UPC Procedures and Policies
The following Procedures and Policies were adopted by Uplowman Parish Council on or before 19th March 2009.
The Standing Orders for conduct of Uplowman Parish Council business will be as given in Legal Topic Note 29, third Revision dated May 1994, published by the National Association of Local Councils, except as provided hereinafter.
2. Procedure for Responding to Planning Applications (Adopted 19th May 2006)
The response period for applications is 3 weeks which does not usually allow consideration in a full council meeting, since these are at intervals of 2 months. Therefore, the procedure will be:
A. On receipt of a planning application from the Local Planning Authority (usually Mid Devon District Council or Devon County Council), the Clerk will inform the chair who will convene a subgroup of three councillors who do not have a prejudicial interest in the matter (that is, are not neighbours or relatives of the applicant).
B. The subgroup will arrange to meet on site. The time of the site meeting will be publicised on the Parish noticeboard at least 4 days prior to the meeting.
C. Neighbours to the applicant will be consulted and anyone may attend the site meeting to make a representation. Anyone who wishes to see the application may either contact the Local Planning Authority or inspect it by arrangement with the Clerk.
D. The subgroup will direct the Clerk who will respond appropriately to the Local Planning Authority. On 19 May 2006 the Clerk was delegated as the UPC Planning Officer to enable this procedure of ad hoc committees to be used.
3. Expenses Policy (Adopted: 15th January 2009)
UPC does not pay attendance allowances to Members. Expenses properly made on items agreed by the Council will be reimbursed at cost on production of a valid receipt or invoice. Travel expenses will be paid as standard class rail fares or milage as declared at 40 pence per mile.
4. Procedure for co-opting a councillor (Adopted: 19th March 2009)
A. On receipt of written confirmation of resignation by a councillor, the Clerk (or, in his/her absence, the Chair) will inform the electoral services officer at Mid Devon who will set in train the process for advertising a potential election to replace the resigned Member. If there is no call by 10 electors for an election then Uplowman Parish Council will seek to co-opt a replacement Member as follows:
B. Notices advertising the vacancy will be placed on the Parish notice board(s) and in all appropriate local newsletters giving at least 2 weeks for prospective co-optees to express their interest to the Chair.
C. If more than one expression of interest is received during the stipulated period, the Chair will call a special meeting of the council with the sole purpose of interviewing the candidates. Candidates will be invited to present themselves for consideration. At the end of the meeting the successful candidate will be chosen by a simple majority of the continuing Members present.
D. The successful candidate will normally be invited to take his/her seat, sign acceptance of office and complete the Register of Interests at the next available full meeting of Uplowman Parish Council. The Clerk will inform MDDC of the name and address of the successful candidate.
5. Procedure for agreeing the Annual Budget (Adopted: 19th March 2009)
A. The Precept request will normally be forwarded to MDDC in early January of each year.
B. The Council will determine a set of priorities for the following fiscal year at its November meeting each year. Costings will be provided to the Clerk by 31st December.
C. The Clerk will draft a budget of the anticipated expenditure, allowing for prioritised activities plus regular expenditure for discussion at the January Meeting, at the conclusion of which the required Precept will be agreed.
D. The Clerk will inform MDDC of the required Precept.
6. Procedures for making payments (Adopted: 19th March 2009)
A. Costs of items clearly identified in the budget need not be further discussed, provided that the actual cost is within 10% of that anticipated at the time of budgeting.
B. Payments against the budget will normally be made by cheque signed at a full meeting of Uplowman Parish Council. Payments of up to £200 may be made between full council meetings, if necessary, subject to approval at the next public opportunity.
7. Financial Reports (Adopted:19th March 2009)
The Annual Audit is required by the District Audit by 30 June each year. The Clerk will prepare provisional Accounts by March of each year and final accounts for adoption in the May meeting. These will be adopted subject to successful internal Audit. On completion of the Annual Audit the summary accounts will be posted on the website.
8. Statement on Equal Opportunities (Adopted: 19th March 2009)
Uplowman Parish Council is committed to the principle of equal opportunities and declares its opposition to any form of less favourable treatment, whether through direct or indirect discrimination accorded to the general public including on the grounds of their race, religious beliefs, creed, colour, disability, ethnic origin, nationality, marital/parental status, sex or sexual orientation. This policy applies equally to paid employees of the Parish Council and to Councillors and volunteers.
9. Procedure for responding to request for information (Adopted: 19th March 2009)
Requests for information must be addressed to the Clerk. The requested item will be made available in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. Copies may be made at the rate of 5 pence per A4 sheet (monochrome).