|Last approval Date
|Presented 3 April 2023
|In advance of AGM 2023
|Related Legislation/Applicable Section of Legislation
|Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014;
Local Government (Executive Arrangements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014;
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000;
Local Government Finance (Northern Ireland) Act 2011.
|Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines, Standards, Frameworks
|Scheme of Delegation
Northern Ireland Local Government Code of Conduct for Councillors
Protocol for Presentations to Council
Protocol for the Operation of the Planning Committee
Protocol for the Establishment of a Sub-Committee
Council Decision Making Process
|Standing Orders – 06 June 2022
Director of Corporate Services
|Chief Executive’s Office
The documents below are available as part of the downloadable pdf:
Appendix 1 – Scheme of Delegation and Financial Regulations
Appendix 2 - Protocol for the acceptance of applications to present to Council and Council Committees
Appendix 3 – Protocol for Operation of the Planning Committee
Appendix 4 – Protocol for the Establishment of a Sub-Committee
Appendix 5 – Council Decision Making Process
Appendix 6 – Protocol for the recording and operation of remote Meetings
Standing Orders are the written rules of the Council. Their primary purpose is to ensure that the business of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and its Committees is properly regulated and conducted in an efficient, fair and legal manner.
These Standing Orders should be read and applied in conjunction with Council’s Scheme of Delegation and Financial Regulations. Where any conflict arises in relation to these documents, the Standing Orders will prevail.
Where legislation should dictate otherwise than is contained within Standing Orders, legislation will have primacy.
1. STANDING ORDERS
1.1 No arrangements shall be made whereby a Committee, Sub-Committee or Officer may exercise any power of the Council to vary, revoke or add to these Standing Orders.
1.2 Except where it is in accordance with a recommendation of a Committee, any Motion to amend, revoke or add to these Standing Orders, when moved and seconded, shall stand adjourned without further discussion to the next Meeting of the Council, and shall stand referred to such Committee as the Council shall direct for report to that Meeting.
1.3 A copy of these Standing Orders containing the relevant extracts from enactments regulating the proceedings and business of the Council shall be given to each Member upon receipt of his/her declaration of acceptance of office or as soon as possible thereafter.
1.4 In the interest of transparency and in order to highlight our governance arrangements for the Council and Committee Meetings to the general public, a copy of Standing Orders will also be available on our website.
1.5 In the event of a difference of opinion on the interpretation of any part of the Standing Orders, after a short representation by each concerned party, the ruling of the person presiding at any Meeting shall be deemed to be final and shall not be challenged at that Meeting. Where the title of Chief Executive is referenced this also includes the title of Clerk.
Annual and Monthly Meetings
2.1 In every year which is not a local election year the Council shall hold an Annual Meeting in the month of June.
2.2 In any year which is a local government election year, the Annual Meeting shall be held within twenty-one days immediately following the election, at such time as the Council may fix at the offices of the Council or at such other place as the Department may direct.
2.3 The Council shall normally meet to conduct general business on the six weekly cycle. An alternative date may be required due to special circumstances. Other Meetings of the Council for the transaction of general business shall be held as the Council considers necessary.
2.4 Meetings of the Council shall not take place ordinarily on a Public or Bank Holiday, a Saturday or a Sunday.
2.5 In the event of any civil emergency, during the pre-election period of heightened sensitivity, or any situation in which urgent actions are required and it is either not reasonably practicable to convene a meeting of Committee or Council, or if any such meetings if called is inquorate, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Group Party Leaders may exercise all or any of the functions of the Council, except those which are reserved to the Council pursuant to Section 7 of the Local Government Act (NI) 2014 and Council’s Scheme of Delegation.
2.6 The Chief Executive will advise the Mayor or appropriate Chairperson of the relevant Committee and any decisions taken pursuant to this Standing Order will be reported to the relevant Committee or Council at the next available meeting. This Standing Order is to be read in conjunction with the Scheme of Delegation. Any decisions taken by the Chief Executive or any Chief Officer nominated will be regarded as a Key Decisions as defined in the Standing Orders of Council.
 Department for Communities
 Civil emergency is when Council’s Emergency Plan has been activated.
 Chief Executive, or any Chief Officer nominated by her.
 Consultation with Group Party Leaders may include telephone or email.
Time and Place of Meetings
2.7 Except where otherwise fixed by statute or by special summons, the time of the Meeting of the Council or Standing Committee shall be 6.30 p.m. with the exception of the Planning Committee, which shall be at 10.00 a.m.
2.8 All Council and Standing Committee Meetings, other than Planning Committee, will be scheduled to finish not later than 10.30 p.m. It will be the responsibility of the person presiding at the Meeting, in consultation with the Clerk & Chief Executive or Senior Officer present, to ensure that the orderly and efficient completion of Council business is achieved. On occasion this may necessitate the prioritisation of the agenda items in order to ensure that the most important or time bounded issues are concluded during the meeting. (NOTE: in relation to the 10.30 p.m. close of business, a 15 minute buffer may be applied in order to assist with the completion of business).
2.9 In the event that circumstances require a meeting to be held remotely, as provided for under the relevant legislation, a hybrid Council or Committee meeting will be convened. All Elected Members entitled to vote at the regular Council or Committee meeting will retain full speaking and voting rights. . The Protocol for remote meetings is set out in Appendix 6 and forms part of the Council’s Standing Orders.
Adjournment of Meetings
2.10 The Council or Standing Committee may adjourn any Meeting to a later hour on the same day, or to another day and hour.
2.11 If any Meeting is adjourned to a specified date the re-convened Meeting shall be deemed a continuation of the original Meeting. If a Meeting is adjourned sine die (i.e. without an agreed date and time to re-convene) any business left unfinished shall be postponed until the next Meeting.
2.12 When any Meeting is adjourned to another day, notice of the re-convened Meeting shall be sent by the Clerk & Chief Executive to each Member of the Council or Standing Committee. Normally, only business which was included in the notice convening the original Meeting of which it is an adjournment shall be transacted. However, additional business may be considered where notice of such business has been delivered or sent by the Clerk & Chief Executive to each Member of the Council or Standing Committee at least three working days prior to such Meetings.
Convening Special Council Meetings
2.13 The Mayor of the Council may call a Meeting of the Council at any time, giving five working days’ notice or two working days’ notice in the event of the emergency plan being activated.
2.14 The Mayor of the Council must call a Meeting of the Council if he/she receives a requisition for such a Meeting, signed by five Members or one-fifth of the whole number of Members, whichever is greater on receipt of such a requisition:
- he/she refuses to call such a Meeting; or
- without so refusing, he/she does not call such a Meeting; or
- without so refusing, he/she does not call such a Meeting within the period of seven days from the date of service of the requisition on him/her; then five Members or one-fifth of the whole number of Members, whichever is the greater, may on that refusal or on the expiration of that period forthwith call a Meeting of the Council.
 One-fifth of 40 members is 8.
Notice and Summons of Meetings
2.15 A notice of the time and place of a meeting of the Council, a Standing Committee or Sub-Committee shall be published at least three working days before the Meeting in a public area of the Council headquarters, The Braid.
2.16 Where the Meeting is called by Members, the notice shall be signed by them and shall specify the proposed business of the Meeting.
2.17 A summons to attend the Meeting, specifying the proposed business and signed by the Clerk shall be issued to every Member. Failure to serve this summons shall not affect the validity of a Meeting.
2.18 In extraordinary circumstances should over one half of Members not receive the summons within three working days the Chairperson of the Meeting may at their discretion postpone and reconvene the Meeting at a later date.
2.19 Except in the case of business required by statute, or where in the opinion of the Chairperson of the Meeting the business should be considered by the Meeting as a matter of urgency, no business shall be transacted at a Meeting of the Council, a Committee or Sub-Committee other than that specified in the relevant summons and agenda. The agenda for meetings will be developed by Democratic Services and agreed with the Chief Executive Officer and/or the Director on the Chief Executive Officer behalf, and approved by the Chair prior to publication.
2.20 Items may be added to the agenda from the date of service of summons until the Meeting day. Any additional item must be dated. However, items should only be added to the agenda on the day of the meeting in exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Chair.
 Notice will also be published in Carrickfergus Civic Centre and Smiley Buildings, Larne
 Including an electronic summons
 i.e. 21 members
Chair to be Taken
2.21 At each Meeting of the Council, the Chair shall be taken at the time for which the Meeting is convened, and business immediately commenced. (NOTE: the reading of the Notice of Meeting by the Chief Executive or Senior Officer in attendance will officially commence Meeting proceedings).
Allocation of Seats
2.22 Seating of Members in the Council Chamber shall be determined by mutual agreement between the political parties and any independent Members. Where agreement cannot be reached this will be resolved by a simple majority vote.
Chairperson of Meeting – Full Council
2.23 At a Meeting of the Council the Mayor, if present, shall preside.
2.24 If the Mayor is absent from a Meeting of the Council, the Deputy Mayor, if present, shall preside.
2.25 If both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are absent from a Meeting of the Council, the nominating Officer of the political party whose Member is Mayor or Chairperson of the Standing Committee shall nominate a Member to preside in their absence.
2.26 This nominee must be agreed by the Members present by simple majority vote.
2.27 If the nominating Officer does not nominate, a Member of the Council nominated and chosen by the Members present must preside.
2.28 If discussion arises on the allocation of the position of Chairperson, the Clerk or Senior Officer shall exercise the powers of the Chairperson to assist in the regulation of that discussion.
2.29 Any power of the Mayor in relation to the conduct of a Meeting may be exercised by the person presiding at the Meeting.
Chairperson of a Meeting – Standing Committee
2.30 At a Meeting of a Standing Committee, the Chairperson of the Committee, if present, shall preside.
2.31 If the Chairperson is absent from the Meeting, the Deputy Chairperson, if present, shall preside.
2.32 If both the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are absent from the Meeting, the nominating Officer of the political party whose Member is Chairperson of the Standing Committee shall nominate a Member to preside in their absence.
2.33 This nominee must be agreed by the Members present by simple majority vote.
2.34 If the nominating Officer does not nominate, a Member of the Council nominated and chosen by the Members present must preside.
2.35 If discussion arises on the allocation of the position of Chairperson, the Clerk or Senior Officer shall exercise the powers of the Chairperson to assist in the regulation of that discussion.
2.36 Any power of the Chairperson of the Standing Committee in relation to the conduct of a Meeting may be exercised by the person presiding at the Meeting.
2.37 Subject to Standing Order 2.41 no business shall be transacted at a Meeting of the Council or Standing Committee unless at least one-quarter of the whole number of Members are present or one half of membership of the Audit Committee, Scrutiny Committee and Standards Committee or three members for the Personnel Committee.
2.38 If during a Meeting that Meeting becomes inquorate, the person presiding shall call a 15 minute recess.
2.39 If following the 15 minute recess the person presiding deems it is unlikely that a quorum will be re-established within a reasonable time, he/she shall declare the Meeting adjourned.
2.40 Any uncompleted business on the agenda of a Meeting adjourned under Standing Order 2.38 shall be tabled for discussion at the reconvened Meeting, as per Standing Orders.
2.41 Where more than one-quarter of the Members become disqualified at the same time then, until the number of Members in office is increased to not less than three-quarters of the whole number of Members, the quorum of the Council shall be determined by reference to the number of Members remaining qualified instead of by reference to the whole number of Members. The Decision Making Process (attached as Appendix 5) should be considered to aid Members.
Record of Attendance at Meetings
2.42 The Clerk shall enter in the Minutes the names of the Members present at a Meeting, and shall keep a record showing the number of Meetings attended by Members.
Admission to Meetings
2.43 Subject to provisions of this Standing Order, every Meeting of the Council and Standing Committee shall be open to the public.
2.44 The public and the press may attend only in those parts of the Council Chamber specifically provided for their accommodation. Exceptions relate to their exclusion from the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Standing Orders 2.45 to 2.49 or as required by the Council to comply with the provisions in relation to fire safety and health & safety.
2.45 The admission of the public and the press is upon the understanding that they must continue at all times to be seated and not interrupt or in any way obstruct the transaction of Council or Standing Committee business. If this Standing Order is ignored the Chairperson shall request the relevant person(s) to moderate or improve their behaviour. If this request is ignored the Chairperson may direct the removal of the person(s) from the Meeting as per Standing Orders 15.1 and 15.2.
2.46 All members of the public and press will be signed into the Meeting to keep an accurate record of numbers.
2.47 At all times during which a Meeting of the Council is open to the public, accredited representatives of the press/media shall be provided with reasonable facilities for the taking of their report of all or part of the Meeting at which they are entitled to be present.
2.48 Taking photographs or audio/visual recordings of proceedings by members of the press and/or public is prohibited.
2.49 Any Elected Member who is not a Member of a particular Committee or Sub-Committee is free to attend. Speaking rights may be afforded the Member provided the point raised relates to the business under discussion. He/she may be allowed to remain present during the transaction of an item of business where confidential information may be disclosed. They are not permitted to vote.
Exclusion from Meetings – Closed Council or Committee
One of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s core values is “Integrity – to support a spirit which enables honesty, accountability and trust throughout”. Council can demonstrate this is through open and transparent decision making.
This must be balanced with the Council’s legislative responsibilities under the Part 1, Schedule 6, Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014, Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 (GDPR).
If any part of the information disclosed falls under those prescribed exemptions it must be discussed in Closed Council and as such any members of the public present will be excluded from the Meeting.
Guidelines have been developed to support Lead Officers in determining which agenda items should be indicated for closed Council, however, the decision to go into closed session is for Council by simple majority vote.
2.50 The public shall be excluded from a Meeting of the Council or Standing Committee whenever it is likely that, during the transaction of an item of business, confidential information would be disclosed to them in breach of an obligation of confidence.
2.51 The Council may by resolution exclude the public from a Meeting of the Council (whether during the whole or part of the proceedings at the Meeting).
2.52 The resolution to exclude the public from a Meeting of the Council will be for such special reasons as may be predetermined on the agenda or specified in the resolution, being reasons arising from the nature of the business to be transacted or the proceedings at the Meeting.
2.53 The Mayor or Chairperson may at any time during the proceedings, if he/she thinks it necessary to secure order, direct the removal of any individual or group of individuals from the Council Chamber, or order the Council Chamber to be wholly cleared of members of the public.
2.54 The Council, having excluded the public, shall only consider the matter referred to it by resolution. If it should be deemed necessary to consider any matter not included in the resolution, the public shall be re-admitted and the Chairperson may ask leave of the Council to consider such additional matters as may be deemed desirable.
2.55 The Council, having excluded the public, shall not have the power to adjourn its own sitting or to adjourn a debate to a future sitting. If the business referred to in the resolution is not transacted, the Council may be resumed and a Member of the Council may move that the Council again exclude the public on a future day to deal with that business.
2.56 When the Council, having transacted business with the public excluded, submits its report to the Council, a Motion for its adoption shall then be moved and put. No questions or discussion shall be permitted on the report or the Motion for its adoption.
2.57 Deputations, from any source, shall normally be admitted to address the Council or relevant Standing Committee provided the Clerk has received 15 working days’ notice of intended Deputation and a statement of its objective. The Clerk will assess the Deputation in accordance with the Protocol for the acceptance of applications to present to Council and Council Committees (attached as Appendix 2). Please note, representations to the Planning Committee will operate under the Protocol for Operation of the Planning Committee (attached as Appendix 3).
2.58 The Deputation shall be confined to the presentation of a statement, or copy of resolutions, and no more than two short addresses will be permitted by any two members of the Deputation. The totality of the address(es) may not exceed 10 minutes, unless the Council/Committee decide that the Deputation is of strategic significance in which cases the time allowed will be at the discretion of the Council/Committee.
2.59 Deputations should not be repetitive and where possible, issues of a similar or linked nature should be contained in one Deputation. Where a Deputation has made a presentation to the Council, the Council may decline to accept another Deputation on the same issue from the same individual or group for a period of six months.
Order of Business - Council
2.60 Subject to any statutory requirements to the contrary, the order of business at every Meeting of the Council shall normally be as follows:
- Formalities and Announcements
- Notice of Meeting
- Minutes of Council meeting
- Mayors announcements
- Declarations of interest
- Minutes of Committee Meetings for approval or ratification
- Policy Framework and budget
- Updates /new strategies or policies
- Strategic issues
- Items for Decision – Open Council
- Items for decision – closed council
Order of Business – Committee
2.61 Subject to any statutory requirements to the contrary, the order of business at a Meeting of a Standing Committee shall be as follows:
- Notice of Meeting
- Declarations of interest
- Items for Decision
- Items for Recommendation to Council
- Tabled questions
- Items for Closed Committee
Order of Business – Planning Committee (Cross-Reference the Protocol for Operation of Planning Committee)
2.62 Subject to any statutory requirements to the contrary, the order of business at every Meeting of the Planning Committee shall be as follows:
- Notice of Meeting
- Declarations of interest
- Introduction of Members and Officers
- Minutes of previous Planning Committee
- Schedule of Planning Applications
- Development Plan issues
- Planning Appeals Update
Keeping Minutes as evidence etc.
3.1 Minutes of the proceedings of a Meeting of the Council, or a Committee, shall be drawn up and kept by the Clerk in line with the Protocol for the recording and operation of remote Meetings, Appendix 6. Minutes of meetings will be condensed, reflecting key points and succinct actions to be taken. The written record of Council decisions includes the reports, background papers or other documents forming part of those decisions. Minutes will reflect a record of the decisions made and the reasons for the decisions.
3.2 No discussion shall take place upon the Minutes of Council except upon their accuracy.
3.3 Any signed minute referred to in Standing Order 3.1 shall be received in evidence without further proof.
3.4 Until the contrary is proved, a Meeting of the Council or of a Committee or Sub-Committee in respect of the Minutes which have been made and signed shall be deemed to have been duly convened and held. All the Members present at the Meeting shall be deemed to have been duly qualified, and where the proceedings are of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the Committee or Sub-Committee shall be deemed to have been duly constituted and to have had power to deal with the matter referred to in the Minutes.
3.5 The Minutes of a Meeting of the Council and Standing Committees shall be signed at the next Meeting of the Council by the Chairperson, if approved by that Meeting.
Submission of Minutes
3.6 The Council will not consider Minutes of a Committee Meeting for approval if that Meeting is held less than five working days before the date of the Council Meeting. This may be dis-applied where a Committee considers the matter to be of extreme urgency and records such a decision in its minutes.
3.7 The Clerk will also make available a decision log within five working days of the Council or Committee Meeting.
3.8 When a Committee’s Minutes are submitted for approval the Chairperson of that Committee, or his/her representative, shall draw the Council’s attention to any resolution or matter of an unusual or special character of those Minutes.
Minutes of Committees
3.9 A Motion or Amendment shall not be made or proposed, or any discussion allowed on the Minutes of Committees on any matter within the remit of a Committee, for which they exercised delegated powers, The minutes of a Committee will be to either approve and adopt the decisions taken by the Committee under delegated authority or to approve and adopt any recommendations to Council which are then ratified as a decision of Council.
3.10 Any Member wishing to raise an issue regarding any matters appearing in the Minutes submitted to Council for approval must state his/her request in writing to the Clerk & Chief Executive, or relevant Director or Head of Service, to ensure it is received by the Chairperson of the Committee twenty-four hours before the commencement of the Council Meeting. The Member shall then be entitled to a reply from the Chair of the particular Committee .
3.11 If an issue is raised at the Meeting regarding any matter in the Minutes, without written notice, shall be at the discretion of the Mayor, or in their absence the Deputy Mayor or presiding Member of Council.
Prior to being included in the papers relating to a Council Meeting Agenda, all Notices will be subject to a robust assessment in order to ensure all procedural and legal issues are fully addressed. This assessment process will be carried out by the Clerk and Chief Executive, supported by the relevant senior officers and/or legal advice. Only when the assessment process has been satisfactorily completed will the Notice of Motion be included in the Agenda papers.
4.1 Every Motion shall:
(a) be relevant to some matter in relation to which the Council has power or duties; or
(b) relate to a matter which directly affects the local government Borough or its residents.
4.2 The Council shall not consider or discuss any Motion relating to matters which are:
(a) ultra vires the duties and responsibilities of the Council; or
(b) outside the legal competence of the Council.
 The Clerk and Chief Executive should seek legal advice if necessary.
4.3 Notice of every Motion, other than a Motion which may be moved without notice (under Standing Order 4.11), shall be submitted in writing (which includes electronic correspondence) under Standing Order 4.1.
It must be signed by the Members of the Council giving the notice, and submitted to the Clerk a minimum of five working days before the next Meeting of the Council.
The meaning of the Motion must be clear otherwise it shall be rejected. If rejected it can be resubmitted in clear language but not later than five working days before the Meeting.
4.4 A Motion shall be rejected if the wording or nature of the Motion is considered unlawful or improper.
4.5 All notices shall be dated and numbered as received, and entered in a register to be kept for that purpose. This register shall be open to inspection by every Member of the Council.
4.6 A Notice of Motion shall be entered by the Clerk in their proper place upon the summons paper in the order in which they are received, subject to compliance with the Protocol to Assess and Process a Notice of Motion. The Clerk will not ordinarily accept more than two notices per meeting.
4.7 If a Motion set out in the summons is not moved either by a Member who gave notice, or by some other Member on his/her behalf, it shall, unless postponed by consent of the Council, be treated as withdrawn and shall not be moved without fresh notice.
4.8 If the subject matter of any Motion for which notice has been properly given comes within the remit of any Committee it shall, upon being moved and seconded, stand referred without discussion to that Committee, or to such other Committee as the Council may determine, for consideration and report. The presiding Chairperson may, if he/she considers it urgent and necessary to the dispatch of business, allow the Motion to be dealt with at the Meeting at which it is brought forward.
4.9 If a Notice of Motion fails to be considered at a Meeting of the Council, it will only be included on the summons paper for the following Meeting if submitted in writing to the Clerk by the Member concerned and not later than five working days before the Council Meeting.
4.10 Any Notice of Motion which fails to be considered at two consecutive Meetings will not be accepted for inclusion on the summons paper for a period of six months from the date of the second Meeting at which the matter has failed to be considered, unless in exceptional circumstances.
 Electronic correspondence must be from the Elected Member’s designated Council email address.
4.11 The following Motions may be moved without notice:
a) To appoint a Chairperson of the Meeting at which the Motion is moved;
b) In relation to the accuracy of the minutes;
c) To change the order of business on the agenda;
d) To refer an issue(s) to an appropriate body or individual;
e) To appoint a Committee or Members thereof arising from an item on the summons for the Meeting;
f) To receive reports of adoption of recommendations of Committees or Officers and any resolutions flowing from them;
g) To withdraw a Motion;
h) To proceed to next business;
i) That the question be now put;
j) To adjourn the debate;
k) To adjourn a Meeting;
l) To suspend Standing Orders, in accordance with Standing Order 16;
m) To exclude the public and the press in accordance with S42 of 2014 Act; and
n) To not hear further a Member named under Standing Order 14.3 or to exclude them from the Meeting under Standing Order 14.4.
5.1 When a Motion or a proposal is under debate at any Meeting of the Council, an Amendment or further Motion shall not be received, with the exception of the following:
a) To amend the proposal; or
b) That the Council do now adjourn; or
c) That the debate be adjourned; or
d) That the question be now put; or
e) That the Council do proceed to the next business.
To Amend the Proposal
5.2 An Amendment must be legitimate and within the scope of the notice convening the Meeting. It must not be a direct negative and must be relevant to the proposal which it seeks to amend. It also cannot be inconsistent with anything already agreed upon at the same Meeting. An Amendment must relate solely to the proposal, and not be, in effect, a new proposition on a different matter. It must also not place a greater responsibility on the Meeting than the original proposal.
5.3 An Amendment to a Motion shall be either:
a) To refer a subject of debate to a Committee or to an Officer for consideration or re-consideration;
b) To leave out words;
c) To leave out words and insert others; or
d) To insert additional words;
but such omission, insertion or addition of words shall not have the effect of directly negating the Motion before the Council.
5.4 a) When an Amendment upon an original proposal has been moved, the question to be put shall be “That the Amendment be made”.
b) Where any Amendment is agreed, the question to be put shall be “That the proposal, as amended, be agreed”.
c) Where any Amendment is rejected the question of the substantive proposal shall be put.
That the Council do Now Adjourn
5.5 Any Member of the Council who has not already spoken to the proposal or Amendment then under debate may move “that the Council do now adjourn”. Such a proposal must be seconded, but it need not be reduced to writing. The mover and seconder shall not speak beyond formally moving and seconding the proposal, which shall be put to the vote without debate.
5.6 In the event of the proposal for the adjournment being carried, the Chairperson shall (unless stated in the proposal) fix the date for the adjourned Meeting for the continuation of the debate on the proposal or Amendment under discussion at the time of the adjournment, and for the transaction of the remaining business (if any) on the agenda for the Meeting so adjourned.
5.7 If the proposal is not carried, a second proposal “that the Council do now adjourn” shall not be made within half-an-hour unless, in the opinion of the Chair, the circumstances are materially altered.
That the Debate be Adjourned
5.8 Any Member of the Council who has not already spoken to the proposal or Amendment then under debate may move “that the debate be adjourned”. Such a proposal must be seconded, but it need not be reduced to writing. The mover and seconder shall not speak beyond formally moving and seconding it.
5.9 Before putting to the Meeting a proposal “that the debate be adjourned”, the Chairperson presiding shall call on the mover of the proposal or Amendment under discussion to reply on the question of adjournment and, after such reply, which will not prejudice the right of the mover of a proposal to reply on the original question, the Chairperson presiding shall put the proposal for adjournment of the debate without further debate.
5.10 If the proposal is carried, the Council shall proceed to the next agenda item, and the discussion of the adjourned debate shall be resumed at the next Meeting of the Council unless a special Meeting of the Council shall be called for the purpose.
5.11 On resuming an adjourned debate, the Member who moved its adjournment shall be entitled to speak first. A second proposal “that the debate be adjourned” shall not be made within half-an-hour. A Member shall not move or second more than one proposal for the adjournment of the same debate.
That the Question be Now Put
5.12 Any Member who has not already spoken to the proposal or Amendment then under debate may move “that the question be now put”. Such a proposal must be seconded, but it need not be reduced to writing. The mover and seconder shall not speak beyond formally moving and seconding it.
5.13 If the Chairperson is of the opinion that the subject before the Council has been sufficiently discussed, he/she shall put the proposal “that the question be now put” to the vote without debate. If this proposal is carried, the proposal or Amendment under discussion shall be put to the Council.
5.14 If the proposal is not carried, a second proposal “that the question be now put” shall not be made on the discussion of the same question within half-an-hour.
5.15 A Member shall not move or second more than one proposal “that the question be now put” on the discussion of the same question.
That the Council do Now Proceed to the Next Business
5.16 Any Member of the Council who has not already spoken to any proposal or Amendment then under debate may move, “that the Council do proceed to the next business”. Such a proposal must be seconded, but it need not be reduced to writing. The mover and seconder shall not speak beyond formally moving and seconding the proposal which shall be put to the vote without debate.
5.17 If the Chairperson is of the opinion that the subject before the Council has been sufficiently discussed, he/she shall put the proposal “that the Council do proceed to the next business” to the vote without debate. If the proposal is carried, the proposal or Amendment under discussion shall be put to the Council.
5.18 When a proposal is carried “that the Council do proceed to the next business”, the question under discussion shall be considered as dropped.
5.19 If the proposal is not carried, a second proposal “that the Council do proceed to the next business” shall not be made on the same question within half-an-hour.
5.20 A Member shall not move or second more than one proposal “that the Council do proceed to the next business” on the discussion of the same question.
Amendment to Regulatory Decisions
5.21 No Amendment may be moved to a Minute which is a Regulatory Decision.
5.22 For the purposes of these Standing Orders, a Regulatory Decision is:
− a determination of an application for planning permission or any decision, determination, action, direction, order, approval, refusal, or enforcement action in exercise of powers of the Council as a local planning authority; or
− any application for which the Council is the licensing authority; or
− any decision made in relation to Council’s regulatory functions.
 Please reference Protocol for the Operation of the Planning Committee provided as an appendix to Standing Orders.
6.1 This Section refers to questions which require research and verification of facts.
6.2 Any Member requiring further information regarding any matters appearing in the Reports of Committees submitted to the Council for approval shall state his/her request in writing to the Clerk & Chief Executive or relevant Director or Head of Service. This is to ensure that it shall be in the hands of the Chairperson of the Committee twenty-four hours before the commencement of the Council Meeting. Any such request shall be entitled to a reply when the proceedings are submitted.
6.3 A Member may, if three working days’ notice in writing has been given to the Clerk, ask the Mayor of the Council, or the person presiding at any Committee, any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which directly affects the Borough. Questions should be concise, deal with one issue as a single issue and be relevant to the business of the Committee. In exceptional circumstances, more than one question may be submitted by a Member.
6.4 Every question shall be put and answered without discussion but the person to whom a question has been put may not be in a position to answer. If this is the case Standing Order 6.6(c) shall be followed. If the person presiding permits, the Member asking a question may ask one relevant supplementary question which shall be put and answered without discussion. Any follow-up question must be in the context of the primary question.
6.5 If the person presiding at a Meeting considers that, due to special circumstances it is desirable that a question shall be asked at that Meeting, although due notice of the question has not been given, and if he/she is satisfied that as much notice as is possible has been given to the person of whom it is to be asked, he may permit the question to be asked.
6.6 An answer to a question may be given by the person to whom it is addressed or by a person on his behalf, and may take the form of:
a) A direct oral answer;
b) A written response;
c) A reference to information contained in some publication; or
d) An answer will be provided to Members at the next appropriate Council or Committee Meeting.
6.7 Every question shall be relevant to some matter in relation to which the Council has functions.
7.1 The rules of debate apply to all Council business. A Motion refers to any proposal, recommendation or matter formally submitted to Council with possible adoption as a resolution.
Mode of Address
7.2 The established mode of address is for a Member to speak clearly from their allocated position when addressing the Council’s Mayor. While a Member is speaking, the other Members should show respect, and rise only to make a Point of Order or in personal explanation.
A Member shall direct his/her speech to the Motion or matter under discussion or to a personal explanation or to a Point of Order.
Precedence in Speaking
7.3 Whenever two or more Members indicate to speak, the Chairperson shall decide who has precedence and call them in order.
Place of Member Speaking
7.4 A Member when addressing the Chairperson shall speak clearly from the place allocated to him/her in the Council Chamber.
Addressing the Council
7.5 Normally only Council Members shall address the Council. However, the Council may give consent to non-Members to make addresses.
Chairperson Rising During Debate
7.6 Whenever the Chairperson rises or otherwise calls the Meeting to order during a debate, any Member then speaking shall cease and the Council shall be silent.
Points of Order
7.7 If any Member is called to order while speaking he/she shall resume his/her seat. When the point of order has been disposed of, the Member may resume his/her address to Council.
7.8 A Point of Order shall relate only to an alleged breach of a Standing Order or statutory provision. The Member raising the Point of Order shall specify the Standing Order or provision and indicate the way in which he/she considers it has been broken.
 A point of order refers to an interjection by a Member who does not have the floor to call to the Chairperson’s attention an alleged breach of the Standing Orders.
7.9 A Member may raise a Point of Order and shall be entitled to be heard immediately.
7.10 The ruling of the Chairperson on a Point of Order shall not be open to discussion.
Motions and Amendments to be Reduced to Writing and Seconded
7.11 A Motion or Amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded. Also, unless notice has already been given in accordance with Standing Order 4.3, it shall, if required by the Chairperson presiding, be put into writing and handed to the Chairperson presiding before it is further discussed or put to the Meeting.
7.12 A Member when seconding a Motion or Amendment may, if he/she then declares his/her intention to do so, reserve his/her speech until a later period of the debate.
Alteration of Motion
7.13 A Member may alter a Motion of which he/she has given notice as proposed with the consent of the Meeting. The Meeting’s consent will be signified without discussion.
7.14 A Member may alter a Motion which he/she has moved without giving notice with the consent of the Meeting and the seconder. The Meeting’s consent will be signified without discussion.
7.15 Only alterations which could be made as an Amendment may be made.
Withdrawal of Motion
7.16 A Member may withdraw a Motion of which he/she has given notice under Standing Order 4.3 at any time after the Meeting has commenced provided that he/she has not moved the Motion or spoken on it and has the consent of the Meeting. The Meeting’s consent will be signified without discussion.
7.17 A Member may withdraw any other Motions which he/she has moved with the consent of both the Meeting and seconder. The Meeting’s consent will be signified without discussion.
7.18 No Member may speak on the Motion after the mover has asked permission to withdraw it unless permission is refused.
Member Shall Not Speak More Than Once
7.19 A Member who has spoken on any Motion shall not speak again whilst it is the subject of debate, except:
a. At the Chairperson’s discretion;
b. To speak once on an Amendment moved by another Member;
c. If the Motion has been amended since he/she last spoke, to move a further Amendment;
d. If his/her first speech was on an Amendment moved by another Member to speak on the main issue whether or not the Amendment on which he/she spoke was carried;
e. In the exercise of a right of reply given by Standing Order 7.25;
f. On a Point of Order.
Duration of Speeches
7.20 Except with the permission of the Council, a Member, in introducing a Motion, shall not speak for more than ten minutes and in replying, for not more than five minutes. Any other Member shall not speak for more than 5 minutes.
Only One Motion/Proposal/Amendment May be Moved and Discussed at a Time
7.21 Only one Amendment may be moved and discussed at any one time. No further Amendment may be moved until the Amendment under discussion has been disposed of.
7.22 If an Amendment is not carried, other Amendments to the original Motion may be moved.
7.23 If an Amendment is carried, the Motion as amended takes the place of the original Motion. This becomes the substantive Motion to which any further Amendments are moved.
Chairperson Not to Receive Motion for Direct Negative
7.24 The Chairperson shall not receive a Motion for a direct negative to a question but, on the conclusion of the debate, the question shall be put and resolved in the affirmative or negative.
Mover’s Right of Reply
7.25 The mover of a Motion has a right to reply at the close of the debate on the Motion and on any amendment to the Motion. The Member will speak for no more than 5 minutes in each case. He/she shall not otherwise speak on the Amendment. The mover of the Amendment shall have no right of reply to the Amendment debate.
8.1 Subject to any statutory provisions to the contrary, any matter will be decided by a simple majority of those Members present and voting.
8.2 Regular voting will be taken by a show of hands of those Members present and voting, except resolved otherwise.
8.3 Any Member may request a recorded vote during debate and prior to a vote being taken. When a recorded vote is requested this will also be taken by a show of hands. The record shall show whether each Member present and voting gave their vote for or against that question or abstained.
Chairperson’s Casting Vote
8.4 If there are an equal number of votes for and against, the Chairperson will have a second (i.e. casting) vote.
Qualified Majority (Mandatory)
A qualified majority is defined in the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014, S40(2) as “80 per cent of the votes of the Members present and voting on the decision”.
This section applies to Standing Committees as well as Full Council.
8.7 A qualified majority shall be required in relation to the Council’s decision on
a) The adoption of executive arrangements or prescribed arrangements as the Council’s form of governance (section 19, 2014 Act);
b) The method to be adopted for the filling of positions of responsibility (Schedule 1, 2014 Act);
c) The method to be adopted for appointing Elected Members to Committees (Schedule 2, 2014 Act);
d) The exercise of the general power of competence in accordance with section 79 of the 2014 Act;
e) A Call-In made in accordance with section 41 (1) (b) of the 2014 Act; and
f) The suspension of Standing Orders.
The Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014 S41 requires the Council’s Standing Orders to “make provision requiring reconsideration of a decision if 15 per cent of the Members of the Council (rounded up to the next highest number if necessary)” present to the Clerk a requisition on either or both of the following grounds:
a) That the decision was not arrived at after a proper consideration of the relevant facts and issues;
b) That the decision would disproportionately affect adversely any section of the inhabitants of the district.
Decisions Subject to Call-In
9.1 The following decisions may be subject to Call-In in such a manner as is specified in these standing orders:
a) A decision of the Executive;
b) An executive decision taken under joint arrangements in accordance with section 26 of the 2014 Act;
c) A key decision taken by an Officer or Officers of the Council;
d) A decision taken by a Committee under delegated authority in accordance with section 7 of the 2014 Act;
e) A decision taken by a Committee to make a recommendation for ratification by the Council; and
f) A decision of the Council other than a decision to ratify a recommendation of the Committee.
9.2 The following decisions shall not be subject to Call-In:
a) A decision on a regulatory or quasi-judicial function which is subject to a separate appeal mechanism;
b) A decision which is deemed to be the case of special urgency in accordance with regulation 26 of the 2014 Executive Arrangements Regulations;
c) A decision where an unreasonable delay could be prejudicial to the Council’s or the public’s interest;
d) A decision taken by an Officer or Officers which is not a key decision;
e) A decision by the Executive which services only to note a report from or the actions of an Officer or Officers.
9.3 No decision shall be subject to Call-In more than once for each of the reasons specified in section 41(1) of the 2014 Act.
9.4 A Call-In must be submitted in writing to the Clerk by 10am on the fifth working day following publication of the decision to which the Call-In relates. If a Call-In is received after the specified deadline, it must be deemed inadmissible.
9.5 A Call-In shall:
a) Specify the reasons why a decision should be reconsidered; and
b) Subject to Standing Order 9.8, be deemed inadmissible if the reasons are not specified.
9.6 Where reasons have not been specified on the requisition, the Clerk must notify the Members making the requisition that it must be considered inadmissible unless reasons are specified in writing within the deadline.
9.7 In the case of a Call-In submitted under section 41(1)(b) of the 2014 Act, Members must state in reasons specified under Standing Order 9.5:
a) The section of inhabitants of the Borough that would be affected by the decision; and
b) The nature and extent of the disproportionate adverse impact.
9.8 Within one working day of receipt of a Call-In, the Clerk must confirm that:
a) It has the support of 15% of the Members of the Council; and
b) The reasons for the Call-In have been specified.
 15% of 40 members is 6
9.9 Within one working day of receipt of an admissible Call-In submitted under section 41(1)(b) of the 2014 Act, the Clerk must seek the opinion of a practising Solicitor or Barrister in accordance with section 41(2) of the 2014 Act.
9.10 Where the legal opinion obtained in accordance with section 41(2) of the 2014 Act confirms that the Call-In has merit, the Clerk must:
a) Furnish the opinion to Members; and
b) Include the decision on the agenda for the next available Meeting of the Council, at which it will be taken by qualified majority.
9.11 Where the legal opinion in accordance with section 41(2) of the 2014 Act indicates that the Call-In does not have merit, the Clerk must:
a) Furnish the opinion to Members; and
b) Make arrangements for the decision to be implemented or tabled for ratification by the Council, as appropriate.
The Call-In Process: Committee Arrangements
9.12 For the purposes of reconsideration of a decision pursuant to a Call-In the minutes of a Committee which record a decision:
a) Taken under delegated authority; or
b) For ratification by the Council
must be published within five working days of the conclusion of the Meetings. The date of publication must be regarded as the date of publication for the purposes of Call-In.
9.13 If a Call-In is not received by the deadline specified in Standing Order 9.4, the decision specified in:
a) Standing Order 9.12 (a) must be implemented;
b) Standing Order 9.12(b) must be tabled for ratification by the Council.
9.14 The tabling for ratification of a decision specified in Standing Order 9.12(b), or a decision specified in Standing Order 9.12(a), must be postponed (unless the total level of support for the Call-In falls below 15% of the Members) until the Call-In has been resolved. The decision maker may rescind the decision at any time prior to the Call-In being resolved.
9.15 If an admissible Call-In is made in accordance with Standing Orders 9.4 and 9.5 and section 41(1)(a) of the 2014 Act, the Council must appoint an ad hoc Committee of the Council, the Membership of which will be:
a) The Chairpersons of all Committees of the Council; and
b) The Deputy Chairpersons of all Committees of the Council
to consider the process adopted by the original decision-making Committee whose decision is subject to Call-In.
9.16 The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Committee which was responsible for the decision which is the subject of the Call-In must not have voting rights at a Meeting of the Committee appointed in accordance with Standing Order 9.15.
9.17 The Member who submitted the Call-In, or a Member on their behalf, must be invited to attend the Meeting at which the decision subject to the Call-In is considered and may, upon the request of the Chairperson, address the Meeting, but must not have voting rights.
9.18 A Committee appointed in accordance with Standing Order 9.15 may:
a) Refer the decision back to the decision maker;
b) In the case of a decision taken under delegated authority, support the decision; or
c) In the case of a decision for ratification by the Council, refer the decision to Council.
9.19 Where a decision has been supported in accordance with Standing Order 9.18(b), that decision must:
a) Be approved;
b) Be inserted into the Register of Decisions; and
c) Become operative from the date of the Meeting at which the Committee appointed in accordance with Standing Order 9.15 confirmed support for the decision.
10.1 Subject to Standing Order 10.2, in relation to positions of responsibility selected in accordance with paragraphs 2(1) and 2(2) of Schedule 1 of the 2014 Act, the period specified for –
a) The nominating Officer to select a position of responsibility and the term for which it must be held; and
b) The person nominated to accept the selected position is 15 minutes.
10.2 An extension to the period specified in Standing Order 10.1 may be granted subject to the approval of the Council. Such an extension may be requested by
a) The nominating Officer;
b) The person nominated to hold the selected position; or
c) Another Member.
 Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014, Part 3, S6(1) – In relation to a Council the following are positions of responsibility:
a) Chair of the Council;
b) Deputy Chair of the Council;
c) Chair of any Committee of the Council;
d) Deputy Chair of any Committee of the Council;
e) Member of a cabinet style executive of the Council;
f) External representative of the Council.
A list of the Council’s position of responsibility is maintained by the Clerk and is made available as an appendix to the Standing Orders.
11. APPOINTMENT OF MORE THAN ONE COMMITTEE (MANDATORY)
11.1 Where the Council appoints more than one Committee at the same Meeting in accordance with paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the 2014 Act, for the purposes of determining the number of places that must be allocated across the parties and independent Members of the Council, it must agree –
a) The number of Committees to be appointed; and
b) The number of Councillors that shall constitute the Membership of each Committee.
11.2 The total number of places to which a nominating Officer of a party may nominate Members who stood in the name of that party when elected must be calculated in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 4 of Schedule 2 to the 2014 Act and any resolution of the Council made thereunder.
11.3 A nominating Officer’s function under paragraph 2(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the 2014 Act shall be exercised in such manner as to ensure that –
a) All Members of a Committee are not nominated by the same nominating Officer;
b) A nominating Officer of a party may nominate Members who stood in the name of that party to fill the majority of places on a Committee, if the majority of Members stood in the name of that party; and
c) Subject to (a) and (b), the number of Members nominated by each nominating Officer of a party, in so far as reasonably practicable, bear the same proportion to the number of places on that Committee as is borne by the number of
Members who stood in the name of that party.
11.4 Nominations made in accordance with Standing Order 11.3 shall take into account any positions of responsibility on a Committee held by a Member who stood in the name of the party.
11.5 Allocation of Committee places will ordinarily be made at the first Annual Meeting in an election year for the ensuing term of Council until the next election.
12.1 A motion to amend or rescind a decision of the Council or the Committee shall not be valid within six months from the date of such decision unless:-
a) the motion shall be brought forward as a recommendation of the Committee or Full Council concerned; or
b) the notice shall bear, in addition to the name of the Member who submits the motion, the signatures of at least one-quarter of the total number of Members of the Council.
 i.e. 10 councillors
13. COUNCIL SEAL
13.1 The seal of the Council shall be affixed to a document only on the authority of:-
(a) resolution of the Council;
(b) a resolution of a Committee which the Council has empowered to authorise the use of the seal;
(c) a decision by the Council, or by a duly authorised Committee or Officer, to do anything where a document under the seal is necessary to complete the action.
13.2 The affixing of the seal shall be attested by the Mayor or Deputy Mayor and the Clerk & Chief Executive or Deputy Chief Executive or Director.
14. MEMBERS’ CONDUCT
14.1 When a Member speaks to the Council they must speak from the place allocated to them and address the Meeting through the Chairperson. If more than one Member wishes to speak, the Chairperson will ask one to speak and the others must wait.
14.2 When the Chairperson stands during a debate, any Member speaking at the time must stop and sit down. The Meeting must be silent.
Member Not to be Heard Further
14.3 If at a Meeting any Member of the Council engages in misconduct by persistently disregarding the ruling of the Chair, or by behaving irregularly, improperly or offensively or by wilfully obstructing the business of the Council, the Chairperson or any other Member may move “that the Member named be not further heard” within this debate. The Motion, if seconded, shall be put and determined without discussion.
Member to Leave the Meeting
14.4 If the Member named continues to behave improperly after such a Motion is carried, the Chairperson or any other Member may move that either the Member leaves the Meeting or that the Meeting is adjourned for a specified period. If seconded, the Motion will be voted on without discussion.
14.5 When the Chairperson is of the opinion that the due and orderly dispatch of business is impossible, he/she