relating thereto as may be required for the accounting, costing
and financial records of the Council and shall be entitled to attend stocktakes. This
is in addition to and not in substitution of Directors’ responsibilities in regulation
18.6 Adjustments to write-off deficiencies or to bring surpluses into account shall be
authorised by the Director of Finance.
18.7 Annually each Director shall forward to the Director of Finance a certificate of the
value of all stock and stores, for which they have responsibility as at 31 March, by a
date specified by the Director of Finance. The methods of valuation for all stocks
and stores shall be relevant to their type and shall be agreed in advance with the
Director of Finance.
18.8 Sales of surplus materials, stores or equipment shall be by competitive tender, public
auction or by such other reasonable manner at the discretion of the Director of
18.9 All IT equipment which is no longer required shall be returned to ITCS for disposal
by competitive tender, public auction or by such other reasonable manner at the
discretion of the Director of Finance.
19.1 Each Director is responsible for maintaining proper security at all times for Council
property, buildings, stocks, stores, furniture, equipment, cash etc. under his control.
He shall consult the Director of Finance in any case where security is thought to be
defective or where it is considered that special security arrangements may be needed.
19.2 Maximum limits for cash holdings shall be agreed with the Director of Finance and
shall not be exceeded without his express permission.
19.3 Keys to safes and similar receptacles used for security of cash or cheques are to be
carried on the person of those responsible at all times while on Council business.
The loss of such keys must be reported to the Director of Finance immediately. No
new keys to the above are to be cut without the agreement of the Director of Finance.
19.4 All officers are responsible for maintaining proper security and privacy with respect
to any information held and for ensuring compliance with the Data Protection Act
1998 and other relevant legislation e.g. Computer Misuse Act 1990.
19.5 All officers are required to sign and comply with the Council’s IT Security Policy.
Any breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action.
19.6 Items of stationery considered as “controlled” shall be held securely by the Director
of Finance and then issued to and signed for by the relevant officers as required.
These will include anything of monetary value (vouchers or tickets) and any pre-
numbered items (receipts or orders). The classification or not of items as
“controlled” shall be at the discretion of the Director of Finance.
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19.7 All staff shall wear their official identity badge at all times whilst on duty. In order
to maintain the physical security of the buildings and contents, staff should challenge
anyone who is not wearing an official identity badge or official visitor badge and
request proof of identity or reason for being there.
20.1 The Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager shall maintain a terrier of all
properties owned by the Council in a form approved by the Director of Finance,
(i) statutory or other purposes for which they are held;
(ii) property location;
(iii) extent, particulars and nature of any tenancies granted.
20.2 The Chief Solicitor and Property Services Manager shall be responsible for
providing the Director of Finance with copies of leases and tenancy agreements and
such other information as he may require to collect such moneys as may be due to
the Council under the terms of the leases or agreements.
20.3 Details of any actual or potential property transaction shall be promptly
communicated to and co-ordinated by the Estates Surveyor. This information shall
then be promptly disseminated to all interested parties using the approved
20.4 The Borough Solicitor shall have the custody of all title deeds under secure
21.1 Inventories shall be maintained by all departments recording an adequate description
of furniture, fittings and equipment, plant, machinery and vehicles in such form as
may be agreed between the Director of Finance and the appropriate Director.
21.2 Wherever practicable equipment shall be marked as the property of the Council.
21.3 Each Director shall be responsible for carrying out an annual check of all items on
the inventory with the exception of all IT equipment (which will be held on the
inventory maintained by ITCS) and office equipment (which will be held on the
inventory maintained by facilities management). The appropriate Director shall
report any surpluses or deficiencies to the Director of Finance who will advise on the
action to be taken.
21.4 Each Director shall be responsible for the care and custody of all equipment held
within his department (including computer equipment).
21.5 Council property shall not be removed otherwise than in accordance with the
ordinary course of the Council’s business or used otherwise than for the Council’s
purposes, except in accordance with specific directions issued by a Director and
subject to the approval of the Director Group. Any item which is loaned out shall be
evidenced by the dated signature of the borrowing officer in a record held by the
custodian of the item and signed back in and dated by the custodian upon it’s return.
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21.6 Disposal of surplus or obsolete items shall be by competitive tender, public auction
or by such other reasonable manner at the discretion of the Director of Finance.
21.7 All museum artefacts shall be added to the relevant inventory at the time of purchase.
All purchases shall be evidenced in the Council’s main accounts at this time.
22. Retention of Documents
22.1 Historical records are required to be kept for the following purposes:
(i) statutory requirements (Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise);
(ii) External Audit requirements;
(iii) substantiation of payments or claims for payments in later years;
(iv) for reference.
22.2 The Limitation Act 1980 specifies periods during which action under a contract can
be taken as: 6 years under a simple contract and 12 years under a sealed deed or
agreement. These periods start to run again if a part payment is made or a debt is
22.3 The Director of Finance shall hold a schedule of documents that must be retained for
purposes (i), (ii) and (iii) above and for how long. This schedule shall be reviewed
and approved by External Audit. Retention periods for other records will be
determined after consultation between the relevant Director and the Director of
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(f) CONTRACT STANDING ORDERS
1. Introduction …61
2. Scope and Interpretation …61
3. The Procurement Toolkit …61
4. The Procurement Process …62
5. Who can purchase? …63
6. Low value transactions (less than £5,000) …63
7. Mid value transactions (£5,000 to £50,000) …64
8. Full tender procedures (over £50,000) …64
9. Standing lists …65
10. Public Sector Framework Agreements …65
11. EU Procurement Directives …66
12. Receiving and opening tenders …66
13. Evaluating quotes and tenders …67
14. Awarding contracts …67
15. Contract conditions …67
16. Contract management …69
17. Engagement of Consultants …69
18. Exceptions from CSOs …69
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Issued: January 2004
1.1 These Contract Standing Orders (CSO) outline the rules which govern the way the
Council procures its’ goods and services. The objectives of these rules are to ensure
that all contracts made by and on behalf of the Council shall:
obtain Best Value in the way we spend money,
comply with UK and EU laws that govern the spending of public money
protect individuals from undue criticism or allegation of wrongdoing by ensuring
that all officers act with independence and integrity
1.2 Further advice on any respect of these CSO or on procurement matters in general can
be obtained from the Head of Procurement & Projects.
2. Scope and Interpretation
2.1 These CSO generally apply to all supplies, services and works that the Council buys.
Exceptions are listed at CSO 18.
2.2 If UK or EU Law is changed in a way that affects these CSO then that change must
be observed until the CSO can be revised. If there is a conflict between UK or EU
legislation and these CSO then the legislation will take precedence.
2.3 Any reference in CSO to a contract value means an amount exclusive of VAT.
2.4 All references to a contract value mean the overall contract sum payable over the life
of a contract. A 3-year contract with an annual value of £10,000 will have a contract
value of £30,000.
2.5 Any reference in these CSO to the “Council” shall be deemed to include reference to
a committee or person acting in accordance with delegated authority on behalf of the
2.6 All Council employees and contractors engaged to act in any capacity to manage or
supervise a contract must comply with these CSO, related Code (s) of Practice and
the Council’s Financial Regulations, and each Director must ensure compliance in
the department for which he/she is responsible. Failure to comply with these CSO or
associated Code (s) of Practice may result in disciplinary action against the officers
3. The Procurement Toolkit
3.1 These CSO set the rules that regulate how the Council’s procurement should be
undertaken at a broad level. More detailed advice on achieving best practice in
procurement is contained within the Procurement Toolkit. This document covers the
overall procurement process and supports these CSO with more practical guidance
notes. The Toolkit includes checklist sheets for tender issue and contract award
stages as outlined in CSO 4. The Procurement Toolkit is available via the intranet
and is issued and updated by the Head of Procurement and Projects.
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4. The Procurement Process
4.1 This section outlines the main stages in any procurement process and it is important
that officers follow these steps to ensure that best practice is being followed. More
detailed information and guidance on each stage of the process is available in the
4.2 Step 1 Define the need. Before starting on any procurement activity, officers
should understand the whole procurement process to ensure that the need is
identified and assessed in order to select the most appropriate method of tendering,
contracting and ordering. Officers must first ensure that in accordance with
Financial Regulations 5.10 (regarding Capital Expenditure) and 6.7 (regarding
Revenue Expenditure), an authorised budget has been made available for these
supplies, services or works. At the earliest stage, officers must be able to document
the size, scope and nature of the supplies, services or works required. This is to
ensure that the right product (or service) at the right price is provided at the right
time and to the right quality.
4.3 Step 2 Procurement Strategy. Once the requirement has been identified in more
detail, the Procurement Strategy needs to be considered. Is this a single one-off
requirement, a regular requirement that needs to be called off over a period of time
or a long-term service provision? This will determine how to approach the market in
terms of tendering and what type of contract will be required. The overall estimated
contract value of a requirement will determine what method of procurement is
required and this is outlined in detail in CSO 6 to 9. For all contracts estimated at
over £25,000 in value, the Head of Procurement and Projects must approve a
procurement strategy before any tenders are issued to the market. This process
should be recorded on a “tendering checklist” that is available within the
Procurement Toolkit. This checklist should be completed and passed with the
relevant papers to the Head of Procurement and Projects for approval. However it is
recommended that discussions with the Head of Procurement and Projects on the
best method of procurement should begin at the earliest possible opportunity in the
4.4 Step 3 Choose Method of Procurement. If the works, supplies or services are less
than £5,000 Contract Value (low value transaction), procurement will be by official
order and the rules set out in CSO 6 shall apply. If the works, supplies or services
are between £5,000 and £50,000 Contract Value (mid value transaction),
procurement will be by competitive quotation and the rules set out in CSO 7 shall
apply. If the works, supplies or services are over £50,000 Contract Value (full
tender), procurement will be by competitive tender and the rules set out in CSO 8
4.5 If the works, supplies or services are over the following Contract Values, then these
will be governed by EU Procurement Directives, which must be followed:
Supplies & Services £154,000
These Directives are covered in more detail in CSO 11 under European Procurement.
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4.6 Step 4 Bid Evaluation. Tenders and quotations should be assessed on the value for
money they offer the Council defined as the optimum balance of whole life costs and
benefits that meet the Council’s requirements. Officers must consider the whole life
costs to the Council of acquiring, owning, maintaining and disposing of goods,
services or works. The evaluation criteria to be used for each purchase need to be
clearly indicated in the invitation to quote or tender documents issued to the market.
4.7 Step 5 Contract Award. For all orders over £25,000 the bid evaluation must be
formally recorded onto an “evaluation checklist” which is available from the
Procurement Toolkit and passed to the Head of Procurement and Projects for
approval before the order or contract is awarded.
4.8 Step 6 Contract Management. Effective contract management is essential to
ensure that the goods, services or works ordered are delivered to the Council as
specified. The main focus should be on ensuring that the chosen contractor delivers
the benefits and outcomes identified by the Council on an on-going basis.
5 Who Can Purchase?
5.1 The financial limits governing who can purchase goods and services are contained
within the procurement authority list. These define the financial limits within which
officers are authorised to raise orders and enter into contracts on behalf of the
5.2 These financial limits do not exempt officers from seeking approval at tender and
contract award stage from the Head of Procurement and Projects as outlined in
6. Low Value Transactions (less than £5,000)
6.1 Where the estimated amount or value of the contract does not exceed £5,000, the
works, supplies or services should, where possible, be procured through a written
quotation before any purchase order is issued provided that:
more than one quotation has been obtained, where appropriate;
the product/service is not available through a corporate contract or call-off
arrangement, which must be used if they exist.
the product/service is not available through a public sector framework
agreement, which should be used if they exist and no corporate contract is
if a standing list of tenderers exists then that list must be used as the source of
providing the names of contractors from whom quotations are sought;
the accepted offer is the lowest compliant price or is the most economically
advantageous bid in accordance with documented evaluation criteria;
the official order has been authorised by an officer with the appropriate financial
limit as contained in the procurement authority list;
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7. Mid Value Transaction (£5,000 to £50,000)
7.1 Where the estimated value of the contract exceeds £5,000 but is less than £50,000,
including nominated sub-contracts, the works, supplies or services should be
procured by competitive quotation provided that the actual contract value does not
exceed £50,000 or is no more than 10% in excess of the estimated value and that:
at least three written quotes are sought;
where a standing list of tenderers exists then that list must be used as the source
of providing the names of contractors from whom quotations are sought;
the accepted quotation is the lowest compliant price or is the most economically
advantageous bid in accordance with documented evaluation criteria;
the contract is evidenced in writing by official order and has been authorised by
an officer with the appropriate financial limit as contained in the procurement
the expenditure is within approved budgets.
7.2 If 3 quotations cannot be obtained because there are insufficient suitable suppliers in
the market place prepared to quote, or where the appropriate Director feels that this
is inappropriate in the interests of the efficient management of the service, then the
appropriate Director must keep a record of the reasons for this.
8. Full Tender Procedures (over £50,000)
8.1 All contracts, including nominated sub-contracts with an estimated contract value
exceeding £50,000, should be procured by competitive tender. Officers must select
one of the following 3 methods of tendering. Advice on how to select the most
appropriate method should be sought from the Head of Procurement and Projects.
8.2 Open Procedure
This procedure shall apply where the Council, Committee or authorised officer has
decided that tenders for a contract are to be by open competition. The tender shall be
advertised in one or more local newspapers and also in one or more newspapers or
specialist journals or magazines. The advertisement should specify a time limit
(minimum 14 days) within which interested parties must express their interest in
tendering. After the expiry of this period, invitations to tender should be sent to all
the interested parties, specifying a period of not less than three weeks for the return
8.3 Restricted Procedure
This procedure shall apply where the Council or a committee or an authorised officer
has decided to pre-select those contractors that are interested in bidding. The
procedure is exactly the same as the Open Procedure detailed above except the
advertisement should state that a restricted tendering procedure will be used. The
advertisement should either specify the information to be provided by interested
parties for the short-listing process or request them to apply for a pre-tender
questionnaire. Bidders should be given a minimum of 14 days to supply this
information. Invitations to tender should be sent to no less than four tenderers
selected by means of pre-determined, selection criteria (or all of them where less
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than four entrants meet the criteria). The invitation to tender should specify a period
of not less than three weeks for the return of tenders.
8.4 Negotiated Procedure
This tendering procedure may be used for contracts with estimated values of £50,000
or more if it is considered that this option will achieve the best contract value. The
procedure is essentially the same as the Restricted Procedure detailed above but
allows for Post Tender Negotiations to take place. The advert must clearly state that
the Negotiated Procedure is being used and that the Council reserves the right to
enter into Post Tender Negotiations. All post tender negotiations must be conducted
in a manner that allows all bidders the opportunity to negotiate and which maintains
the highest standards of integrity. All post tender negotiations must be approved by
the Head of Procurement and Projects and relevant Director and be conducted by a
senior officer. The Negotiated Procedure should only be used in the following
either the Open or Restricted procedures has been used and resulted in
unacceptable or irregular tenders or no tenders; or
where the nature of the works, services or supplies being procured is such that a
precise specification cannot be drawn up; or
the procurement includes a design element.
9. Use of Standing Lists
9.1 For works and maintenance contracts only, standing lists should be used where they
are available for all contracts estimated less than £50,000. For contracts estimated at
over £50,000, competitive tendering must be used in place of standing lists.
9.2 The Council utilises a third party supplier accreditation database to manage our
standing lists for works and maintenance. This database holds details of suppliers
that have registered with the Council and been fully vetted against financial,
technical, health & safety and past performance criteria. This database must be used
for selecting contractors for works when using the standing list method of tendering.
9.3 For supplies and services contracts, standing lists should be used if they exist for
contracts estimated less than £50,000, provided that the suppliers on such lists have
been regularly evaluated against financial, technical and past performance, within the
last 24 months. If a standing list has not been updated and reviewed within this
period it must be re-advertised to the market and compiled again.
10. Use of Framework Agreements
10.1 There are a number of Public Sector Framework Agreements that have been
negotiated by Central Government agencies for use by all public authorities. These
cover a wide variety of supplies and services and should provide value for money for
the Council as the terms are negotiated on very high volumes. The use of these
agreements is encouraged for low value transactions (less than £5,000) as they have
already been competitively tendered and contracts can be awarded against these
agreements without the need for advertising and tendering. Further advice on Public
Sector Framework Agreements including a list of current contracts available can be
found in the Procurement Toolkit.
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11. EU Procurement Directives
11.1 If the estimated total contract value is over the following financial thresholds then
the EU Procurement Directives will apply to the procurement process:
Services, & Supplies £154,000
11.2 Under EU Procurement Directives, contracts must be tendered under the Open,
Restricted or, in exceptional circumstances, the Negotiated Procedure. Although
these procedures are essentially the same as detailed in CSO 8, they must also be
advertised in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC) and the
timescales for bidders to respond to tenders are prescribed and must be strictly
11.3 Advice must be sought from the Head of Procurement and Projects prior to
commencing on any procurement that requires the use of EU Procurement
12. Receiving and Opening Tenders
12.1 Every invitation to tender shall state that all tenders shall be enclosed in a plain
sealed envelope bearing the word “Tender” followed by the subject to which it
relates, but with no other names or marks identifying the sender. Submissions by
other means, e.g. by facsimile, are not acceptable.
12.2 Tenders shall be addressed impersonally to the Chief Executive and shall be kept in
his custody until the time and date specified for their opening (as stated in the
invitations to tender). An officer receiving a tender shall mark the envelope with the
date and time of receipt.
12.3 No tender shall be accepted unless it complies with the above. Any tender received
after the date and time indicated shall not be considered but shall be retained
unopened until after the list of tenders received has been made available and then be
returned to the sender.
12.4 A tender received after the time fixed for receipt but before the other tenders have
been opened may be considered, provided that there is evidence that it was posted or
dispatched early enough to be received in due time by the normal course of post or
12.5 Tenders shall be opened at one time and in the presence of:
For tenders with an estimated value over £100,000, a minimum of 1 Member of
the Council and 2 officers not directly involved with the tender must be present.
For tenders with an estimated value under £100,000, 1 officer not directly
involved with the tender must be present.
12.6 The opened tenders must be fully recorded, detailing the nature of the goods,
services or works, names of each firm bidding, the amount of each tender, the date
and time of opening and the reasons for any disqualification of a tender. The
Councillors and/or officers present should sign and date the tender summary of each
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13. Evaluating Quotes and Tenders
13.1 Where competitive quotations are invited for contracts below £50,000 the bidder
submitting the lowest price compliant bid should be awarded the contract, unless
alternative pre-determined evaluation criteria have been stated in the invitation
13.2 For contracts valued over £50,000 and for all tenders subject to EU Procurement
Directives a more complex evaluation framework must be used to establish that Best
Value will be delivered from the Procurement Process. This evaluation process is
based upon the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) rather than just
the lowest price. This method of evaluation must be stated in the tender documents
clearly identifying the evaluation criteria and weighting them in importance.
13.3 All tenders received must then be evaluated against these criteria utilising a weighted
scoring system. More detailed advice on evaluating tenders can be found in the
14. Awarding Contracts
14.1 The results of all quotation and tender evaluations should be recorded and the Head
of Procurement and Projects must approve these for contracts valued over £25,000
before any contract is awarded.
14.2 A contract or purchase order can only be awarded by an Officer authorised to do so
and after ensuring that the necessary budget provision is available.
14.3 Where only one tender or quotation with a value over £5,000 is received it should
not be awarded without the prior written approval of the relevant Director.
14.4 Before any tender or quotation exceeding the allowance provided for in the
Council’s budget for the said works, goods materials or services is accepted, the
Council shall consider a report from the appropriate Director detailing the
implications of accepting such a tender or estimate and shall consider what action to
take having regard for Financial Regulations.
15. Contract Conditions
15.1 Contract terms and conditions set out the basic requirements that will be common to
most procurements such as what will happen in the case of default by a supplier and
when and how payments will be made.
15.2 Such terms and conditions should not be overly adversarial so that fair and trusting
relationships can be developed with suppliers. However officers need to ensure that
the Council is protected against defaults and disputes. Suppliers’ own terms and
conditions are unlikely to be favourable to the Council or provide sufficient
protection in the event of default by the supplier.
15.3 Further information on contract conditions, including details of specific clauses that
are applicable for goods, services or works contracts are available in the
Procurement Toolkit. However as a general rule, every contract with a value over
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be in writing in a form approved by the Chief Solicitor or be the subject of an
be signed by the officer responsible for supervising the contract on behalf of the
specify the goods, materials, or services to be supplied and work to be executed;
specify the price to be paid together with a statement as to the amount of any
discount or other deduction;
specify the time for performance of the contract;
provide for liquidated damages to be paid by the contractor in case the terms of
the contract are not duly performed if financial loss is likely to arise from delay;
contain a clause to ensure that should the contractor fail to deliver all or part of
the goods or services within the time specified in the contract, the Council will
be able to cancel the contract and purchase these goods or services from another
contractor at no extra cost to the Council;
The clause shall further secure that the amount by which the cost of so
purchasing other goods or materials exceed the amount which would have been
payable to the contractor in respect of the goods or materials, shall be
recoverable from the contractor. Such clause may be amended or waived at the
discretion of the Director in consultation with the Chief Solicitor and the Director
For every contract that exceeds £100,000 in value or amount, or lower if deemed
necessary by the Director concerned, sufficient security for the due performance
of the contract of an appropriate amount of the contract sum shall be taken. A
reasonable balance shall be retained to the end of the defects liability period on
Every contract shall contain a clause empowering the Council to cancel the
contract and to recover any loss resulting from such cancellation if:
(i) the contractor (or an employee or person acting on his behalf) shall
have offered or given or agreed to give to any person any gift or
consideration of any kind as an inducement or reward for entering
into the contract with the Council; or
(ii) in relation to any contract with the Council the contractor or any
person employed by him or acting on his behalf shall have committed
any offence under the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 1916; or
(ii) in relation to any contract with the Council the contractor or any
person employed by him or acting on his behalf shall have given any
fee or reward the receipt of which is an offence under Section 117(2)
of the Local Government Act 1972.
Any standard terms and conditions of contract submitted by prospective
contractors shall not be accepted without advice from the Chief Solicitor.
Proposed payment arrangements under a contract must be discussed with and
agreed with the Director of Finance or his representative in advance of the
contract being entered into.
Any contract that requires the contractor to make payments or to collect income
on behalf of the Council shall reserve the Director of Finance’s rights of audit as
if the contractor was an employee of the Council.
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16. Contract Management
16.1 Contract management is the interface between the Council and the supplier and this
relationship needs to be seen as part of the on-going procurement process. The main
focus and benefit of good contract management is to ensure that the benefits
identified in the contract are actually delivered.
16.2 For all major contracts over £50,000 and for all service contracts, clear objectives
should be set at contract award stage, establishing what is expected from the supplier
and more importantly how it will be measured. Key performance indicators should
be agreed and formalised as the means of assessing performance. Contract managers
need to be able to tackle under-performance by the contractor using these methods.
17. Engagement of Consultants
17.1 Persons engaged to supervise or arrange contracts shall be required:
to comply with these CSO as though (s)he were an employee of the Council,
subject to the modification that the procedure to be followed inviting and
opening tenders shall be approved in advance by the appropriate Director. No
exception to this shall be made otherwise than by direction of the Council;
at any time during the performance of the contract, to produce to the appropriate
Director, on request, all records maintained by him in relation to the contract;
to transmit, on completion of the contract, all such records to the appropriate
18.1 The following circumstances represent the only permitted exceptions from all or part
(a) The goods, works or services are being purchased under a Public Sector
Framework Agreement that has already been tendered as per CSO 10.
(b) Goods or materials are proprietary articles or are sold only at a fixed price
and no satisfactory alternative is available.
(c) The price of the goods or materials is wholly controlled by trade
organisations, government order or statutory undertakers where they have
monopoly status and no satisfactory alternative is available.
(d) The execution of works or supply of services are of a specialised nature that,
in the opinion of the appropriate Director, are obtainable from fewer
prospective contractors than required by Standing Orders. In this case,
tenders or quotations shall be obtained from the sole or all available
suppliers/persons who possess sufficient expertise or suitability.
(e) The work to be executed or the goods or materials to be supplied consist of
repairs to, or the supply of, parts for existing proprietary machinery or plant.
(f) Where the Council is acting as an agent authority under an agreement and the
principal authority has otherwise instructed.
(g) Where the contract is one of employment.
(h) Where the contract relates to a financial transaction.
(i) Other reasons where there is no genuine competition.
(j) The work to be executed or goods or materials to be supplied constitute an
extension of an existing contract.
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(k) Where the contract is for the execution of work or the supply of goods or
materials certified by the appropriate Director as being required so urgently
as not to permit the invitation to tenders.
(l) Where the contract is for the disposal or acquisition of land or property.
18.2 Exceptions (a) to (h) inclusive may be invoked without further report or
authorisation. Exceptions (i) to (l) inclusive may be invoked only after EITHER a
report has been made to the appropriate committee requesting that CSO are waived
and why, OR the approved Officer Action form for works of an urgent nature has
been used and fully authorised. The Director concerned shall not proceed without
having obtained authorisation where required.
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(g) OFFICER EMPLOYMENT PROCEDURE RULES
1. Recruitment and Appointment
(i) The Council will draw up a statement requiring any candidate for appointment as an
officer to state in writing whether they are the parent, grandparent, partner, child,
stepchild, adopted child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of
an existing Councillor or Officer of the Council; or the partner of such persons;
(ii) No candidate so related to a Councillor or an Officer will be appointed without the
authority of the relevant Director or an officer nominated by him/her.
1.2 Seeking support for appointment
(i) The Council will disqualify any applicant who directly or indirectly seeks the
support of any Councillor or Officer for any appointment with the Council. The
content of this paragraph will be included in any recruitment information.
(ii) No Councillor or Officer will seek support for any person for any appointment with
2. Recruitment of Directors
2.1 Where the Council proposes to appoint a Director, the Chief Executive, in
consultation with the Panel referred to in 2.2 below, will: -
(a) draw up a statement specifying: -
(i) the duties of the Officer concerned; and
(ii) any qualifications or qualities to be sought in the person to be appointed
(b) make arrangements for the post to be advertised in such a way as is likely to bring it
to the attention of persons who are qualified to apply for it; and
(c) make arrangements for a copy of the statement mentioned in paragraph (a) to be sent
to any person on request.
2.2 The Chief Executive and Director of Human Resources will, after consultation with
the Panel, interview and select candidates for final interview by that Panel,
consisting of the Chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee, three other
Councillors trained in interview techniques (to include appropriate minority group
representation) together with the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of any other
2.3 A panel of five members, composed of the Chairman of the Strategy and Resources
Committee and four other members appointed by that Committee (to include
appropriate minority group representation) will make all necessary arrangements for
the recruitment and selection of the Chief Executive in accordance with the
arrangements set out in 2.1 above.
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3. Appointment of Directors
The panel referred to in 2.2 above will have power to appoint Directors.
4. Appointment of Chief Executive
The Full Council will approve the appointment of the Chief Executive following the
recommendation of the panel referred to in 2.3 above.
5. Officers below Directors
Appointment of Officers below Directors is the responsibility of the Chief Executive or
his/her nominee and may not be made by Councillors (except that in the case of Division
Heads, provision will be made for consultation with the appropriate Committee Chairman).
6. Disciplinary Action for Alleged Misconduct (including Dismissal)
(a) Suspension: The Chief Executive, Director of Finance and Monitoring Officer may
be suspended by a decision of the Full Council whilst an investigation takes place
into alleged misconduct. The suspension will be on full pay and last no longer than
(b) Independent person: No other disciplinary action may be taken in respect of any of
those officers, except in accordance with a recommendation in a report made by a
designated independent person under Regulation 7 of the Local Authorities
(Standing Orders) Regulations 2001.
(c) Involvement of Councillors: Councillors will not be involved in any disciplinary
action against any officer below Director except where such involvement is
necessary for any investigation or inquiry into alleged misconduct, through the
Council’s disciplinary, capability and related appeals procedures, as adopted from
time to time.
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PART 5: CODES AND PROTOCOLS
(a) CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS AND CO-OPTED MEMBERS …2
(b) OFFICERS’ CODE OF CONDUCT …8
(c) MEMBER/OFFICER PROTOCOL …15
(d) CODE OF CONDUCT AND PRACTICE IN LICENSING PROCEDURES …20
(e) CODE OF CONDUCT ON PLANNING MATTERS …30
(f) WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY …44
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(a) CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS AND CO-OPTED MEMBERS
Issued: July 2002
1. (1) A member must observe the authority’s code of conduct whenever he/she:
(a) conducts the business of the authority;
(b) conducts the business of the office to which he/she has been elected or
(c) acts as a representative of the authority,
and references to a member’s official capacity shall be construed accordingly.
(2) The authority’s code of conduct shall not, apart from paragraphs 4 and 5(a) below,
have effect in relation to the activities of a member undertaken other than in an
(3) Where a member acts as a representative of the authority:
(a) on another relevant authority, he/she must, when acting for that other
authority, comply with that other authority’s code of conduct; or
(b) on any other body, he/she must, when acting for that other body, comply with
the authority’s code of conduct, except and insofar as it conflicts with any
other lawful obligations to which that other body may be subject.
(4) In this code “member” includes a co-opted member of an authority.
2. A member must:
(a) promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person;
(b) treat others with respect; and
(c) not do anything which compromises or which is likely to compromise the
impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the authority.
3. A member must not:
(a) disclose information given to him/her in confidence by anyone, or information
acquired which he/she believes is of a confidential nature, without the consent of a
person authorised to give it, or unless he/she is required by law to do so, nor
(b) prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is
entitled by law.
4. A member must not in his/her official capacity, or any other circumstance, conduct
himself/herself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing his/her office or
authority into disrepute.
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5. A member:
(a) must not in his/her official capacity, or any other circumstance, use his/her position
as a member improperly to confer on or secure for himself/herself or any other
person, an advantage or disadvantage; and
(b) must, when using or authorising the use by others of the resources of the authority:
(i) act in accordance with the authority’s requirements; and
(ii) ensure that such resources are not used for political purposes unless that use
could reasonably be regarded as likely to facilitate, or be conducive to, the
discharge of the functions of the authority or of the office to which the
member has been elected or appointed.
6. A member must when reaching decisions have regard to any relevant advice provided to
(a) the authority’s chief finance officer acting in pursuance of his/her duties under
section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 or an equivalent provision in
any regulations made under section 6(6) of the Local Government and Housing Act
(b) the authority’s monitoring officer acting in pursuance of his/her duties under section
5(2) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
7. A member must if he/she becomes aware of any conduct by another member which he/she
reasonably believes involves a failure to comply with the authority’s code of conduct, make
a written allegation to that effect to the Standards Board for England as soon as it is
practicable for him/her to do so.
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8. (1) A member must regard himself/herself as having a personal interest in any matter if
the matter relates to an interest in respect of which notification must be given under
paragraphs 14 and 15 below, or if a decision upon it might reasonably be regarded as
affecting to a greater extent than other council tax payers, ratepayers, or inhabitants
of the authority’s area, the well-being or financial position of himself/herself, a
relative or a friend or:
(a) any employment or business carried on by such persons;
(b) any person who employs or has appointed such persons, any firm in which
they are a partner, or any company of which they are directors;
(c) any corporate body in which such persons have a beneficial interest in a class
of securities exceeding the nominal value of £5000; or
(d) any body listed in sub-paragraphs (a) to (e) of paragraph 15 below in which
such persons hold a position of general control or management.
(2) In this paragraph:
(a) “relative” means a spouse, partner, parent, parent-in-law, son, daughter, step-
son, step-daughter, child of a partner, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild,
uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or the spouse or partner of any of the preceding
(b) “partner” in sub-paragraph (2)(a) above means a member of a couple who
Disclosure of Personal Interests
9. A member with a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at
which the matter is considered must disclose to that meeting the existence and nature of that
interest at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent.
10. (1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, a member with a personal interest in a matter
also has a prejudicial interest in that matter if the interest is one which a member of
the public with knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard as so
significant that it is likely to prejudice the member’s judgement of the public interest.
(2) A member may regard himself/herself as not having a prejudicial interest in a matter
if that matter relates to:
(a) another relevant authority of which he/she is a member
(b) another public authority in which he/she holds a position of general control
(c) a body to which he/she has been appointed or nominated by the authority as
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(d) the housing functions of the authority where the member holds a tenancy or
lease with a relevant authority, provided that he/she does not have arrears of
rent with that relevant authority of more than two months, and provided that
those functions do not relate particularly to the member’s tenancy or lease;
(e) the functions of the authority in respect of school meals, transport and
travelling expenses, where the member is a guardian or parent of a child in
full time education, unless it relates particularly to the school which the child
(f) the functions of the authority in respect of statutory sick pay under Part XI of
the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, where the member
is in receipt of, or entitled to the receipt of, such pay from a relevant
(g) any functions of the authority in respect of an allowance or payment made
under sections 173 to 176 of the Local Government Act 1972 or section 18 of
the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
11. (1) For the purposes of this Part, if a member is involved in the consideration of a matter
at a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee or a sub–committee of such a committee,
he/she must regard himself/herself as having a personal and a prejudicial interest if
that consideration relates to a decision made, or action taken, by another of the
Council’s committees, sub-committees or joint committees or joint sub-committees
of which he/she may also be a member.
(2) But sub-paragraph (1) above shall not apply if that member attends that meeting for
the purpose of answering questions or otherwise giving evidence relating to that
decision or action.
Participation in Relation to Disclosed Interests
12. (1) A member with a prejudicial interest in any matter must:
(a) withdraw from the room or chamber where a meeting is being held whenever
it becomes apparent that the matter is being considered at that meeting,
unless he/she has obtained a dispensation from the authority’s standards
(b) not seek improperly to influence a decision about that matter.
(2) A member with a prejudicial interest may, unless that interest is of a financial nature,
and unless it is an interest of the type described in paragraph 11 above, participate in
a meeting of the authority’s:
(a) scrutiny committees, and
(b) joint or area committees,
to the extent that such committees are not exercising functions of the authority.
13. For the purposes of this Part, “meeting” means any meeting of:
(a) the authority;
(b) any of the authority’s committees, sub-committees or joint-committees, joint sub-
committees or advisory committees.
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THE REGISTER OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Registration of Financial and Other Interests
14. Within 28 days of the provisions of the authority’s code of conduct being adopted or applied
to the authority or within 28 days of his/her election or appointment to office (if that is later)
a member must register his/her financial interests in the authority’s register maintained
under section 81(1) of the Local Government Act 2000 by providing written notification to
the authority’s monitoring officer of:
(a) any employment or business carried on by him/her ;
(b) the name of the person who employs or has appointed him/her, the name of any firm
in which he/she is a partner, and the name of any company for which he/she is a
(c) the name of any person, other than a relevant authority, who has made a payment to
him/her in respect of his/her election or any expenses incurred by him/her in carrying
out his duties;
(d) the name of any corporate body which has a place of business or land in the
authority’s area, and in which the member has a beneficial interest in a class of
securities of that body that exceeds the nominal value of £25,000 or one hundredth of
the total issued share capital of that body;
(e) a description of any contract for goods, services or works made between the
authority and himself/herself, or a firm in which he/she is a partner, a company of
which he/she is a remunerated director, or a body of the description specified in sub-
paragraph (d) above;
(f) the address or other description (sufficient to identify the location) of any land in
which he/she has a beneficial interest and which is in the area of the authority;
(g) the address or other description (sufficient to identify the location) of any land where
the landlord is the authority and the tenant is a firm in which he/she is a partner, a
company of which he/she is a remunerated director, or a body of the description
specified in sub-paragraph (d) above; and
(h) the address or other description (sufficient to identify the location) of any land in the
authority’s area in which he/she has a licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy
for 28 days or longer.
15. Within 28 days of the provisions of the authority’s code of conduct being adopted or applied
to that authority or within 28 days of his/her election or appointment to office (if that is
later) a member must register his/her other interests in the authority’s register maintained
under section 81(1) of the Local Government Act 2000 by providing written notification to
the authority’s monitoring officer of his/her membership of or position of general control or
management in any:
(a) body to which he/she has been appointed or nominated by the authority as a
(b) public authority or body exercising functions of a public nature;
(c) company, industrial and provident society, charity, or body directed to charitable
(d) body whose principal purposes include the influence of public opinion or policy, and
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(e) trade union or professional association.
16. A member must within 28 days of becoming aware of any changes to the interests specified
under paragraphs 14 and 15 above, provide written notification to the authority’s monitoring
officer of that change.
Registration of Gifts and Hospitality
17. A Member must within 28 days of receiving any gift or hospitality over the value of £25,
provide written notification to the authority’s monitoring officer of the existence and nature
of that gift or hospitality.
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(b) OFFICERS’ CODE OF CONDUCT
Issued: January 2004
1.1 The public is entitled to expect the highest standards of conduct from all staff
working for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. Public confidence in staff's
integrity would be shaken were the least suspicion to arise, however ill founded, that
they could in any way be influenced by improper motives.
1.2 The Council has approved this Code of Conduct after consultation with
representatives of staff. It applies to all members of staff. It draws together existing
laws, regulations, standing orders, policies and conditions of service relating to
conduct and provides further guidance to assist and protect staff in their day-to-day
work. A section on conduct is also contained in the Staff Handbook.
1.3 Unless otherwise stated, failure to follow the various guidelines and requirements set
out in this Code could result in disciplinary action being taken, which could lead to
dismissal. Equally, the Council's Grievance Procedure would apply if any member
of staff were unhappy at the way the Code was applied in his/her case. It is therefore
important that staff familiarise themselves with the contents of this Code.
1.4 Copies of the individual policies or terms and conditions of employment referred to
in the Code are always available for reference on IRIS, (the Council’s Intranet), or
from Human Resources and staff should feel free to refer to them to seek
clarification on any point at any time or to speak to Human Resources in confidence
on any specific matter arising from it. If in doubt on any matter arising from the
Code, a member of staff should always seek advice as soon as possible.
1.5 The Code gives detailed advice and guidance in a number of specific areas as
2. Standards in General
3. Political Neutrality
4. Disclosure of Information
5. Relationships with various parties
6. Financial Regulations and Standing Orders relating to Contracts
7. Separation of Roles during Tendering
8. Recruitment and other Employment Matters
9. Outside Interests and Politically Restricted Posts
10. Personal Interests
11. Equality and Health and Safety Issues
12. I.T. Security
13. Gifts and Hospitality
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1.6 In particular, please note that you are required to report full details of: -
a) Personal friendships/relationships with Councillors, contractors or potential
contractors (see section 5 of the Code)
b) Personal interests in certain financial and non-financial matters, especially
contracts (see section 10 of the Code)
c) Hospitality received and offered (see section 13 of the Code)
1.7 The Monitoring Officer holds two registers for these purposes (see Appendix 1).
The forms are held as templates in Microsoft Word (File/New/Human
Resources/Register of Interests; File/New/Human Resources/Declarations of Gifts
and Hospitality) or hard copies can be obtained by contacting the Monitoring
1.8 The Registers will not be open to public inspection but will be open to inspection by
Members of the Council, the Monitoring Officer, the Chief Executive or members of
staff authorised to do so by the Monitoring Officer in the course of their duties.
Other than in these circumstances, the Registers can only be inspected with either
your prior consent or under any statutory right of access.
2. Standards in General
2.1 You are expected to give the highest possible standard of service to the public and,
where it is part of your duties, to provide appropriate advice to councillors and
fellow staff with impartiality.
2.2 You will be expected, through agreed procedures and without fear of recrimination,
to bring to the attention of the appropriate level of management any deficiency in the
provision of service. You must report any impropriety or breach of procedure.
Normally this would be to your Line Manager but in exceptional cases, may be
direct to a Director or the Chief Executive. Further information is contained in the
Council’s Whistle-blowing Policy.
2.3 Conversely, you should be aware that it is a serious criminal offence for you
corruptly to receive or give any gift, loan, fee, reward or advantage for doing, or not
doing, something or for showing favour, or disfavour, to any person in your official
3. Political Neutrality
3.1 You serve the Council as a whole. It follows you must serve all Councillors and not
just those of the controlling group, and must ensure that the individual rights of all
Councillors are respected. The Member/Officer Protocol provides further guidance
on the respective role of members and officers and principles governing general
3.2 If you are called upon to advise a specific political group within the Council, either
as to the work of the group or as to the work of the Council, you may only do so with
the prior consent of your Director. You must not attend any meeting of any such
political group without the prior agreement of the Chief Executive.
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4. Disclosure of Information
4.1 It is generally accepted that open government is best. The law requires that certain
types of information must be available to Councillors, auditors, government
departments, service users and the public. You must be aware of which information
is and is not open and act accordingly.
4.2 The Council's practice has always been to make as much information available to the
public as possible and, after 1 January 2005, there will be a positive obligation to do
so in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
4.3 In preparing committee reports, items should not be made "exempt" even though this
might be technically possible, unless disclosure would prejudice the position of the
Council or the individual or organisation concerned. Whenever possible, such
information should be restricted to an exempt appendix. Generally therefore you
may release factual information unless it:
(i) is (or is likely to be) the subject of an exempt report;
(iii) relates to the personal circumstances of a member of staff (or ex-member,
apart from references) or Councillor, a member of the public or organisation.
Such information can only be released by first obtaining the person's or
organisation's permission for the disclosure; or
(iii) is covered by restrictions under the Data Protection Act 1998 or an
exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Further guidance on the disclosure of information can be obtained from the
4.4 You should pay particular attention to requests for information from the Press or
Police. Enquiries from the police should be referred to your Director and enquiries
from the press should be referred to the Public Relations Officer. Further guidance
on publicity and the media is contained in the Member/Officer Protocol.
4.5 You should not use any information obtained in the course of your employment for
personal gain nor should you pass it on to others who might use it in such a way.
5.1.1. You are responsible to the Council through its Senior Managers. For some
officers, your role is to give advice to Councillors and the Council. Mutual
respect between you and Councillors is essential to good Local Government.
Close personal familiarity with individual Councillors can damage that
relationship and prove embarrassing to other employees and should be
avoided. Any close personal friendships with Councillors should be declared
to your Director and recorded in the Register of Interests. Please also refer to
the Member/Officer Protocol for further guidance regarding working
relationships with Councillors.
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5.2 The Local Community and Service Users
5.2.1 You should always remember your responsibilities to the community and
ensure courteous, professional, efficient and impartial service delivery to all
groups and individuals within that community as defined by the policies of
5.2.2 Council staff are strictly prohibited from soliciting tips.
5.3.1 Orders and contracts must be awarded on merit, by fair competition against
other tenders, and no favouritism should be shown to businesses run by, for
example, friends, partners or relatives. No part of the community should be
5.3.2 All personal relationships with contractors, or contractors who could bid for
Council work, i.e. any previous or current working relationship or friendship
in a private capacity, should be declared to your Director and recorded in the
Register of Interests. In certain cases, not to divulge such information could
contravene the law. This is particularly important if you engage or supervise
contractors or if you have an official relationship with contractors.
5.3.3 If you stand to gain financially from any contract or potential contract of the
Council, you must declare it in writing to the appropriate Director, and you
will be excluded from the process, particularly any decisions relating to the
award of that contract. This applies whether the contract is let formally
through the tendering process or in some less formal way.
5.3.4 Your Director may require you to review your position and update
information recorded at regular intervals depending on the circumstances.
4.3.5 No gifts or hospitality may be accepted from any person or organisation that
is seeking to compete for Council work. This principle also applies in a
Planning context where developers are in competition for a particular site in
the Borough. For circumstances in which it is permissible to accept gifts and
hospitality, see paragraph 13.
5.4 Work Colleagues
5.4.1 You should always treat colleagues with fairness, dignity and respect.
Mutual respect between colleagues is essential to good working relationships
The Council will not tolerate bullying, harassment or victimisation of anyone
in any form.
6. Financial Regulations and Standing Orders Relating to Contracts
6.1 You must ensure that public funds are used in a responsible and lawful manner. You
should strive to ensure value for money to the local community and to avoid legal
challenge to the Council.
6.2 Standard procedures (Financial Regulations) have been agreed which govern the
Council's financial matters and detail arrangements for handling money.
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6.3 Likewise Contract Standing Orders detail the procedures to be followed in awarding
contracts for work or services.
6.4 If your work involves the handling of money or awarding of contracts you must
familiarise yourself with the requirements of the Council's Financial Regulations and
appropriate Standing Orders. Failure to follow the correct procedures will be treated
as a serious matter.
7. Separation of Roles during Tendering
7.1 If you are involved in the tendering process and dealing with contractors, you should
be clear on the separation of client and contractor roles within the Authority. If you
are a senior member of staff who has both client and contractor responsibility, you
must be aware of the need for accountability and openness.
7.2 If you work in contractor or client units you must exercise fairness and impartiality
when dealing with all customers, suppliers, other contractors and sub-contractors.
7.3 You should ensure that no special favour is shown to current or (recent) former
members of staff, councillors or their partners, close relatives or associates in
awarding contracts to businesses run by them or employing them in a senior or
relevant managerial capacity.
8. Recruitment and other Employment Matters
8.1 If you are involved in recruitment decisions you should ensure that these are made
on the basis of merit. It would be unlawful to make an appointment that was based
on anything other than the ability of the candidate to undertake the work. In order to
avoid any possible accusation of bias, you should not be involved in an appointment
where you are related to an applicant, or have a personal relationship (friendship or
otherwise) outside work with him or her. You should declare any such relationship
to your Director in advance.
8.2 Similarly, you should not be involved in decisions relating to discipline, promotion
or pay adjustments for any other employee who is a relative, partner or close
personal friend. Such relationships with any other employee should be declared to
your Director and registered in the Register of Interests.
9. Outside Interests and Politically Restricted Posts
9.1 Your off-duty hours are your personal concern but you should never put yourself in a
position where your duty as a Local Government Officer and your private interests
conflict. The Council will not attempt to preclude you from undertaking additional
employment provided that such employment does not, in the view of the Council,
conflict with your job or have a detrimental impact on the Council's interests, or in
any way weaken public confidence in the conduct of the Council's business.
9.2 You are required to obtain written consent from your Director to take any other
employment or occupation either paid or unpaid in addition to your post held with
the Council. This includes directorships, consultancies and sponsorships by any
company, organisation or individual. You should be clear about your contractual
obligations to the Council and should not take outside employment, which conflicts,
or might conflict in the future, with the Council’s interests.
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9.3 You may not carry out work arising from additional employment in Council time nor
use Council resources or facilities (including typing) for those purposes.
9.4 Private use of Council facilities, other than prohibited by section 9.3 above, e.g.
making telephone calls, using fax or photocopiers, should be declared.
9.5 You should follow the Council’s policies on the ownership of intellectual property or
copyright created during your employment i.e. all:
(i) Creative designs, writings and drawings produced by you in the course of
your duties, belong to the Council;
(ii) Inventions made by you are the property of the Council if made during the
course of your normal duties (which includes those described in your notice
of terms of employment, and any other duties arising from your Manager or
other authorised officer of the Council).
9.6 Some posts are ‘politically restricted,’ by law, which means that the postholder is
unable to take part in political activity or become an elected member of any public
authority whilst in the employment of the Council. Your role is politically restricted
(i) your salary exceeds a certain amount (£30,741 as at 1/04/03)
(ii) you give advice on a regular basis to the Council, its committees, sub-
committees or any joint authority on which it is represented
(iii) you speak on behalf of the Council on a regular basis to the journalists or
If this is applicable to you, your contract of employment will include an appropriate
clause. In all other circumstances, you must record in the Register of Interests and
declare to your Director any membership of a Local Authority.
10. Personal Interests
10.1 You must declare to your Director, and record in the Register of Interests, non-
financial interests that you consider could bring about conflict with the Council’s
interests or activities. Examples might be membership of the committee of an
organisation seeking or receiving grant aid from the Council or involvement with an
organisation or pressure group that may seek to influence the Council’s policies.
Ordinary membership of organisations, whether local or national, will not usually be
10.2 You must also declare and register any financial interests which could conflict with
the Council’s interests e.g. any pecuniary interest in a business or company within
Epsom and Ewell or with which the Council might do business.
10.3 You must declare and register any interest you have as a freeholder, lessee, licensee
or tenant in any land or property in the Borough of Epsom and Ewell, apart from
your main residence, which will already be recorded in your personnel records.
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10.4 You must never become involved in dealing with or determining any application or
request that you or a member of your family or personal friend make to the Council,
for example, an application for planning permission, council tax or housing benefit.
11. Equality and Health and Safety Issues
11.1 You should ensure that policies relating to equality issues as agreed by the Council
are complied with, in addition to the requirements of the law. All members of the
local community, customers and other staff have a right to be treated with fairness
11.2 You should also ensure that policies relating to health and safety issues as agreed by
the Council are complied with, in addition to the requirements of the law, in
particular policies relating to smoking, drugs and alcohol misuse.
12. I.T. Security
12.1 You must comply with policies relating to the security of the Council's computer
systems as agreed by the Council.
13. Gifts and Hospitality
13.1 Hospitality may sometimes be appropriate as part of a normal business arrangement.
The Council requires you to declare all gifts and hospitality given or offered as part
of your employment with the Council. Except in the circumstances covered in 4.3.6,
this does not apply to tea/coffee or small work related gifts, such as pens or diaries.
Gifts of any description having a value in excess of £20 must be refused, unless your
Director agrees that you can register and keep it.
13.2 You may accept being taken to lunch by contractors and suppliers where this lunch is
part of legitimate dealings with the Council, and provided the Council is already
doing business with that contractor or supplier. However, all such paid lunches must
be recorded in the Register of Interests/Gifts and Hospitality. This includes any
corporate hospitality days.
13.3 You may reciprocate by paying for lunch with the contractor, and claim back up to
the total subsistence allowance for each meal. The cost should be coded to the
departmental subsistence budget and this will require authorisation from the Cost
Centre Manager. If, in particular circumstances, the subsistence allowance is
insufficient to cover the cost of hospitality, a higher amount may only be authorised
by your Director at his or her discretion. The expenditure must be justifiable on the
basis of some benefit to the authority equivalent to the cost involved.
13.4 In considering whether or not the gift or hospitality is appropriate, the question ‘how
will this look?’ must be asked. If the hospitality could look like corruption to
another party (e.g. a Councillor, council tax payer, another rival contractor), it should
not be offered or accepted. For example, taking a contractor or supplier to lunch
after a contract has been let could be a useful opportunity to talk through the details
of the work and build a better working relationship. However, taking to lunch or
accepting lunch from a supplier before a contract is let would be unacceptable as it
could look as if that supplier was being unfairly favoured.
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(c) PROTOCOL FOR MANAGING MEMBER/OFFICER RELATIONS
Issued: July 2002
1.1 The purpose of this document is to provide a guide to good working relations
between Members and Officers, to define their respective roles and provide some
principles governing conduct.
1.2 The Local Government Act 2000(Constitutions)(England) Direction 2000 given
under section 37(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 2000 sets out the broad themes
to be included in a local authority’s constitution. One of those broad themes is the
requirement for local authorities to include a protocol for managing Member/Officer
1.3 Given the variety and complexity of Member/Officer relations, any protocol cannot
seek to be entirely prescriptive or comprehensive. Although some of the references
relate to regulatory matters, the document largely seeks to offer guidance on some of
the issues that most commonly arise. All successful organisations need to be flexible
to suit circumstances but, at the same time, it should be recognised that the guidance
should, as far as is possible, be uniformly followed throughout the Council.
1.4 This Protocol sits together with a number of other existing and evolving Council
procedures and there may be some overlap between this document and those other
procedures and rules both within and outside the Constitution.
1.5 In appreciation that this will be an evolving document and recognising the rapid
changes in working practices both statutory and social (e.g. new technology), the
Protocol will need to be reviewed regularly, probably every 12 months.
1.6 This Protocol, where applicable, will also apply to lay or co-opted Members of
2. The Respective Roles of Elected Members and Officers
2.1 Elected Members represent their constituents. They formulate policy, make
decisions and seek to ensure that their constituents’ issues are addressed.
2.2 Officers are employed by and serve the whole Council. They advise Members,
implement decisions of the Council, make decisions under powers delegated to them
by the Council and address constituents’ issues.
3. Access to Officers
3.1 With the Council wide use of e-mail, Members should seek to avoid, as far as
possible, entering an Officer's work area and requiring immediate attention. Where
an urgent response is required, the Member should seek to telephone the Officer and,
if necessary, arrange a convenient meeting.
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3.2 Officers should, whenever possible, meet the following performance targets for
response to Member enquiries:
Straightforward enquiries - within 1 working day of receipt.
More complicated enquiries - within 5 working days.
Difficult enquiries involving research - within 10 working days.
Where a response is not going to be possible within 1 day, the Officer should
acknowledge the enquiry and indicate to the Member when a response is likely to be
forthcoming. As the Council employs a large number of part time Officers, these
timescales may be difficult to meet on occasions.
3.3 A list of Officers with their day-to-day responsibilities and contact details (including
Manager) will be supplied to Members.
3.4 A copy of all correspondence from a Member that raises an issue of policy should be
sent to the relevant Division Head.
3.5 A copy of all correspondence from a Member, following up an unanswered enquiry,
should be sent to the Officer’s Service Manager.
3.6 Whenever possible, Members will seek to respond to Officers’ enquiries and
requests within one week from receipt of the enquiry/request.
3.7 Where a decision has been delegated to an Officer, whether or not in consultation
with nominated Members, then it is for that Officer to make the decision. However,
to assist Members’ understanding, Officers should, when requested, explain to a
Member the guidelines they use when making a delegated authority decision.
4. Access to information and to Council Documents
4.1 Members are entitled to such information as they may reasonably need to assist them
in discharging their role as Members of the Council. The legal right of Members to
inspect Council documents, is covered by:
Statutory right - Access to Information Act 1985.
Common law - on a need to know basis.
NB This is covered in more detail in Part 2 Article 2.3(b)(i) and Part 4(1) Standing
Order 40 of the Council’s Constitution
4.2 Officers must treat all Members on an equal basis where there is an equal need to
The courts have ruled that the test of a Member's need to know derives from the
Member’s Committee responsibilities, but this will not be exclusively the case. A
Member dealing with a Ward issue may have a legitimate need to know which will
enable him/her to have access to the relevant Council documents.
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4.3 Ward Councillors should be kept fully informed and consulted by Officers on all
relevant matters affecting their ward. Where applicable, relevant correspondence
should be copied to them.
4.4 Information disclosed to a Member on a need to know basis should not be disclosed
to another Member, unless there is an equal need to know, or the first Member is
notified that the information is being so disclosed.
4.5 Correspondence to a constituent, from a Member or Officer, which raises an issue of
policy or finance should normally be discussed with the relevant Director/Division
4.6 When speaking to, or corresponding with, the public or media an Officer should not
express personal opinions on policy or political decisions. Officers should restrict
their observations to matters of fact.
5. Undue Pressure
5.1 To ensure that the business of the Council is carried out effectively, Members and
Officers should endeavour to create a cordial working relationship with each other.
Be aware of how they speak with and relate to junior Officers, avoiding undue
Avoid personal attacks on Officers, particularly in public meetings
Avoid words or actions which could undermine respect for Officers by the public
Never require an Officer to carry out work on a matter which is not justified in terms
of budgetary controls, Council policy or the Officer’s duties and responsibilities
Never require an Officer to carry out work within unreasonable deadlines or work
that imposes an excessive workload.
Be aware of how they speak with and relate to Members
Avoid words or action which could undermine respect for Members by the public or
by other staff
5.2 Where a Member feels that an Officer’s action/inaction is unacceptable he/she
should follow the procedure outlined in Paragraph 7 of this Protocol.
5.3 Any Officer who is personally connected to a Member must notify his/her Director.
Officers must not use undue influence over a Member, nor develop close personal
friendships that could compromise the integrity of their actions.
5.4 A claim for unfair dismissal can be made against the Council by an employee who
resigns following their alleged harassment whether by another Officer or a Member.
The claim can be based on a breach of the implied terms of the Officer's contract,
due to the failure to maintain mutual trust and confidence and the provision of a
reasonable working environment.
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6. Use of Council property, resources and services
6.1 Particular care needs to be taken in connection with the use of the Council’s
property, resources and services.
6.2 The Code of Conduct for Members and Co-opted Members provides:
"When using the resources of the Council, or authorising their use by others, a
(i) act in accordance with the authority’s requirements and,
(ii) ensure that such resources are not used for political purposes unless that
could reasonably be regarded as likely to facilitate, or be conducive to, the
discharge of the functions of the authority or of the office to which the
Member has been elected or appointed."
e.g. All Members and Officers using Council PC’s have signed up to the IT
Security Policy guidelines which requires everyone who uses a Council PC to
use it in accordance with these guidelines.
7.1 Where a Member has a complaint about the performance of an Officer then the
Member should address his/her concerns to the Division Head. The Division Head
will investigate the complaint, keeping the Member informed of action taken
whether that be under informal procedures or the formal Disciplinary Procedure of
7.2 Where an Officer has a complaint about undue pressure by a Member, he/she should
refer this to his/her Division Head. If the Officer feels that these discussions do not
resolve the issue, then the formal Staff Grievance Procedure can be followed.
8. Officer/Chairman Relationships
8.1 It is clearly important that there should be a close working relationship between the
Chairman of a Committee and the Director and other senior Officers who report to
that body. However, such relationships should never be allowed to become so close,
or appear to be so close, as to bring into question the Officer's ability to deal
impartially with other Members, individuals or organisations.
8.2 Officers are accountable to their Director, and whilst Officers should always seek to
assist a Chairman (or indeed any Members), they must not, in so doing, go beyond
the bounds of whatever authority they have been given by their Director/Division
Head. The Chief Executive has statutory responsibility, as Head of Paid Service, for
ensuring the proper organisation and management of the Council’s staff, and has
therefore an overall responsibility for the direction and management of all Officers.
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9. Political Activity
9.1 Officers must not do any work that is designed to promote one political grouping
within the Council rather than the whole Council.
9.2 Officers invited to attend meetings organised by any political group should carefully
consider whether it is appropriate to attend and should not do so if the meeting is
called in the circumstances referred to in 9.1. Any other meetings organised by a
political group should only be attended in consultation with the Chief Executive or a
Director and only where the Officer is required to assist with factual information.
10. Publicity and the Media
10.1 Contact with the media on issues related to Council business is handled through the
Public Relations Officer who provides support, advice and training to Members and
10.2 Any Member who wishes to approach the media to speak on behalf of the Council
on any item involving or affecting the Council, should first consult the relevant
Committee Chairman, Director, or Public Relations Officer.
10.3 The Council allows media access to a wide range of Officers to provide the media
with the factual information they need. Requests for comments or opinion on
Council policy or political matters should be referred to the appropriate Committee
10.4 Councils are prohibited from publishing any material that appears to be designed to
affect support for any political group.
11. Breaches of the Protocol
11.1 Serious breaches of this Protocol by Officers will be dealt with under the Council’s
Disciplinary Procedures. Serious breaches by Members could involve action taken
under the Staff Grievance procedure or a report to the Standards Board for England.
12.1 This Protocol is intended to build on the sound arrangements that have existed within
the Council for years.
12.2 Mutual understanding, respect and openness on these sensitive issues are the greatest
safeguard of the integrity of the Council, its Members and Officers
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(d) CODE OF CONDUCT AND PRACTICE IN LICENSING PROCEDURES AND
Effective from 21 March 2005
1. Introduction and status of code
1.1 In 2002 the Planning Committee adopted a Code of Practice in Planning Procedures in
response to recommendations of the Nolan Committee on the Standards of Conduct in
Public Life. Subsequently, the Social Committee and Scrutiny Committee considered that a
similar Code should be drafted with respect to Licensing. The purpose of this Code is to
assist Members in the discharge of the Council’s licensing function and to guide applicants
and other interested parties. The Code relates to all Councillors and not just to those who
are members of the Licensing Committee, and also to Council Officers, where appropriate.
1.2 This code is based on guidance contained in the National Code of Local Government
Conduct, the Nolan Committee’s recommendations and experience within the Council.
2. Definitions and interpretations effective from 7 February 2005
2.1 “The (Licensing) Authority” means Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
2.2 “Licensing Objectives” means the four objectives the Licensing Authority must have a view
to promoting when carrying out its functions under the Licensing Act 2003. The Licensing
Objectives are defined in Part 2, paragraph 4 (2) of the Licensing Act 2003.
2.3 “Premises" means any vehicle, vessel or moveable structure, or any place or a part of a
2.4 “Applicant" means the applicant for the Conversion, Grant or Variation of a licence, or
2.5 “Application" means any application under the Licensing Act 2003, including:
(i) Conversion of an existing licence or registration
(ii) Grant of a licence, certificate or TEN
(iii) Transfer of a licence or certificate
(iv) Variation of a licence or certificate (including waiver or modification of a licence
condition or to extend the licensed area, amend the licensable activities or extend the
2.6 "Authorised Person" is defined in Part 3, paragraph 13 (2) of the Licensing Act 2003, and
includes bodies empowered by the Act to carry out inspection and enforcement roles. In
respect of all premises, these include; Licensing Authority Officers, Fire Authority
Inspectors, Environmental Health Officers and inspectors locally responsible for the
enforcement of Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
2.7 "Interested Parties" is defined in Part 3, paragraph 13 (3) of the Licensing Act 2003, and
includes the bodies or individuals who are entitled to make representations to the Authority
on applications for the grant, variation or review of a premises licence, or apply for the
review of a licence. These include; a person living in the vicinity of the premises in
question; a body representing persons living in that vicinity; a person involved in a business
in the vicinity of the premises; and, a body representing persons involved in such business.
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2.8 “Responsible Authorities" is defined in Part 3, paragraph 13 (4) of the Licensing Act 2003,
and includes public bodies that must be fully notified of applications, and are entitled to
make representations to the Authority on applications for the grant, variation or review of a
premises licence. These include, The Chief Officer of Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue
Service, Environmental Health Officers and inspectors locally responsible for the
enforcement of Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Chief Planning Officer, Surrey
Area Child Protection Committee and any Licensing Authority (other than Epsom and Ewell
Borough Council) in whose area part of the premises are situated.
2.9 Party to the hearing” means a person to whom notice of the hearing is to be given in
accordance with Regulation 6(1) of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005,
and “party” and “parties” shall be construed accordingly,
2.10 "Representation" means any person who has lodged a written objection to an application in
accordance with these rules, and as defined in Part 3, paragraph 18 (6) of the Licensing Act
2.11 “Regulations” means Regulations made under the Licensing Act 2003
2.12 In these rules, the masculine always includes the feminine.
3. Composition of licensing hearings sub-committee
3.1 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee shall consist of three Members. No business shall
be transacted unless at least three Members are present.
3.2 Councillors shall not normally hear an application if they represent the Ward in which the
applicant’s premises are situated, or if they live within the vicinity of the premises.
4. The need for guidance on licensing
4.1 Licensing is unlike other local authority services (apart from Planning) in having a special
responsibility to safeguard interests and balance conflicts. Licensing decisions have legal
and judicial implications that are separate from the normal process that directs local
authorities. Licensing involves the extensive exercise of the Council’s discretionary powers.
4.2 Licensing applications are sometimes amongst the most contentious matters with which the
Council deals. The successful operation of the licensing system relies amongst other things,
upon ensuring that both Officers and Councillors act in a way that is not only fair and
impartial but is also clearly seen to be so. Licensing decisions can affect land and property
values, and it is important that decisions are made openly, impartially, with sound
judgement and for justifiable reasons.
5. General role and conduct of councillors in relation to the licensing system
5.1 The determination of applications by the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee is a quasi-
judicial process. The role of Councillors taking licensing decisions has similarities to that of
a court of law (and Licensing Justices). Decisions are made after a hearing at which the
applicant and objectors are each given an opportunity to be heard and to put their case. The
decision reached must be based upon the evidence heard and a consideration of any relevant
Council policies and current government advice.
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5.2 Whilst Councillors who are Members of the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee can have
regard to the views of their constituents, they should not favour any person, group, company
or locality, nor put themselves in a position where they appear to do so, as their over riding
duty in making decisions on licensing applications is to do so in a fair and impartial manner,
in accordance with the Licensing Objectives, and taking into account any relevant Policy.
6.1 No members should be appointed to the Licensing Committee or Licensing Hearings Sub-
Committee without having agreed to undertake a period of training in licensing procedures
and legislation as specified by the Council, either before serving on the committee or as
soon as possible after their appointment to the committee with additional training as
7. Pre-application discussions
7.1 Pre-application discussions or discussions whilst an application is being processed between
Council Officers and applicants can be beneficial. It is often helpful for the Council’s
officers to be able to give advice at an early stage on relevant licensing policies and to
provide details of other known factors, which are likely to be taken into account.
7.2 It is however, important that such discussions are not seen as part of a lobbying process,
which could prejudice proper consideration of a licensing application. Hence, it should be
made clear from the outset that the discussion will not bind the Council to making a
particular decision on a licensing application and that any views expressed are personal,
provisional and without prejudice. If a pre-application meeting is held this position should
be confirmed in a standard letter.
7.3 Officer advice should be consistent and based on approved Council policies and known
material considerations. It should, as with all officer advice, be politically impartial.
8.1 Lobbying is a normal and perfectly proper part of the licensing process provided that it does
not affect the impartiality of the decision-making. Those likely to be affected by a licensing
application may seek to influence it through an approach to their elected Ward Member or
other Councillor, who may make representations to the application in accordance with the
Rules of Procedure of the Committee (see paragraph 8.3 below). However, personal
lobbying of the Members of a Committee, by anybody, including other Councillors, that is
to determine the application in question is not appropriate, and can lead to the impartiality
and integrity of a Councillor being called into question with the risk of findings of
maladministration by the Ombudsman and/or the decision of the Committee being
challenged by way of Judicial Review.
8.2 A Member of the Licensing Committee who is lobbied by an applicant or objector in
relation to an application which may come before a Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee on
which he is sitting should accordingly refer the person lobbying to another Councillor.
8.3 In accordance with the procedural rules of the Committee, Members should ensure that
written material or other evidence which they wish to be considered by the Licensing
Hearings Sub-Committee is provided in advance to the relevant officers, and within the
timescales prescribed in the Regulations.
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8.4 Given that the point at which a decision on a licensing application is made cannot occur
before the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee meeting when all relevant information is
available for consideration, any political meeting before the Licensing Hearings Sub-
Committee meeting should not be used to decide how Councillors should determine an
application. Such use of party “whips” is considered by the Ombudsman as contrary to the
National Code of Conduct amounting to maladministration if it leads to Members making a
particular decision without taking into account all relevant matters.
8.5 Should an Officer be subject to lobbying by an applicant, objector, or any Councillor, this
will be reported to the Committee determining the application.
9. Gifts and hospitality
9.1 Councillors and officers should observe extreme caution in respect of any personal offer of a
gift, favour or hospitality from someone who has or is likely to submit a licensing
application to the Council. Further guidance on this matter is given in the Council’s Code of
Conduct for Members and co-opted Members.
9.2 All offers or receipt of gifts or hospitality must be reported to the Chief Executive and
recorded in the register of gifts and hospitality.
10. Declaration of interests
10.1 The responsibility for declaring an interest rests with Members. If in doubt, Members
should seek advice well in advance of the meeting concerned. Guidance on the declaration
of personal and prejudicial interests is contained in the National Code of Conduct and the
Council’s Code of Conduct for Members and co-opted Members. Advice is available from
the Monitoring Officer.
10.2 Where the Member has a personal and prejudicial interest in an item on the agenda, it
should, of course, be declared, and that Member will not be entitled to sit on the Licensing
Hearings Sub-Committee deliberating the application in question. Where a prejudicial
interest is declared, Standing Orders require the Member concerned to leave the meeting,
unless the member has made representation in their own right, or, is elected to represent an
objector who has made a valid representation. In these circumstances, of course, it will not
be possible for the Member to take any part in the decision making process.
11. Licensing applications submitted by councillors and their close associates or licensing
applications which may have an impact on councillors, their families or close associates
11.1 Councillors will wish to have particular regard to the Code of Conduct for Members and co-
opted Members and the National Code of Conduct e.g. where Members act as agents for
people pursuing licensing issues.
11.2 Given the Code of Conduct for Members and co-opted Members, Councillors who have
business or other interests that may bring them into contact with the Council’s licensing
system on a regular basis should not normally sit on the Licensing Committee or the
Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee.
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12. Member and officer relations
12.1 Good administration is dependant upon a successful relationship between Councillors and
officers which can only be based upon mutual trust and understanding of each others’ roles
and responsibilities. This relationship, and the trust which underpins it, should not be
abused or compromised. Accordingly, Councillors should not attempt in any way to
influence the terms of the officers’ report or recommendation on any application. Equally,
officers should give firm independent advice.
13. The role of the Licensing Officer
13.1 Licensing Officers fulfil two roles for the Committee hearing. Firstly, a role limited to an
administrative one, and secondly, a role limited to consideration of the relevant
representations from their knowledge of local licensing policy, guidance, statute and good
13.2 Licensing Officers will make NO recommendations to the Licensing Hearings Sub-
Committee in terms of the outcome of the hearing, but will introduce the Report and provide
the Committee only with summary information such as the following:
Summary of the application
Summary of the representations made
Summary of how s/he views the provisions of the Licensing Policy Statement, Guidance of
the Secretary of State, and the relevant legislation as relating to the application and any
Summary of any pre-application and pre-decision discussions held with the applicant or
bodies making representations
Details of any site visits which took place prior to the application or Committee hearing.
Details of any lobbying activities which have been brought to their notice
14. Period of time in which hearing to be held
14.1 The Authority shall arrange for a Hearing to be scheduled in accordance with Regulation 5,
and shall give a notice of a Hearing in accordance with Regulations 6 and 7 of the Licensing
Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005.
15. Notice of hearing
15.1 In the case of a hearing for cancellation of an interim authority notice following Police
objection, or counter notice following Police objection to a Temporary Event Notice (TEN),
the Authority shall give notice of hearing no later than two working days before the day or
the first day on which the hearing is to be held.
15.2 In the case of a hearing for review of a premises licence following closure order, or;
determination of an application for conversion of existing licence, or; determination of
application for conversion of existing club certificate, or; determination of application by
holder of justices; licence for grant of personal licence; the Authority shall give notice of
hearing no later than five working days before the day or the first day on which the hearing
is to be held.
15.3 Annex 1 contains the schedule detailing the provisions under which the hearing is held, and
the period of time within which the hearing must be commenced.
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15.4 The Authority will, when giving notice of the Hearing, follow Regulation 7 of the Licensing
Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005.
16. Action following receipt of notice of hearing
16.1 A party shall give to the Authority within the period of time prescribed below, a notice
(i) whether he intends to attend or be represented at the hearing
(ii) whether he considers a hearing to be unnecessary.
16.2 In the case where a party wishes any other person (other than the person he intends to
represent him at the hearing) to appear at the hearing, the notice shall contain a request for
permission for such other person to appear at the hearing accompanied by details of the
name of that person and a brief description of the point or points on which that person may
be able to assist the Authority in relation to the application, representations or notice of the
party making the request.
16.3 In the case of a hearing for cancellation of an interim authority notice following Police
objection, or counter notice following Police objection to a TEN, the party shall give the
notice no later than one working day before the day or the first day on which the hearing is
to be held.
16.4 In the case of a hearing for review of a premises licence following closure order, or;
determination of an application for conversion of existing licence, or; determination of
application for conversion of existing club certificate, or; determination of application by
holder of justices; licence for grant of personal licence; the party shall give the notice no
later than two working days before the day or the first day on which the hearing is to be held
17. Right to dispense with hearing if all parties agree
17.1 The Authority may dispose with holding a hearing if all persons required by the Act to agree
that such a hearing is unnecessary, and have done so by giving notice to the Authority that
they consider a hearing unnecessary. In such circumstances the Authority must give notice
to the parties that the hearing has been dispensed with.
18. Withdrawal of representations
18.1 A party who wishes to withdraw any representations they have made may do so by giving
notice to the Authority no later than 24 hours before the day or the first day on which the
hearing is to be held or orally at the hearing.
19. The committee procedure
19.1 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee is serviced by a number of officers. These include
the Committee Officer and a Legal Advisor who are responsible for ensuring that the correct
procedures are followed and that the discussion and the decisions made are properly
recorded. An officer from the Grants and Licensing Team acts as a presenting officer,
introduces the report and answers Members’ questions. In addition, other officers such as
Environmental Health Officers may attend to address specific technical matters raised by
applications included in the agenda.
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19.2 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee agenda may comprise a single report, or set of
reports concerning specific licensing applications. Each report summarises the main issues
raised by the application and details the representations received. Applications to be
considered by the Committee will be the subject of a written report from officers.
19.3 At the beginning of the hearing, the Chairman shall explain to the parties, the procedure
which he/she proposes to follow at the hearing, and shall consider any request made by a
party under regulation 8(2) of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005 for
permission for another person to appear at the hearing.
19.4 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee shall not permit cross-examination unless it
considers it is required for it to consider the representations, application or notice.
19.5 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee shall allow parties an equal maximum time period
in which to support their representation or application.
19.6 The Chairman of the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee may require any person attending
the hearing who, in their opinion, is behaving in a disruptive manner to leave the Hearing,
and may refuse to permit that person to return, or permit that person to return only on such
conditions as the Authority may specify. However, such a person my, before the end of the
Hearing, submit to the Authority in writing any information which they would have been
entitled to give orally, had they not been required to leave.
20. Power to extend time and adjourn hearings
20.1 The Authority may extend a time limit provided for in the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings)
Regulations 2005 for a specified period where it considers this to be necessary in the public
interest. In such circumstances, the Authority will issue a notice to the parties stating the
period of the extension and the reasons for it.
20.2 The Authority may adjourn a hearing to a specified date, or arrange for a hearing to be held
on specified additional dates where it considers this to be necessary for its consideration of
any representations or notice made by a party. The Authority will issue a notice should it
decide to use such power.
20.3 The Authority will not exercise this power in such a way that the effect will be that an
application will be treated as granted or rejected under paragraph 4(4), 7(3), 16 (4), 19 (3) or
26(4) of Schedule 8 (transitional provision etc.), or; it would fail to reach a determination on
the review under section 167 within the specified period.
21. Hearing to be public
21.1 The Authority may exclude the public (which may include any person assisting or
representing a party) from all or part of the hearing where it considers that the public interest
in doing so outweighs the public interest in the hearing or that part of the hearing, taking
place in public.
22. Right of attendance, assistance and representation
22.1 Subject to 14(2) and 25 of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005, a party may
attend the hearing and may be assisted or represented by any person whether or not that
person is legally qualified.
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23. Councillor representations
23.1 Where a Councillor wishes to express a view on an application either in their own right in
the capacity as an interested party, or in a specific representative capacity, he/she must do so
in accordance with the procedural rules of the Committee, and the Regulations made under
the Licensing Act 2003.
23.2 To avoid conflicts of interest, Councillors shall not normally hear an application if they
represent the Ward in which the applicant’s premises are situated, or if they live within the
vicinity of the premises. A member of the relevant Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee who
represents or lives in the ward, which may also be affected by a licensing application, may
be in a difficult position if it is a controversial application that has generated opposition.
Members in such a situation should therefore not publicly support or oppose a particular
outcome unless they are prepared to make their own valid representation. The member
would then become ineligible to take part in the deliberative and decision making process of
the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee concerned with determining that application.
24. Representations and supporting information
24.1 A relevant authority or responsible person may make a representation at any time in writing,
up to and including, 20 working days after the day on which the application was given to the
authority by the applicant.
24.2 Anonymous representations will not be considered by the Authority.
24.3 Letters of support of an application may be made at any time in writing, up to and including,
20 working days after the day on which the application was given to the authority by the
24.4 At the hearing a party shall be entitled to: -
(a) in response to a point upon which the authority has given notice to a party that it will
want clarification under regulation 7(1)(d) of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings)
Regulations 2005, give further information in support of their application,
representations or notice (as applicable),
(b) if given permission by the Authority, question any other party; and
(c) address the Authority.
24.5 Members of the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee may ask any question of any party or
other person appearing at the hearing.
24.6 In considering any representations or notice made by a party the Authority may take into
account documentary or other information produced by a party in support of their
application, representations or notice (as applicable) either before the hearing or, with the
consent of all the other parties, at the hearing.
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24.7 The Authority shall disregard any information given by a party or any person to whom
permission to appear at the hearing is given by the authority which is not relevant to: -
(a) their application, representations or notice (as applicable) or in the case of another
person, the application representations or notice of the party requesting their
(b) the promotion of the licensing objectives or, in relation to a hearing to consider a
notice given by a chief officer of police, the crime prevention objective.
25. Frivolous, vexatious or repetitious representations
25.1 Where the authority considers that representations are frivolous, vexatious or repetitious, the
person making the representation will be notified in writing either
(i) Five working days before the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee is to be held (due
to relevant representations being made elsewhere), or;
(ii) In any other case, before the determination of the application to which the
26. Failure of parties to attend the hearing
26.1 If a party has informed the Authority that he does not intend to attend or be represented at a
hearing, the hearing may proceed in his absence.
26.2 If a party who has not so indicated fails to attend or be represented at a hearing the Authority
(a) where it considers it to be necessary in the public interest, adjourn the hearing to a
specified date, or
(b) hold the hearing in the party’s absence.
26.3 Where the Authority holds the hearing in the absence of a party, the authority shall consider
at the hearing the application, representations or notice made by that party.
26.4 Where the Authority adjourns the hearing to a specified date it must forthwith notify the
parties of the date, time and place to which the hearing has been adjourned.
27. The committee decision making process
27.1 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee shall normally adjourn from the Hearing to
deliberate their decision. The Committee may require that the Legal Adviser withdraws
with the Committee. In such cases, any advice given by the Legal Adviser shall be relayed
in open session once the Committee has reconvened.
27.2 The decision on an application should be taken on all of the relevant factors in the case, and
in particular the evidence submitted to the Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee meeting.
Each application will be treated on its individual merits. The Committee shall have due
regard to, and shall normally follow, any relevant Council approved licensing policies and
legislation and regulations that are relevant to the application.
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27.3 Members may add extra conditions if they are satisfied the imposition of such would go
some way to address concerns raised in representations considered valid and pertinent to the
application. Due consideration would be given to ensure the imposition of such conditions
would be necessary and reasonable.
27.4 The Licensing Hearings Sub-Committee must make its decision at the conclusion of the
Hearing for cases under:
(i) Section 35 or 39 which is in respect of an application made at the same times as an
application for a conversion of an existing licence under paragraph 2 of scheduled 8
(determination of application under section 34 or 37)
(ii) Section 85 which is in respect of an application made at the same time as an
application for conversion of an existing club certificate under paragraph 14 of
Schedule 8 (determination of application under section 85)
(iii) Section 105(2)(a) - counter notice following police objection to TEN
(iv) Section 167(5)(a) - review of premises licence following closure order
(v) Paragraph 4(3)(a) of Schedule 8 - determination of application for conversion of
(vi) Paragraph 16(3)(a) of Schedule 8 - determination of application for conversion of
existing club certificate, or;
(vii) Paragraph 26(3)(a) of Schedule 8 - determination of application by holder of a
justices’ licence for grant of personal licence
In any other cases, the Committee must make its determination within the period of five
working days beginning with the day or the last day on which the Hearing was held.
27.5 Where a Hearing has been dispensed with in accordance with Regulation 9 of the Licensing
Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005, the Authority must make its determination within
the period of ten working days beginning with the day the Authority gives notice to the
parties under Regulation 9(2).
28. Record of proceedings
28.1 Hearings will be recorded in a permanent and intelligible form, and retained for six years
from the date of the determination, or, where an appeal is brought against the determination
of the Authority, the disposal of the appeal.
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(e) CODE OF CONDUCT ON PLANNING MATTERS
Issued: July 2002
1.1 These Guidelines should help provide Members with clear and consistent advice on
the manner in which they should deal with planning matters. They have been
prepared having regard, in particular, to the Government’s ethical framework
incorporated in the Local Government Act 2000; the Council’s Local Code of
Conduct for Members and Co-opted Members and the Audit Commission’s Probity
in Planning Report, submitted to the Planning Committee in May 2001.
1.2 Observance of the guidelines should avoid:
(a) Costs to the Council arising from complaints made to the Local Government
Ombudsman, applications for Judicial Review or for the exercise of powers
given to the Secretary of State under the Town & Country Planning Act
(b) Complaints against Members being brought before the Standards Board for
England under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000.
2. Personal Interests
2.1 The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001 removes the
old, rather artificial distinction between pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests and
concentrates on whether interests are personal and prejudicial. As the Model Code
puts it, the test is that:
"a Member must regard himself/herself as having a personal interest in any
matter.….if a decision upon it might reasonably be regarded as affecting to a greater
extent than other council tax payers, ratepayers, or inhabitants of the authority's
area, the well being or financial position of himself/herself, a relative or a friend…"
He/she would have a prejudicial personal interest if that interest were so significant
that a reasonable member of the public would think that the Member could not
reach a decision in the public interest (as against their own private interest) as a
2.2 The Council’s Local Code of Conduct for Members and Co-opted Members adopted
pursuant to The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001
"A Member with a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the
Council at which the matter is considered must disclose to that meeting the
existence and nature of that interest at the commencement of that consideration, or
when the interest becomes apparent." (Clause 9)
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If that personal interest is also prejudicial then the Member must also:
"withdraw from the room or chamber where a meeting is being held whenever it
becomes apparent that the matter is being considered at that meeting unless he/she
has obtained a dispensation from the authority's Standards Committee and not seek
improperly to influence a decision about that matter" (Clause 12)
2.3 The Local Code of Conduct makes clear that a prejudicial interest will always be
prejudicial unless it comes within clearly defined exceptions (Clause 10(2)).
2.4 Observance of these rules is the Member's responsibility and whether a member has
a personal interest in a matter is for the Member to decide.
2.5 Further issues have arisen with regard to the withdrawal of Members from the room
after declaring an interest. The Ombudsman has criticised a Member who, having
declared an interest, then remained in the room claiming to be there as a member of
the public rather than as a Member of the Council. Whilst in the Council Chamber it
might be argued that for a Member to move from the floor to the Public Gallery
would make it apparent to members of the public present that he/she was separating
himself/herself from the decision, the best advice must be to leave the room entirely.
3. Advice on Interests
3.1 Any Member in doubt about the meaning of the law is recommended to consult the
3.2 The Local Government Ombudsman has made it clear that a Member always has an
interest in development of land, or building adjoining his/her residence i.e., literally
next door. If the situation involves a particularly environmentally sensitive
development further afield one would have to take a view as to how far away the
impact of the development might be felt. Living in the same Ward, of itself, should
not give rise to interest difficulties in such situations.
3.3 It is clearly a matter of judgement how far away from a site might be judged to be
‘literally next door’. The rule of thumb is "Can the property be seen from any
part of my own property?"
3.4 It is necessary to recognise that, so long as no legislation or guidance at a national
level exists to indicate how close a Member may live to a site subject to a planning
application before he or she has to declare an interest, then it remains open to
interpretation. It must be for a Member himself or herself to exercise his or her
judgement in the matter.
3.5 It remains a matter of judgement for an individual Member as to whether he/she
would be better advised to ask another Ward Member who might live much further
away from the planning site in question to represent local views when the item
comes before a meeting. Certainly such a course of action should remove doubts in
the eyes of the public and, until such time as further national guidance on the matter
is given, Members are advised to follow this suggested course of action.
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4. Examples of Interests
4.1 If a planning application is submitted by an organisation to which a Member
belongs, then an interest should be declared and the Member should, if that interest is
also prejudicial, not be involved in negotiations or discussions and should withdraw
from the meeting.
4.2 There are a number of examples in relation to planning applications where a Member
is a member of an outside organisation involved in some way in a planning
application. Two examples will suffice for the present:
(a) Membership of a Golf Club. An interest need not be declared solely because a
planning application is being made by another member of a golf club where
there are many members and there is not a particular friendship between the
Member and the applicant. On the other hand, an interest would need to be
declared if the Club itself was making a planning application.
(b) Membership of a Church. Common membership of a small village chapel may
require a declaration where a planning application is made by another member,
whereas membership of a much larger congregation would not give rise to a
declaration unless the matter was, for example, a planning application
submitted by the church itself.
In both these cases, if the Golf Club or Church makes a planning application, a
personal interest must be declared. However, under the Code of Conduct an ordinary
member of an organisation would not have a prejudicial personal interest and can
still speak and vote. However, if he/she holds a position of general control or
management in that private organisation then that would be a prejudicial personal
interest requiring the member to withdraw from the meeting.
5. Membership of Committees
Members should not seek or accept membership of a committee or sub-committee if that
would involve frequent disclosures of interests because of professional, business or other
personal interests in the Council area or would be likely to weaken public confidence in the
duty of the committee or sub-committee to work solely in the general public interest.
6. Disclosure in Other Dealings
Members who have a prejudicial personal interest should also refrain from taking part in
group discussions and other informal meetings (including meetings with applicants and
officers). The Ombudsman goes on to say that a Member should not lobby fellow Members
about a matter in which he or she has an interest and should seek completely to avoid
discussing the matter with fellow Members. The Ombudsman strongly criticised a Member
who declared an interest and took no part in the public consideration of a planning
application but who lobbied extensively behind the scenes.
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7. Lobbying of Members
7.1 Members of the Planning Committee are frequently lobbied by applicants to seek
support for their proposals and objectors who seek to have proposals rejected.
“Natural Justice demands that a Member not only maintains but is seen to
maintain an uncommitted position until it is time for the decision to be taken”
(Lees Report on the North Cornwall Inquiry).
It is best if Members refer applicants and agents to Officers for advice and
7.2 The Council has a legal duty to determine applications, taking into account all
material considerations, without bias and pre-judgement. To achieve this, Members
will normally need to wait for the written report on the application and any
additional advice at the Committee meeting. Applications are often amended,
representations are received, and applicants provide additional information, right up
to the date of the meeting.
7.3 Members must, therefore, take great care not to lead anyone to conclude that their
mind has been made up before hearing all the relevant facts and advice.
7.4 These paragraphs in 7 apply to Members who are not on the Committee, as well as
those who are. Members who are not on the Committee may be asked to substitute
for a Member who cannot attend.
7.5 Although care should be taken, there is no reason why several Members or a
Political Group should not discuss planning matters prior to a Planning Committee.
Indeed, such discussions can help highlight the main issues. However, each
individual should decide for himself/herself how he/she should vote on any planning
application and should not be subjected to pressure from other Members to vote in a
particular way. To ensure, as far as possible, that this impartiality in considering
planning applications is maintained, the following guidelines should be followed:
7.5.1 All Members should discourage any applicant or agent or other interested
party from approaching them in any way in relation to any individual
planning application, and should positively avoid approaching any applicant
or agent (or any individual or developer who is likely to make an
7.5.2 To maintain impartiality and its appearance, Members should not take part in
discussions between applicants and officers. Ideally Members should discuss
issues with officers who then negotiate directly with applicants. If they need
to get involved in such discussions, appropriate professional officers should
always advise them.
7.5.3 Members should never seek to discuss or enter into negotiations with
applicants or potential applicants.
7.5.4 If an applicant contacts a Member about his/her application, the Member
should not declare their views on the application and should try to distance
themselves from the applicant.
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7.5.5 If a Member has had personal involvement with an applicant, agent or
interested party in connection with a particular application before its formal
consideration, which would lead an observer with knowledge of all of the
relevant facts to think that there could be the possibility of the member's
judgement being affected in any way, then the member should declare a
personal interest and not take part in the discussion or voting.
7.5.6 In cases where Members are approached, Members should exercise caution
and not offer any views which might fetter his/her discretion or that of the
Committee. Also Members should avoid taking an active role in objecting to
an application for the same reason.
7.5.7 While Members may wish to respond to the public and in particular their own
ward residents, there is no obligation on any Member to respond to such
approaches or to make time available to comment or to attend meetings.
7.5.8 Members must remember that all advice, whether given by an officer or a
member, be it with the best of intentions, can only be informal prior to being
considered by the Committee. It is important therefore that all advice be
given without prejudice to the formal determination of any subsequent
8. Site Meetings
8.1 Members are not entitled to enter sites the subject of a planning application (or
affected by one) without the permission of the owner. Clearly there is nothing to
prevent a Member from viewing any property from the street or other public area,
but Members should try to avoid entering sites other than in the course of an
arranged site visit by the Committee or in a joint inspection with a Planning Officer
who will make the necessary arrangements to secure permission to enter.
8.2 At arranged site visits, the attached Code of Conduct (Appendix 1) should be
9. Public Meetings
On particularly complex or contentious applications Members, the applicant or objectors
sometimes call public meetings. It is particularly important in such situations that, in
attending such meetings, Members are not seen, or perceived to be seen, supporting the
applicant or the objector’s position. Where possible, such meetings should ensure that
representatives of both applicants and objectors are allowed to present their views.
10. Member as Applicant
10.1 Members should not seek to carry out direct negotiations with officers or to use their
position to gain what might appear to be an unfair advantage. Members should not
discuss their application with other Members and should not participate in the
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10.2 Where a Member is the (prospective) applicant, in order to avoid any possible
allegation of malpractice or mal-administration, he/she is recommended to appoint a
professional agent to act on his/her behalf in dealing with the Planning Officer. The
Member should also avoid placing himself/herself in a position that could lead the
public to think that they are receiving preferential treatment: for instance by using
their position to discuss a planning application personally with officers when other
members of the public would not have the opportunity to do so.
10.3 Whilst this might appear to place an undue financial burden on the Member, in so far
as an individual member of the public might not need to go to these lengths for a
reasonably simple, straightforward application, Members need to exercise caution
that they do not lay themselves open to allegations of attempting to exert undue
influence on planning officers in such situations.
10.4 Where a Member is the (prospective) applicant all negotiations on the (prospective)
application should be via a professional agent to avoid any suggestion or allegation
of malpractice or conflict of interest.
10.5 Where a Member is a member of the Committee and is contemplating making a
planning application contrary to approved planning policies he/she should consider
carefully whether to resign from the Committee before submitting the application.
11. Involvement in Appeals
11.1 If a Member intends to make representations to the Inspector at an appeal either in
writing and/or in person at public inquiries he/she should be clear as to whether
he/she proposes to make his/her representations as a Member of the Council or as a
private individual. The distinction must be made quite clear.
11.2 If a Member intends to make representations either in writing or in person as a
Member, for the purpose of supporting the Council's case, he/she is recommended to
liaise with the Planning Officer who will advise on inquiry procedures and how
he/she might best present his/her case to the Council's advantage.
11.3 If a Member is to make representations in a personal or private capacity he/she
should consider very carefully beforehand whether he/she could contribute in any
way without bringing about suggestions of a conflict of interest. Any appearance at
a Public Inquiry or Hearing, by a Member in such a capacity, is at the discretion of
11.4 A Member should be aware that if he/she feels that he/she should support an
appellant's case, his/her conduct may affect the reputation of the Council and could
be viewed as being contrary to his/her overriding duty to the community as a whole.
11.5 If in doubt the advice of the Monitoring Officer should be sought.
12. The Role of the Officers
12.1 All the Officers of the Council are servants of the whole Council and not any
particular group within it. Advice or support offered or given to one group of
Members will be made available if requested to others.
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12.2 With regard to planning applications it is the duty of the professional officer to
prepare a report based upon material planning considerations and to make a
recommendation based on their professional judgement. Members must not seek to
influence the content of the report or its recommendations. In order to arrive at a
recommendation, the Officer will usually have to discuss issues (negotiate) with an
applicant and sometimes this will happen before a formal application is submitted.
This is standard procedure, which is often necessary in order to achieve the optimum
proposal. In many cases it will be before public consultation has revealed the views
of local residents. When a report is prepared for the Committee, and approved by
more senior officers, the emphasis may change as a result of amendments and/or the
12.3 The Planning Officer must ensure that discussions with the applicants and any views
expressed to them are absolutely without prejudice to the consideration of the
application by the Committee and, indeed, without prejudice to the final
recommendation that goes before the Committee having completed the public
consultation exercise. Officers must also ensure that in the case of sites that are
likely to be controversial or known to be sensitive (and in all major applications)
there is consultation at an early stage with the Chairman of the Committee and the
Ward Members affected. This consultation is to ensure that all parties understand
the issues and views involved - it does not necessarily mean that the
recommendation coming before the Committee is the one that the Ward Members
12.4 Members must neither get involved in negotiations with applicants nor attempt to
fetter the views of professional officers.
12.5 When the Committee does not accept Officers' recommendation, the Members
should give reasons. Members should not expect the Officers to establish the
grounds for approval or refusal when the Committee disagrees with the Planning
Officer’s recommendation. Once the grounds have been established, the Officers’
role is to assist Members with both planning and legal advice.
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APPENDIX 1: DEVELOPMENT CONTROL CODE OF PRACTICE FOR PLANNING
COMMITTEE MEMBER SITE VISITS
To define the purpose of Committee site visits and ensure that they are conducted in a fair
and open way; that Members have the requisite understanding of the site to reach their
decision; and that public confidence in the local planning authority is maintained.
2. Purpose of Site Visits
2.1 Site visits are normally held for the following purposes:
i to gain a fuller understanding of the application site
ii to gain a fuller understanding of the surrounding character
iii to establish the likely impact of a proposal on the character and amenity of
2.2 Site visits should not be held in the following circumstances:
i the site is readily accessible from a public vantage point, and the proposals do
not introduce a complex range of issues
ii to allow interested parties to make representations to Committee Members.
The visit should be to gather factual information only, with any questions
arising being referred to the accompanying officer.
iii where additional information could be presented to the Planning Committee,
such as photographs and cross sections, which would overcome the need for
Members to formally visit the site.
3.1 Requesting a Site Visit
3.1.1 Ideally site visits should be held prior to an application being considered by
the Planning Committee. In so doing a Member site visit should not delay
the determination of a planning application. For this to work it is important
that any request is made at the earliest possible juncture.
3.1.2 In practice, Members should initially identify potential site visit applications
from the weekly 'canary' list. Subject to the above criteria being met, any
request should be made in writing or by e-mail to the Chairman, the case
officer, the Chief Planning Officer or the Principal Planning Officer
(Development Control). It is then the decision of the Committee whether to
proceed with the site visit or not.
3.1.3 Members should give a brief justification for any requests made having due
regard to the advice contained in paragraphs 2.1 to 2.2 above.
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3.2.1 Assuming that a request for a formal Planning Committee site visit is agreed
the following procedure will apply.
3.2.2 The site visit(s) will be conducted on the Saturday immediately before the
Planning Committee. Any change to this will be advertised via letter and at
the preceding meeting. As the site visits have to be arranged well ahead of
the publication of the agenda, inevitably instances will arise where a site visit
has been arranged but the planning application is not on the agenda. To
minimise this occurrence site visits should only be scheduled where there is a
strong probability that the item will appear on that agenda.
3.2.3 For each visit the Committee Administrator will write to the applicant or
agent to secure access to the site. The letter will briefly mention the purpose
of the site visit and their respective role in the proceedings. A letter
informing Members of the time and place for meeting will also be sent.
3.3 Arrival on Site
3.3.1 Members agree to site visits for their benefit. The Chairman is therefore in
charge, and oversees the role of Officers and any other individual who may
be involved. Circumstances will vary between sites and therefore a set format
is not practical. However, a short explanation by the attending officer would
normally be expected. The Officer will also record attendance. A note will
be made of apologies for absence.
3.3.2 If a request is made to view the site from adjoining land, the Chairman will
decide whether this should take place or not. If it does, all interested parties
will be informed that they are unable to make representations.
3.4 The Site Inspection
3.4.1 The site visit is intended to be for fact-finding purposes rather than an
extension of any debate that may occur within the Council Chamber.
Accordingly Members are encouraged to take notes and record other
information that will assist them in the consideration of the proposals.
Conversely discussions on the merits of the proposals are discouraged,
particularly as these may be overheard by outside parties.
3.4.2 If there are questions which the officer is unable to clarify on the day, these
should be noted. They will then be addressed at the Committee meeting, or
to the individual Member prior to the meeting.
3.4.3 All Members should arrive and leave the site together, and avoid situations
where they are left, either on their own or in a smaller group, with an
3.4.4 At no point should any Member express an opinion on the desired outcome
of any application in the presence of any member of the public, including the
applicant or their representative. Avoiding any on site discussions is the best
way of preventing this.
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3.4.5 If at any stage it becomes impossible to conduct the site visit in accordance
with this guidance, the Chairman will halt proceedings, explain the problem,
and then close the meeting and leave the site.
3.5 The Committee Meeting
Member site visits should be acknowledged in all reports where they have taken
place. Furthermore they should be minuted, including a list of all Members who
attended and who tendered their apologies. From this the total number of Member
site visits undertaken each municipal year will be recorded and monitored.
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Additional explanatory guidance on probity in relation to planning matters
Issued: February 2004
Planning is an area of the Council’s work where probity is especially important. There have been
several instances where councillors in other authorities have been imprisoned for corruption.
It is not enough that the Council and councillors are scrupulously honest. The standard is that they
must be publicly seen to be honest. These notes are designed to achieve that objective. To do so,
councillors must be particularly careful that they do not do anything that could be construed as
improper conduct, however innocent the intention may be.
There are two broad areas where such considerations are particularly appropriate:
non-involvement in applications before consideration; and
proper disclosure of interests at consideration.
This guidance deals with these two main areas.
A councillor should not declare his/her views about a particular application awaiting a decision. A
person facing a court case would not expect to be able to contact the judge in advance to get his
support before the hearing. At the Planning Committee, councillors act in a similar judicial role and
must be seen to be similarly impartial.
This principle does not stop a councillor from discussing any planning matter with residents. In
particular, there can be no objection to a councillor:
discussing planning policy in general terms, without reference to any particular planning
application, such as whether the Borough should allow taller buildings or more parking;
explaining planning procedures, such as how applications are heard, when the Planning
Committee meets and the right to speak;
simply listening to comments from an applicant or objector, without expressing any opinion
explaining why a decision was made or why a councillor voted or spoke in a particular way
after the decision has been made. This applies even if the applicant is appealing against the
decision, or it is known that a further application is to be made. An appeal is not decided by
councillors, and any further application will not be compromised as it must be different to
avoid automatic rejection; or
dealing with any complaint of a procedural matter, such as why a letter has not been
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If an applicant or objector approaches a councillor directly on an outstanding application, the
explain to the person that he cannot discuss the matter before the decision is made;
encourage the person to discuss the matter with planning officers; and
provide any necessary explanation of planning procedures, such as the person’s right to
speak at the Committee meeting.
A councillor may decide to call in an application to be heard by the Committee rather than officers
as a result of a direct approach. This is because a call-in is a change of procedure that is not
relevant to the decision-making process.
If a member, for any reason, does let his/her views be known on a planning application in advance,
he/she must notify the Borough Solicitor in advance, and not take any further part in the planning
3 Disclosure of interest
A councillor is required to disclose any personal interest in an application as soon as the Chairman
comes to that item on the agenda. If a councillor realises he has a personal interest during the
debate, the councillor should declare that interest as soon as he realises it.
If, after a committee meeting, a councillor realises that he/she had a declarable interest, it should be
declared to the Borough Solicitor as soon as possible. This will not necessarily protect the
councillor from a complaint that the Code of Conduct has been breached but will show that the
councillor has done all that could be done to correct the situation.
Planning applications do not always identify the name of the applicant, so it is possible for a
councillor to hear an application for a friend without being aware of it. Councillors should take
reasonable steps to check addresses for a possible connection. However, an unintentional oversight
is not a breach of probity as a councillor cannot be influenced by a factor of which he was unaware,
provided that reasonable steps to check addresses have been taken.
The decision on whether to declare an interest always rests with the councillor himself/herself. A
councillor may always seek the advice of the Borough Solicitor. If still unsure, the councillor is
advised to err on the side of caution. There is no penalty for declaring an interest which need not
have been declared.
In each circumstance there are three choices:
declare a personal and prejudicial interest and withdraw from the meeting;
declare a personal interest and remain in the meeting, which includes speaking and voting
on the matter; or
not to declare an interest.
The possible interests which could arise are endless, but the following list should help in the more
common situations and provide an indication for novel situations.
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Personal and Prejudicial Interests
There is a personal and prejudicial interest if the councillor has declared views on the merits of
the application in advance or if the application:
is made by the councillor, or a known relation or close friend of the councillor;
involves property belonging to the councillor, or is adjacent to that property, or easily visible
at street level from that property;
is from a shop or other business where the councillor works or has worked recently, or
where the councillor’s partner works;
is for a school where the councillor is a governor (unless sitting as a Borough Council
nominee) or has a continuing connection (such as member of old boys club or parent teacher
is for a church or place of worship which the councillor attends;
is made by an applicant with whom the councillor has been involved in litigation or similar
is made by any body on which the councillor sits as a director, trustee, committee member
or similar, unless the councillor sits as a Borough Council nominee.
There is a declarable personal interest, but not a prejudicial interest, if the application relates to:
Surrey County Council land and the councillor is also a county councillor;
Rosebery Housing Association or any other body on which the councillor sits as a Borough
a school which the councillor attended but where the councillor has no continuing
a body in which the councillor has been involved in recent years.
No Declarable Interest
There is probably no declarable interest if the application:
is made by a shop which the councillor uses, unless he has a personal friendship with the
relates to a telecommunication mast for a company which provides mobile phone services
for the councillor;
is merely supported or opposed by a person known to the councillor, but who is not a
relation or close friend
relates to a church or place of worship which is not attended by the councillor but is of the
same religion or denomination as one he does attend.
is made by someone known personally to the councillor, but who is not a relation or close
If a councillor has several interests in an application, he should consider whether they collectively
make a prejudicial interest, even though each one alone is not.
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5. Outside Meetings
Sometimes a councillor could find himself at an outside meeting where the Councillor is expected
to follow the wishes of the meeting on a planning application. In such circumstances, the councillor
explain that he does not sit on the Planning Committee as a representative of those
individuals but sits in a quasi judicial role;
invite the meeting to write to the Council expressing its view;
refrain from expressing any opinion on the merits of the application at the meeting and, if
necessary, explain why.
make up his own mind about the planning application on its merits and speak and vote
A councillor who has followed the above is not barred from speaking or voting on the application,
regardless of what comments he has heard. A councillor should usually tell the Planning
Committee that he attended the meeting, and is free to summarise what was said. This is regardless
of whether the councillor agrees with those views.
The two overriding duties of a councillor in these circumstances is for the councillor’s judgement
not to be compromised by the meeting, and to refrain from expressing any opinion on an
application’s merits before the committee hears the application.
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(f) WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY
Issued: August 2003
1.1 The Borough Council’s current gross budget is around £27m. It provides a range of
services including street cleansing and refuse collection, theatre, day centres, leisure
facilities, planning regulations and building control.
1.2 The Council wishes to ensure that its money is spent on services for the local
community. Any loss of funds as a result of fraud or corruption can reduce the
amount of money available for services or lead to higher Council Tax.
1.3 The Council will ensure that services are appropriately used and funds properly
spent. It will investigate all suspicions of fraud and corruption but malicious
allegations will be dealt with severely.
1.4 This policy outlines the procedures to follow for: -
Councillors and co-opted members
Members of the public/any others with serious complaints
1.5 This document, together with the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Strategy, is
available on the Council’s web site, www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk, or intranet (IRIS)
and a separate leaflet is available at Reception for members of the public or can be
distributed upon request by the Contact Centre.
1.6 The aim of this policy is to: -
Encourage genuine complainants to come forward.
Provide channels for anyone to raise concerns or lodge grievances and receive
Reassure complainants that their details will be kept confidential and free from
2. Process for Making a Complaint
2.1 In order to deal with fraud and corruption the earlier a suspicion is expressed the
easier it is to take action.
2.2 Anyone making a complaint should make a note of the relevant details, documents,
and accurate names of people involved, in order to support their allegation as far as
possible. They are not expected to take part in the investigation but a formal
statement may be needed at a later stage.
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2.3 In general, complaints are better raised in writing - as a letter or e-mail can provide
good background information - giving accurate details, the main cause of concern
and what made the writer suspicious.
2.4 The matter will be investigated by the Head of Audit, except those cases relating to
benefits, which will be handled by the Head of Benefits.
2.5 The Council recognises that employees have a key part to play in identifying fraud
and corruption, although it can be difficult to voice a concern about colleagues.
2.6 The Whistleblowing Policy is intended for potentially serious allegations or sensitive
issues. Minor issues, (such as stealing of stationary, misuse of phone calls or flexi
time abuse) should be reported to the appropriate employee’s Line Manager or
Director who can then decide on what further action needs to be taken.
2.7 If an employee suspects fraud or corruption, he/she should take the following steps:
make a note of what has occurred as accurately as possible e.g., dates, names
Report the matter to a senior manager, Director or external body as soon as
2.8 The Council is committed to the Whistleblowing Policy and keen to encourage staff
to use it, therefore staff can take their concerns to any Senior Officer within the
organisation in whom they have confidence. As part of this policy the Council
recommends contacting any of the following: -
Head of Audit (Andy Jefford, Contract Manager - Deloitte and Touche)
Director of Finance
A Member of the Council
Contractors and Consultants
2.9 The Council employs a number of contractors and consultants to help it provide its
services. These people are in a good position to identify cases of suspected fraud or
corruption that might affect the Council and cause financial loss to the Council or
loss of reputation.
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2.10 The Council expects all contractors and consultants to be fair and honest in their
dealings with the Council and, should any fraud or corruption come to light, they
should give any help, information and support required. Typical areas of concern
include: tender fraud, creditor payment fraud, misappropriation of Council income
and stolen or misused assets.
2.11 A contractor or consultant should make an accurate record then promptly report the
matter to the Head of Audit, Director of Finance, Chief Executive or one of the other
bodies listed at the back of this document.
2.12 Contractors must not investigate a matter by themselves nor must they convey their
suspicions to anyone else.
2.13 Where a Councillor suspects fraud, the Council expects him or her to provide any
help, information and support required.
2.14 Where that complaint is against another councillor the matter can be referred to the
Standards Board for England, which is responsible for reviewing breaches against
the Members Code of Conduct.
2.15 Where a councillor suspects a minor offence he/she should approach the relevant
Director. Potentially serious allegations should be recorded as accurately as possible
and brought to the attention of the Chief Executive, Director of Finance or the Head
Residents and Others
2.16 The Council encourages members of the public who have reasonable grounds to
suspect fraud or corruption to write, telephone or e-mail the Chief Executive, the
Director of Finance or the Internal Audit Section. An outside contractor, Deloitte
Touche, currently provides the Internal Audit service operating independently from
all other parts of the Council and reporting to the Director of Finance. The auditors
are responsible for detecting and investigating fraud and will take the appropriate
action to establish who is responsible and obtain compensation or redress for any
losses incurred by the Council.
2.17 The Whistleblowing Policy is separate from the normal complaints process where
minor complaints are channelled through the Contact Centre. Any complaints of a
serious nature received through the Contact Centre will be directed to the Head of
Audit and the complainant will be given a leaflet in relation to the Whistleblowing
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3. How will complaints be handled? (Fraud Response Plan)
3.1 The action taken will be dependant on the nature of the allegation. The matter will
first be investigated internally to establish the facts and the Fraud Response Plan will
be implemented. Further action will depend on the results but the case may be: -
Passed to Deloitte and Touche’s specialist fraud investigation team.
Referred to Director of Human Resources for disciplinary action
Referred to the District Auditor
Referred to the Police
The matter can also be subject to an inquiry by the Ombudsman or the Standards Board for
3.2 The level of contact with the complainant will vary depending on the nature of the
complaint but further meetings maybe required to clarify or obtain further
3.3 During any meetings the complainant has the right to have a friend or representative
3.4 The Council will take steps to minimise any difficulties that might be experienced by
anyone as a result of raising concerns. For example, the Council will help them
should they have to give a statement to the Police or give evidence.
3.5 In line with the Fraud Response Plan the Director of Finance will reply to all
concerns within 10 days.
4. Confidentiality and Anonymous Allegations
4.1 Where any whistleblowing complainant requests confidentiality then it will be fully
respected wherever possible. However, it must be appreciated that when allegations
are serious it will be necessary to reveal the source of the data as the process
continues, particularly when Police are involved.
5. Harassment or Victimisation
5.1 The decision to report an allegation can be difficult, particularly when colleagues are
involved or if there is a fear of reprisals. The Council will not tolerate any attempt
on the part of an employee, councillor or contractor to apply any pressure sanction,
harassment or victimisation. The Council will take necessary action, including
disciplinary action against an employee, action for breach of a contract against a
contractor or report a Member to the Standards Board for England.
6. Malicious Allegations
6.1 The Council will view any malicious complaints very seriously and will take action
against anyone deliberately making false or malicious allegations in respect of
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7. Untrue Allegations
7.1 If an allegation is made in good faith but not proven by investigation no action will
be taken against the complainant.
8 Contact Numbers - Council Officers and Alternative Agencies
5.1 The details for contacting key Council personnel are listed below together with the
contact details of external agencies should a complainant feel that it is right that a
complaint is looked into by an external agency.
Chief Executive, David Smith, Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, Surrey Tel:
01372 732104, or e mail: email@example.com
Director of Finance, John Turnbull, Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, Surrey Tel
01372 7322210, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Solicitor (and the Council’s Monitoring Officer), Trevor Smith, Town
Hall, The Parade, Epsom, Surrey Tel 01372 732140 or e-mail tsmith@epsom-
Head of Audit, Andy Jefford, Stonecutter Court, 1 Stonecutter Street, London
EC4A 4TR. Tel 0781 0656522,or e-mail email@example.com
Your local Councillor: if you are a resident of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell,
you may contact your local Councillor. A list of local Councillors is available
either from the Committee Services Section (01372 732121) or from the
Council’s web site.
The Audit Commission: Rob Spooner (Audit Manager), North Wing, Southern
House, Sparrowgrove, Winchester, Hants, SO21 2RU, Tel 01962 704600, or e-
Your Trade Union or staff representative.
The Police - if it is a suspicion of fraud or corruption.
The Local Government Ombudsman.
Public Concern at Work Tel 0207 404 6609 web site: www.pcaw.co.uk
Standards Board for England, enquiries 0845 078 8181, complaints 0800 107
2001, or web site www.standardsboard.co.uk
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PART 6: COUNCILLORS’ ALLOWANCES SCHEME
Updated: September 2004 Members Amount (£)
Basic Allowance 38 2,649 2,802
SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY ALLOWANCES
Strategy and Resources 1 1,326 1,401
Environment 1 1,326 1,401
Social 1 1,326 1,401
Leisure 1 1,326 1,401
Licensing 1 1,326 1,401
Planning 1 1,326 1,401
Scrutiny 1 1,326 1,401
Standards - -
Financial Policy 1 663 702
Human Resources 1 663 702
Business Partnership 1 663 702
Health Liaison 1 663 702
Epsom & Walton Downs Conservators 1 663 702
Nonsuch Park JMC 1 663 702
Membership of Planning Committee 13 663 702
Vice Chairman of Planning Committee 1 309 345
Majority Group Leader or Chairman 1 1,326 1,401
Minority Group Leaders 3 663 702
Deputy Mayor 1 663 702
1. A Councillor may only receive one Special Responsibility allowance unless one of those allowances
is for membership of the Planning Committee.
2. A Vice Chairman may receive payment at the same rate as the Chairman if required to stand in for
him/her during an absence of a month or more for the period of his her absence.
3. Any Advisory Panels, set up during a municipal year will not be included in the scheme until re-
constituted at the following Annual Council meeting.
4. Travel expenses and subsistence will only be reimbursed for pre-approved attendance at conferences
and seminars or other official Council business outside the Borough where reimbursement will be at
the officer rate up to a maximum allowed under the Inland Revenue scheme. All other travel,
subsistence and necessary costs are covered by the scheme of allowances.
5. A payment equivalent to the national minimum wage may be made to Councillors to cover child-
care or dependent care.
6. Allowances to be increased in May each year following the Annual Council Meeting in accordance
with the preceding March RPI annual increase.
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PART 7: MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
Updated: April 2004
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